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Think Tank School

New Eastern Europe

Each year New Eastern Europe and the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański College of Eastern Europe bring together young professionals, researchers, and students to the Think Tank School. This week long programme is designed to provide participants with a better understanding of how think tanks work and what it means to work in these spaces.

Who can apply?
The target audience of the Winter School is young (up to 30 years) and/or aspiring researchers, academics, students who are based in the EU and have desire to learn more about how think tanks and non-governmental organisations work, what is their role in building resilient democracies and gain experience from a Central European perspective.

Regardless of whether you have experience with expert organisations or came up with an idea of founding one yesterday, meeting with trainers from the most active and influential Euro-Atlantic non-governmental organisations and public institutions will help you understand the needs and prospects of your team and ideas. A special focus is also provided from the Central European perspective to give you a chance to learn how other young think tankers have made their careers in this region.

Pavel Havlicek on how to make the right impact as a think tank.

Pavel Havlicek on how to make the right impact as a think tank.

Think Tank School is an immersive week-long event that goes beyond traditional educational experiences. This is a unique opportunity to explore and contribute to the world of non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and advocacy groups in Central and Eastern Europe. This is a densely packed programme with workshops, presentations, and cultural activities throughout the week, involving travel between multiple Central and Eastern European cities. Throughout this transformative journey, you will have the chance to develop strong personal relationships, extending beyond professional growth. You will be able to engage with activists, academics, and experts and become an integral part of a movement dedicated to driving positive societal changes in the region.

During the programme you will have a chance to participate in workshops led by activists, academics, and experts, providing you with a nuanced understanding of the challenges faced by Central and Eastern Europe. You will be able to receive practical guidance on navigating democracy-building challenges and effectively engaging with the complex issues these organisations address.

Our inaugural project, the New Eastern Europe Winter School took place from December 3 to 9 in Poznań and Berlin, bringing together participants for a week of engaging activities. Throughout the week, various panels featured discussions with members of regional civil society, NGOs, non-profit organisations, universities, and think-tanks, enriching the experience with real-life examples. Speakers included Kacper Nowicki (Varia Posnania), Jan Farfał (Visegrad Insight), Mateusz Sulwiński (Stonewall Group), Patrycja Donaburska (Fulbright Poland), Dagmara Jajesniak-Quast (European University Viadrina), Michael Kurzwelly, Tobias Koepf (Genshagen Stiftung), Angelika Eder (Genshagen Stiftung), Jörg Morré (Berlin-Karlshorst Museum), Joshua M. Burgin, Claudia Rothe (Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung), Joerg Forbrig (German Marshall Fund), Pavel Havlíček (Association for International Affairs), and Krzysztof Izdebski (Fundacja Batorego) contributed valuable perspectives on fostering resilience across Central and Eastern Europe.

New Eastern Europe Think Tank School serves as a platform for insight in careers in political NGOs, research, and think/do-tanks. Learn how think-tanks develop strategies, contribute to their activities as a young researcher, and connect with individuals who share a keen interest in the politics of Central and Eastern European countries.

Kacper Nowicki on Varia Posnania and its activities.

Kacper Nowicki on Varia Posnania and its activities.

How to apply?
You can find the application on the following link. Deadline for the applications for the upcoming project is April 7, 23:59 CEST. 

Our Alumni

Political Analyst and Researcher

Alejandro Esteso Pérez

Co-Founder and Project Manager at thepplan

Georgii Kalakutskii

MA Student

William Malaterre

PhD Candidate

Wicke van den Broek

PhD Candidate

Catherine Girard

MA Student

Lika Khutsiberidze

MA Student & Associate Editor at the Student Think Tank for Europe-Asia Relations (STEAR)

Muhammad Anugrah Utama

MA Student

Sneha Chakrabarti

Assistant Manager at the Future University Lab

Natalia Szymańska

Civic Activist and an undergraduate student at the University of Bucharest.

Aliaksei Piatrenka

East European and Eurasian Studies (MIREES) Graduate

Giorgia Cacciotti

Junior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Defence and Security (ICDS)

Merili Arjakas

The project is funded by the European Commission under the Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values Programme (CERV) thanks to the Operating Grant titled “Protecting European Values – A proactive approach to strengthening and building European democracy by countering hostile threats aimed at EU values and bridging existing divides.”


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