The Open Society University Network’s Get Engaged Conference brings together students from across the world to develop community leadership skills and collaborate on solutions to local and global challenges. This year, CEU BA students Franziska Marhold (Philosophy, Politics and Economics), Kristine Samkharadze (Culture, Politics and Society) and Sibonelo Dlamini (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) were selected to participate in the two-day virtual convening April 10-11, focused on civic engagement, leadership and entrepreneurship.
While the conference, now in its eighth year, is usually held at CEU in Budapest, this online edition enabled more students to take part in the program, with 130 students from 16 institutions attending. Workshops focused on leadership, public speaking, networking, social media, community partnerships, innovation and creativity, fundraising and grant writing, and emotional intelligence organized by Bard College’s Center for Civic Engagement.
Reflecting on the convening, Dlamini comments: “A big part of civic engagement involves working with other people and what I learned from taking part in the Get Engaged conference is the importance of not only collaborating with like-minded people, but also nurturing relationships with people in my network, and ensuring that the network is structured in a way that allows people to meet their goals.” She also notes the importance of collaborators being able to meet individual and collective goals as a pathway to strengthen partnerships.
New this year was the introduction of the "Learning to Lead" track which involved 90 of the students, including Marhold. By empowering young leaders of change, Get Engaged is growing a network of young social entrepreneurs and change agents who are actively using the liberal arts as a tool to develop solutions to challenges in their communities.