In June 2023, 25 NGO leaders from Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czechia, Moldova, North Macedonia, Poland, Serbia, and Slovakia completed an interactive four-day management workshop designed to strengthen civil society in the region. This was the ninth in-person workshop spearheaded by two University of Michigan units: the Weiser Center for Europe & Eurasia and the William Davidson Institute. It was the second training organized in partnership with the Bratislava-based NGO Hekima, a young organization committed to assisting others in the field.
The 25 participants were selected through an open application process and attended at no charge. Their NGOs are focused on strengthening human rights and democracy at home and abroad, humanitarian aid, civil rights, women’s rights, and critical thinking in youth.
Workshop sessions topic included: innovation, fundraising, decision making, and talent management. Participants had many opportunities to network during the week, including at the opening reception on the eve of the program, featuring live music at the Hotel Beigli in Bratislava’s Old Town. The relationship-building continued through a group visit to the historic village of Svätý Jur to tour the vineyards, learn more about local wine production and regional grape varieties, and enjoy a closing dinner at a local wine cellar.
As with prior workshops, evaluations were very positive, with the majority of participants reporting that the training was well-managed and relevant to their work and organizations.