Young professionals from the Baltic states, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine – including scholars, journalists, civil activists, and others with knowledge of and practical involvement in developing analytical and quality media content, deconstructing propaganda, myths and disinformation, and educating society, are invited to apply for the 1st Vilnius Young Leaders Meeting (VYLM) to be held on September 25-29, 2017 in Vilnius, Lithuania. The meeting is organized by the Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) in cooperation with DELFI and International Elections Study Center (IESC), the main Lithuanian news portal, and with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy, the Swedish Institute, and the Embassy of Sweden in Vilnius.
The VYLM aims to foster expertise and cooperation among a new generation of Estonian, Belarusian, Georgian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Moldovan, Russian, and Ukrainian professionals. At a time when disinformation campaigns target the Baltic states and Eastern Partnership countries, the exchange of best practices on how to counter misleading information and fake news is taking place – but generally in closed circles and with only limited involvement of Russian counterparts. The VYLM seeks to gather a wide group of accomplished and motivated young leaders willing to share experiences, gain new analytical and communication skills, and – most importantly – approach propaganda and disinformation-related problems in a regional way in cooperation with fellow VYLM participants.
During four-day program, the VYLM participants will have private, off-the-record sessions with media and communication practitioners and political analysts from Sweden, the Baltic states, Russia, and the broader region. Such exchange of views, knowledge and experiences will lead to acquiring new abilities to scrutinize media content in their respective countries and developing an understanding of how the same events can be perceived differently even in societies that to some extent share a common history, values, traditions, and even language. It is our expectation that participants will be able to apply their newly gained knowledge, tools, and contacts in their further professional activities – thereby contributing to increased transparency and accuracy in media reporting, analysis, and research.
Who can apply?
Motivated young professionals from Estonia, Belarus, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine whose professional activities and personal goals are related to improving media, scholar and analytical environment in their respective countries and broader region.
Candidates should ideally:
• Be between 24-35 years old
• hold at least a bachelor’s degree
• have a minimum of 3 years of work experience in the fields of journalism, communication, political science, or civil society/NGOs
• able actively to take part in discussions in English (simultaneous English-Russian interpretation is planned, but may not always be available)
Even if you do not meet all of the above-mentioned criteria, your application is still welcome. Participants will be selected based on their competence, motivation, and ability to contribute to the aim of the Meeting. Innovative approaches and ideas are encouraged.
What does the VYLM offer?
In addition to the opportunity to meet and learn from leading figures in journalism, communication, foreign affairs, and security – as well as from one another – participants will be provided with:
• Accommodation from September 25 to September 29 (4 nights) on a double-occupancy basis
• Round-trip transportation (except for Lithuania-based participants)
• Visa support, if required
How to apply?
Please fill in the application form – download here in English or Russian – and return it to the organizers by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please indicate VYLM Application in the subject line. The application can be completed in English (preferably) or Russian. Applications that do not include complete answers to all questions will not be considered. All applications must be received by the deadline of August 31, 2017 at 23:55 Lithuanian time (EEST, UTC+ 03:00).
Should you any have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the organizers by email at email@example.com.