The Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) continues already recognized at the international level project and invites to apply for the 3rd installment of the Vilnius Young Leaders Meeting (VYLM) to be held on October 13-16, 2020 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Previously the first and second editions of VYLM included participants from the Baltic States, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia. After receiving many requests and feedback from project participants and applicants, this year the project expands even further and includes another country – Azerbaijan! The VYLM will continue to gather already established experts and the 3-day long meeting will include trainers from EaP countries, the Baltic states, and other regions. The meeting is organized by the Eastern Europe Studies Centre (EESC) with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the Swedish Institute, and the Embassy of Sweden in Vilnius.
Despite the noticeable and significant improvements in the field of democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech, the local societies and especially youth in the Eastern Partnership and Baltic Sea regions still need to deepen the knowledge and share their experiences on how they meet such challenges. The 3rd VYLM will continue to focus on such issues and the most relevant topics, which need deeper expertise to understand how increasing resilience to disinformation, will be covered. This year VYLM will focus on journalism with limited recourses that create a great opportunity for young yet but promising professionals to create a perfect basis for their future career. However, this focus does not limit any other experts who may deepen their knowledge as well.
Furthermore, VYLM always aims to foster cooperation among a new generation of young professionals. Due to previous successful meetings, an alumni community of this project has already formed which allows continuing expert cooperation in the future. The constant development of high-quality media and other public content in Russian, English, and other languages is the essential goal of the project which must be pursued. During the meeting, workshops and high-level expert discussions will try to create a basis that will allow overcoming existing information and understanding gap between malign influences and the other sources or platforms of national or Russian languages.
From a historical point of view, national liberation movements or from the former Soviet Union in Baltic and Eastern Partnership countries are those examples that should be considered as the historical prototype of resilience. But at the same time, this region is the main target of the disinformation campaign so today the effective resilience requires close cooperation between the civil society, non-state actors, governments, and international alliances. This why the VYLM aims to gather a wide range of motivated and young leaders, experts who want to share both their theoretical and practical experiences, while at the same time gaining new analytical and communication skills. Learning by the example of other regional approaches to propaganda and misinformation while working in cooperation creates a great platform to adapt gained experience in the local regions of the VYLM participants.
VYLM participants will have the opportunity to meet with high-level media and communication practitioners and political analysts. During a three-day intensive program is based on off-the-record seminars and workshops, to meet media and communication practitioners and political analysts from the broad variety of regions. Furthermore, participants will be able to develop partnerships, including the ones between independent organizations and state institutions. Based on the first edition VYLM that brought extremely positive results, the organizers believe in participants who will be able to apply their new knowledge in practice, and newly acquired tools and contacts will further facilitate their professional activities.
Who can apply?
Motivated young professionals from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and Azerbaijan whose professional activities and personal goals are related to improving media, scholars, and the analytical environment in their respective countries and the 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 not only based on their competence, but huge attention will be paid to participant motivation and ability to contribute to the general 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 October 13 to October 17 (up to 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) and return it to the organizers by email at email@example.com. 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, 2020, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.