2nd Symposium 2009

2nd IBSS 2009: “The Black Sea Region: the State of Play and the Way Forward”

After the successful pilot Symposium event in 2008, the 2nd IBSS, incorporating the lessons learnt, was held in Kalymnos, Dodecanese, Greece on 30 June – 5 July 2009 under the title: “The Black Sea Region: the State of Play and the Way Forward”. The 2nd IBSS was implemented in cooperation with numerous partners and sponsors.

Over 120 young professionals from 25 countries applied to take part in the 2009 Symposium. The high number of quality applications indicates the great interest of the target group in this initiative. After careful evaluation, 42 young professionals were selected to participate and attended the Symposium which dealt with issues of importance for the future development of the Black Sea region.

Twenty-five prominent experts led sessions focusing inter alia on the role of key stakeholders, the protracted conflicts, energy security, or EU-Russia relations. Sessions alternated with workshops on structured dialogue guided by expert facilitator Prof. Benjamin Broome (Arizona State University). In smaller groups participants were trained on conflict resolution methods and developed action recommendations for policy makers and civil society. In teams they generated project ideas and presented them to the plenary, setting the base for joint activities and spin-off projects after the end of the Symposium.

During their free time participants had the chance to explore the picturesque island of Kalymnos and to become familiar with the local culture. The excellent feedback by both participants and speakers referring to all aspects of the event showed that the IBSS really fills a gap for young professionals with a Black Sea focus in terms of learning, dialogue and networking opportunities. It also encouraged the organisers to continue this project in years to come.

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