My four days in The Hague

Brief by Mira Tóth.

The first time I heard about the ETSN Youth Summit I immediately noticed it would be a one-of-a-kind opportunity to spend 4 days in the Netherlands with such a busy and varied conference schedule that would allow full immersion in talent development and innovative educational programs. This year the program has been attended by almost 30 youth from 7 different countries, whose unique life story and talents has made the team exceptionally diverse.

My time spent at the conference was a series of deep learning experiences about diverse and motivating topics. I found the presentation about the Mully Children’s Family (MCF) the most impressive and fascinating keynote. MCF is a revolutionary organization in Kenya with programs to promote and nurture gifts and talents of children/youth in marginalized and poverty-stricken communities. I felt touched by this initiative, because providing quality education to all is a particularly important topic for me. This is the reason why I work for the international organization Athena on a program that provides free quality education globally, based on the same principles that MCF has. In Athena, students can participate in online courses and skill-enhancing programs. Unlike other international programs, we provide lessons and resources to the participants to master the subjects of humanities that are not covered in their curricula. Learning about MCF’s special methods was most instructive for me and it has contributed to the further development of Athena. I had the opportunity to personally meet Ndondo Mutua Mully, who has a key role in the organization, and to find out more about MCF and how I could contribute to this impressive initiative. 


Mira Tóth


I have gained a deeper insight into the topic of talent development and personal growth by attending Jeanne Paynter’s presentation about teaching the “aptitudes of innovators” such as curiosity, creativity, insight, metacognition, and perseverance, while still addressing curriculum content. She introduced us to her brain-based model that applies techniques to make the students more motivated and engaged in the lessons. It was riveting to learn about an equitable process that provides the students with an education that prepares them for life and puts the learning material out of the classroom. Thanks to the inspirational talk, I understood the options we have to make education more personalized and engaging. As a result of this experience, right now I am conducting research on the topic of personal growth and the right education methodologies. I want to compile a student-centered English curriculum, starting out from the roots of educational principles and adjusted to the needs of our times. 

In addition to covering several educational initiatives, direct and open discussions with my peers offered a glimpse into the colorful talent development programs and educational systems of their countries. I was surprised to hear that in some of them students do not have access to free talent management programs to nurture their skills and gifts. Thanks to the informal environment, we could share our relevant personal opinions and experiences, and we have all agreed that there is a high need for improvement in education to make it more accessible and personalized, especially for identifying and nurturing the gifts of talents at/from an early age. 

During my four days in The Hague, I deepened my knowledge of education; I understood certain aspects of the development-oriented mindset, and I made lifelong friendships with people from different parts of Europe. I found out about the breathtaking architecture of the city through a boat tour with the other Youth Summit participants. The program was professionally organized; the schedule was full of thrilling activities, but I have never felt tired. In fact, when I returned to Hungary, I had more energy and motivation than before.


Talent is a special kind of natural resource that is available in every country.