Towards a European Talent Support Network III

We continue our collection of ideas on the importance of networking; this time Ibolya De Negri (Talent Support Council, Vojvodina, Serbia) and Dr Adam Boddison (IGGY Academic Principal, UK) and Joan Freeman speak about their ideas.

Ibolya De Negri (Talent Support Council, Vojvodina, Serbia)

'A European Talent Network presents a wider context so that the gifted may better find themselves and their own place in the world. More importantly, they will see where they stand in the international community of gifted young people. This network will provide them with a competitive edge so that they can successfully realize their dreams for the future. Such an international network provides both the individuals, as well as the community with important values.'

Dr Adam Boddison (IGGY Academic Principal, UK)

'At IGGY we provide gifted young people with a safe platform in which to connect and share experiences in life and learning with like-minded teenagers from across the world.  Feedback from our members has shown that this is one of the aspects they find most useful about IGGY; the ability to reach out to other young people who may be going through the same issues as them.  We know that gifted young people can feel isolated from their peers at school, and so an online forum that enables them to network with a wider and appropriate community is incredibly valuable to them.  

The educational benefits of networking within gifted education are also manifold.  On IGGY, if one member is stuck with a problem in their work, another member or one of our Student Mentors will step in to help out.  Our IGGY Members are able to collaborate on challenges, either online or in person during initiatives such as our Junior Commission which is a yearlong project in which 10 young people from across the world collaborate online and during study visits to tackle a specific topical issue.  The ability to explore and learn together enables the young people to reach a much higher level of critical thinking, and really inspires them to become genuinely independent and curious learners.'

Joan Freeman (Founding President of the European Council for High Ability)

'Networking for talented youth gives them the opportunity to interact dynamically with like others on many levels, notably sharing knowledge, encouragement of curiosity and social learning.  Without the interactions and stimuli which come from networking, each individual is isolated within the limitations of their own experience. Great networking is not merely electronic at a distance, but involves getting together to share the excitement of discovery and argument in a safe and accepting atmosphere. Practicing how to use knowledge creatively brings talented youngsters the confidence to raise their aims to reach out into new territories of ideas and applications.  Networking for talented youth is an essential part of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge to the benefit of all.'

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