What are the major values of the European Talent Support Network and what are the benefits of joining this network?
The major values of the European Talent Support Network are high quality work, reliability, sharing and giving. The Network will be informal, personal, transparent, consistent, rational and communicative. The Network will be a learning organization, which avoids bureaucracy and acts instead of writing about an act. The benefits of joining this Network are the following: 1.) your organization may establish novel exchange possibilities of talented young people, their teachers, mentors and researchers of talent support in Europe; 2.) your organization may learn and teach best practices of talent support activities, as well as may apply the results of scientific studies in gifted education in the everyday work; 3.) your organization may apply a wide variety of European funds, such as Erasmus+, Horizon2020 (including COST-cooperation), European Social Fund, etc. as a joint application with other European Talent Centres; 4.) European Talent Centres may express the needs of talented young people, gifted education and related research at the level of European policy making, as well as in the media increasing the awareness of the importance of identification and help of talented young people in Europe.
How can European Talent Centre or European Talent Point be defined?
European Talent Centres organise activities in the field of high ability in a region or a whole country (meaning that there might be more than one European Talent Centre per European country). European Talent Centres will be accredited by the Accreditation Committee of the European Council of High Ability (http://www.echa.info/101-formation-of-a-european-talent-support-network-adopted-by-the-general-assembly-of-echa). A more detailed list of European Talent Centre criteria can be found HERE (http://www.echa.info/images/documents/high-ability/European-Talent-Support-Network-ECHA-General-Assembly.pdf). European Talent Points organise local activities in the field of high ability. European Talent Points will be accredited by the European Talent Centres. European Talent Points may be organisations/institutions focusing mainly on talent support: research, identification, development of highly able young people (e. g: schools, university departments, talent centres, excellence centres, art, sport organizations focusing to talent development, NGOs, etc.); talent-related policy makers on national or international level (ministries, local authorities); business corporation with talent management programmes (talent identification, corporate responsibility programs, creative climate); organizations of young people participating in talent support programs; organizations of parents of highly able children; or an umbrella organization (network) of the organizational types listed here. These types of organizations were only listed as examples. European Talent Centres may extend this list, but the organizations involved have to be related to the support of highly able young people.
Are there any already existing European Talent Centres or European Talent Points?
What is the proper size of a European Talent Centre or Point?
There can be large variety in sizes. The size depends on the traditions of talent support in the particular European country. It is exactly the European Talent Support Network, which will encourage and help very small European Talent Centres and Points to grow. However, growth itself is not the major value of the Network. High quality work, reliability, sharing and giving will be the major values.
There is no strict minimum of the employees of a European Talent Centre. We understand that in many countries (especially at the begining of their organization) European Talent Centres will have volunteers only. However, it is suggested that the sum of employee or volunteer work should reach approximately the work of two full time employees.
Who can apply to be an accredited European Talent Centre or European Talent Point?
Applications for being a European Talent Centre can be submitted by organizations willing to coordinate activities in the field of high ability in larger region (which can be a part of country, a whole country or several European countries). An on-line Application Form is available here: http://www.echa.info/index.
Why is it possible to accept applications from organizations of different types?
Life is so rich, talents have so many colours, that we do not want to exclude any types of organizations from the European Talent Support Network. However, high quality of talent support at European Talent Centres and Points is important. That is why the accreditation process is designed as follows: (http://www.echa.info/101-formation-of-a-european-talent-support-network-adopted-by-the-general-assembly-of-echa).
Can a national organizational team of the international Olympics of e.g. mathematics be a European Talent Point?
Yes. I perceive a wide variety of talent support organizations to join the European Talent Support Network as European Talent Points.
Does a European Talent Centre or a European Talent Point need to be a corporate member of ECHA to join the European Talent Support Network?
No. The Network and ECHA are different entities. If a European Talent Centre or Point joins (voluntarily) as a corporate member of ECHA, it will enjoy the benefits of ECHA corporate membership, i.e. extra news from ECHA, subscription to High Ability Studies, ECHA member discounts of two representatives of the organization at ECHA Conferences, etc.
Can a for profit organisation apply to be a European Talent Centre?
Yes. It is the high quality of the activity what counts and not the non-profit status. A more detailed list of European Talent Centre criteria can be found HERE: (http://www.echa.info/images/
What is the proper size of a European Talent Centre or Point?
There is a large variety in sizes. The size depends on the traditions of talent support in the particular European country. It is exactly the European Talent Support Network, which will encourage and help very small European Talent Centres and Points to grow. However, growth itself is not the major value of the Network. High quality work, reliability, sharing and giving will be the major values.
Organizations feel to be committed to be a European Talent Centre should first study the criteria in detail, which can be found HERE (http://www.echa.info/images/
What happens to the Talent Centre that fails the accreditation process?
The accreditation process will be repeated in early 2016. Talent Centres, which were not accredited in the first round, can re-apply. In this repeated application they can utilize the comments of the Accreditation Committee sent on their first application.
In what way will the whole network building process be regulated?
Only basic rules are needed, which were already formed by the decision of the 2014. ECHA General Assembly establishing the European Talent Support Network (http://www.echa.info/101-formation-of-a-european-talent-support-network-adopted-by-the-general-assembly-of-echa). Some more, mutually agreed rules may be established later, as experience grows. However, we want to avoid overregulation. Therefore, the number and details of rules must be kept in the minimum.
How the European Talent Support Network will share knowledge, resources, etc.?
This will only be a very gradual process. Sharing of knowledge will proceed via exchanging emails, via mutual visits of young talented people, as well as their mentors, experts, and by establishing joint web-portals. But I am sure that life will bring many other ways of sharing and giving as years will pass by.
Why does the current regulation allow more than one European Talent Centre per country?
European countries differ in size and vary in population. Restriction of the number of European Talent Centres to a single one for countries having different traditions and culture in different regions of their country would be a mistake.
Will the network ever be fully expanded?
The speed of growth will be determined by the interest of people in joining the Network. The speed by itself will not be a success factor of networking. The joy of talented young people meeting other talented young people from different European countries, the intensity of exchange of best practices and experiences will be much more important than the speed of Network growth. The Network will never be “ready”. I hope we will always discover new and new depths of cooperation of talented young people, their parents, mentors, teachers and researchers in gifted education in Europe.
What is the role of ECHA in the formation of the European Talent Support Network?
ECHA’s role is mainly advisory, which helps the formation of the European Talent Support Network. ECHA and Network are not competing with each other. The Network will never perform the roles of ECHA, and ECHA will always be the NGO organization of its members, and will never be transformed to a “talent support regulatory agency” of e.g. the European Union. ECHA’s help in the formation of the Network is especially important to establish and maintain a high quality of the Network via the accreditation of European Talent Centres.
From where the European Talent Centres and Points will get monetary support?
Such support can be obtained by joint EU grant applications, e.g. in the form of an Erasmus+ grant, European Social Fund or Horizon 2020 grant. Several European countries have also local sources to fund talent support activities.
The European Talent Support Network should not have a hierarchical structure. Though European Talent Points will be accredited by European Talent Centres, which introduces a certain level of hierarchy to the network, European Talent Points should develop and maintain contacts with each other regardless, if the other European Talent Point was accredited by the same European Talent Centre or not. European Talent Points may also develop contacts with multiple European Talent Centres. However, there will be a possibility for a joint-application to be a European Talent Centre requiring no European Talent Points for that particular Centre. This gives a way to make a fully non-hierarchical network in countries, or regions, where this is preferred.