December, 3-6
St. Petersburg

Autumn Meetings is an annual public event in St. Petersburg, organized by Bridge It in cooperation with partners, dedicated to the trends and problems of modern Europe which are reflected in the format of discussions and workshops with European experts.

This year's topic — How is Volunteering Changing in Europe?

Why participate?
Discussions, workshops, public talks focus on active dialogue between participants and experts. Besides, you can listen to inspiring stories of volunteering from former or current volunteers and communicate with experts and participants outside of the main sessions.
During open spaces, you can meet like-minded people, exchange experiences, share ideas, and even discuss collaboration opportunities. Experts, activists, and NGOs from Russia will exchange their experiences with European experts and make new friends and connections.
Workshops will provide new volunteers and NGOs with valuable skills that will help them in their future projects.
As a part of the Autumn Meetings, we invite experts from different European countries and from various professional areas. During the discussions and workshops, you can gain more knowledge and understanding on the topic of volunteering.
All events will be held Moscow Time (GMT+3/CET+2)
December, 3

18:00-19:30 — Public talk: From a one volunteer-buddy project to 1400 active volunteers throughout the organization
Moderators: Marit Postma, manager of De Regenboog Groep, the Netherlands
Vasilisa Moleva, volunteer coordinator, Nochlezhka
Format: offline
Venue: Nochlezhka, Borovaya st., 112B

In this public talk you will hear a story of De Regenboog Groep — an organization that helps homeless people in Amsterdam. Marit Postma, manager of De Regenboog Groep, will share her experiences on how her organization has been developing over the years, its mission, and how it is changing the social field in Amsterdam. Vasilisa Moleva, volunteer coordinator, will present Nochlezhka's mission and how its volunteer work is organized.

17:00-18:30 — Workshop: How can social responsibility of higher education institutions as Third Mission be embedded in the self-image of Higher Education Institutions?
Moderator: Meike Bredendiek, University of Cologne, Germany
Format: online

Next to the two other missions (research and education), a lot has been said about the HEI’s third mission: the social responsibility. However, the majority of initiatives and projects still rely on single person’s engagement and initiation. How can it be institutionalized and which effects would this institutionalizing have? This workshop aims at HEIs and stakeholders.
December, 4

First conference day | Discussions

14:45-15:00 — Opening

15:00-16:00 — Discussion: Volunteering in Europe: which main trends and new practices are emerging now and for the future?
Moderator: Natalia Kudryavtseva, German-Russian Meetings Centre, St. Petersburg
  • Stian Slotterøy Johnsen, Norway
  • Corinna Schüler, Kölner Freiwilligen Agentur, Germany
  • Marion Cloarec, France
  • Jelena Kamenko Mayer, DKolektiv, Croatia
Format: online & offline

16:00-16:30 — Coffee break / Open Space

16:30-17:30 — Discussion: How is the understanding of volunteering and activism changing in different countries?
Moderator: Ivan Gutorov, Trava
  • Adriana Bascone, European Youth Energy Network, Austria
  • Julia Perić, University of Osijek, Croatia
  • Cedric Lecat, freelance trainer, Germany
  • Dario Planert, former kulturweit-volunteer, Germany
Format: online & offline

17:30-18:00 — Coffee break / Open Space

18:00-19:30 — Fireside conference: “My story of volunteering”
During this session current and former volunteers will talk about their personal experiences and how volunteering has changed their lives.
Format: online & offline

From 19:30 onward — Open space

Venue: Bridge It, Ligovsky prospect, 87, office 300


December, 5


11:00-12:30 - Workshop: Volunteering abroad – only for rich kids?
Speakers: Dario Planert, Nele Harder, kulturweit, Germany
Format: online

During the workshop experts will take a look into the obstacles volunteers can face, especially when coming from low-income families. They will discuss about their specific experience and how they are trying to make the volunteering program they participated in more inclusive. And finally, experts would like to enter into an interactive discussion with participants, learning about your experiences and exchanging ideas for possible solutions.

15:00-16:30 — Workshop: Measuring the impact of volunteering on personal well-being and social inclusion.
Moderator: Jelena Kamenko Mayer, DKolektiv, Croatia
Format: offline
Venue: Ogurtsi, Fontanka river, 96

The Making it matter - the impact of volunteering on social inclusion manual presents a simple tool for regular monitoring and evaluation of impact of volunteering on social inclusion that is evidence based, linking volunteer experience and its benefits with the impact on overall people’s well-being. This tool is designed for volunteer involving organizations to demonstrate the impact that volunteering can have on different categories of disadvantaged young people, while at the same time supporting volunteers in reflecting on their personal achievements.

15:00-16:30 — Workshop: 1:1 Buddy Teams in the field of volunteering: experience of Kölner Freiwilligen Agentur, case of supporting volunteers who support refugees.
Moderator: Corinna Schüler, Kölner Freiwilligen Agentur, Germany
Format: online

Based on the experiences of the projects "Mentorships for Refugee Families", "Sponsorships for Refugee Children" and "Welcome Walk" the workshop will look at the most important aspects of these concepts and discuss the questions that arise when planning and implementing tandem projects such as "How can sponsorship projects succeed?", "How do you bring the people involved together?", "What are the challenges?". The workshop is aimed at volunteer coordinators of tandem projects and those who want to become one.

15:00-16:30 — Workshop: The power of effective communication: about building your brand, art, storytelling, strategy & other superpowers for activism/volunteering/NGOs
Moderator: Adriana Bascone, European Youth Energy Network, Austria
Format: offline
Venue: Bridge It, Ligovsky prospect, 87, office 300

Communication leads to social change. But do you think that you are already using the best available tools to boost social change through your NGOs, activism and volunteering? In this workshop participants will map out some of the superpowers of communication: strategic communications and memes, Ganz storytelling & the power of stories for campaigning; the golden circle, archetypes, brand voices & moodboards; cognitive theory and breaking our mind's habits, brandalism, the connection between journalism and science-fiction as well as framing, culture jamming and how to make the invisible visible. You will take home new creative tools from across the world, and learn from EYEN, the brand-new network of energy-focused youth organizations.

Second conference day | Discussions

17:00-18:00 — Discussion: How are the practices of engaging and motivating new volunteers changing in European NGOs?
Moderator: Elena Belokurova, Bridge It
  • Marit Postma, De Regenboog Groep, Netherlands
  • Ewa Romanowska, Borussia, Poland
  • Lucas Lerbech, Operation Dagsværk, Denmark
Format: offline

18:00-18:30 — Expert's Exchange Session: European experts give their feedback and share what they learned from Russian experts

18:30-19:00 — Closing

From 19:00 onward — Open space / communication

Venue: Bridge It, Ligovsky prospect, 87, office 300


December, 6

University section

17:00-18:00 — Discussion: How is student volunteering changing inside and outside universities?
Moderator: Daria Merkurieva, student of Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Jelena Kamenko Mayer, DKolektiv, Croatia
  • Julia Perić, University of Osijek, Croatia
  • Meike Bredendiek, University of Cologne, Germany
Format: online & offline

18:00-18:10 — Coffee break / Open Space

18:10-19:30 — Workshop: Service Learning: connecting community with HEI, experience of the University of Osijek
Moderator: Julia Perić, University of Osijek, Croatia
Format: offline

Educational programs, also known as “academic service learning programs“, allow students transfer knowledge and skills gained in the classroom into practical projects within their communities thus becoming more socially aware and active. This workshop is aiming at students who would like to learn more about such programs and how they can initiate something similar in their universities.

Venue: Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Galernaya st., 58-60
Stian Slotterøy Johnsen
Julia Perić
Adriana Bascone
Meike Bredendiek
Jelena Kamenko Mayer
DKolektiv, Croatia
Marit Postma
De Regenboog Groep, the Netherlands
Marion Cloarec
Rempart, France
Corinna Schüler
Cedric Lecat
Freelance trainer, YOUTH for Europe, Academy for Voluntary Work, Germany
Ewa Romanowska
Borussia, Poland
Lucas Lerbech
Dario Planert
Former kulturweit-volunteer, Germany

Nele Harder
Former kulturweit-volunteer, Germany
Below on the map, you can find 3 guide-marks for the Autumn Meetings-2021.
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