The SLIDE project consortium met for the first time in Antwerp on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 April 2022. Since it was the very first time many of the project partners met, we started the meeting with a workshop to get to know each other and to discuss the expectations and aspirations of the project consortium members. Instead of just presenting, each project partner created a poster for their partner organization, which resulted in some wonderful artwork on behalf of all the consortium members.

By bringing together all expectations of the project partners, we created the SLIDE project apple tree, that shows the expectations (the roots), goals (the trunk and branches), and impact (the golden apples to harvest) of the SLIDE project. The tree will help us to keep the project focused on its core mission during the months to follow.

The rest of the first day, workshops and presentations were organized by the activity leaders of Project Result 1, 2 and 3, our colleagues Lucas Meijs and Ivo Geers from the Rotterdam School of Management, Nives Mikelic Preradovic from Sveučilište u Zagrebu and Gabriel Dima from Universitatea Politehnica din Bucureşti. Progress was reported and preliminary results were discussed and altered, based on exchange and discussion between all consortium members. The atmosphere was relaxed, yet productive and at the end of the day we could look back on a fruitful collaboration between all partners.

Because transnational meetings should never be only about work, there was also plenty of time for socializing. Nicolas Standaert, vice-president of EASLHE (and professor at KU Leuven, one of the associated partners in the SLIDE project), revealed himself to be a true Antwerp-expert and guided us around the must-sees in the city of Antwerp. The tour ended at ‘Het Steen’, the famous medieval fortress at the riverbank of the Schelde, after which we enjoyed a well-deserved, very typical Flemish meal at De Bomma (Flemish word for ‘grandma’), of course with a fair supply of local Belgian beers. An evening well spent indeed!

We took a fresh start the next morning (thank God for coffee!) and continued our meeting with two kick-off presentations for Project Results 3 and 5, by colleagues Wolfgang Wienlich and Rolf Laven from the Pädagogische Hochschule Wien and Alzbeta Brozmanová Gregorová from Univerzita Mateja Bela v Banskej Bystrici. Under their lead, we developed a first plan of action for both the Online World Café and the Social Hackathon. Next, Cinzia Albanesi, representative for EASLHE, took the floor to present us with a strong Communication and Dissemination Plan for the SLIDE project. The meeting ended with a first brainstorm about the content of the SLIDE Learning, Teaching and Training Activity, led by Kaat Somers from UCSIA.

Although it were two tiring days, this first transnational project meeting of the SLIDE project was both enjoyable and efficient. Intensive work was alternated with relaxation and laughter. So, in short: A great start for a great project with great people! To be continued!


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