Attending IARS 7th Annual International Conference was very productive. Not only I made contacts in different organizations and universities, but I also learned new things about substantial topics such as social entrepreneurship and school dropout. I attended on behalf of both EuroPeers UK and Momentum World. They were two intense days with a lot of presentations and discussions at Lewisham College.

The issues of the Conference were school dropouts on the first day and young entrepreneurs on the second day. We could listen to different senior lecturers and associates of various universities, Lewisham East MP, entrepreneurs of all ages, etc., the range of experts was really fair. The presentations were short and included Q&A sessions, which, in some cases, was the most interesting part, as we could listen to different approaches to the same topic. Among the participants, there were different age ranges, but less young people than I would have liked to. Nevertheless, I could speak separately to some speakers and attendants, and they were all really kind and thankful.

The international side of the event was very important,since we learntabout the different realities in some European countries, and the active programmesthey have for facing particular issues. The mix of countries is something I personally appreciate, becausethe cultural richness increases. Meeting people not only in different jobs,but also from different backgrounds helps you to better understand the world and the way things work, at least to some extent. That is what I enjoyed the most about the event.

Every time I have attended one event of this kind, I have taken some time to debrief what I have experienced and learnt. I think it is important to do so in order to know what the outcomes are and to learn for future experiences. It is something I will put into practice in the future both in my professional and personal life.

Two projects that were presented were ‘Drop-In’, an e-learning platform for early school leavers or kids in riskof school exclusion; and ‘Promyse’, promoting social entrepreneurship for youth. Both of them were relevant and the different partners showed the result of applying the projects in each country. You can find more about them in the links behind. You can also take a look at the organization’s website to see more of their work.

By Sara