Education! This is, it seems, Romania’s dream, direction, the lighthouse for the years to come. But it’s not just that.

The European Commission organized on the 15th of April in Bucharest, a conference titled “After 10 years…”, celebrating a decade since the start of the last big wave of adhering Countries. Romania was part of it, too, although it made the step in 2007.

The first half of the conference was dedicated to keynote speeches. Officials talked about Poland’s secret behind a strong growth and Bulgaria’s point of view towards making the European step in 2007.

This was followed in the second half by an intense session of World Café, where participants broke up in groups and started to work on a pretty tough subject: after making the dream come true and successfully join the EU, which is Romania’s big DREAM for the future (if any), as a member?

In other words, in what projects would we, as a society, be willing to invest our time and effort in the future? What makes us tremble and wake up in the morning and could also be included in our European roadmap?

Surprisingly, 4 out of 6 teams — without exchanging information — had a common main subject: education. More precisely:

  • how to match education with the real needs of society;
  • emphasizing the attitude, development and abilities of children;
  • the importance of education inside the family;
  • more art, personal development, economics, IT and mass-media literacy in schools;
  • changing the perception of professional schools;
  • a practical approach: learning how to get a job, how to get funding etc.;
  • centres for discovering and developing the abilities of a child aged 6-10.

This is just the essence of it, people involved actually talked about concrete steps that could be made.

But it wasn’t just about education. Some other big subjects that were put on the agenda were:

  • decreasing brain drain (valuable people who leave to work in foreign countries);
  • growing the eco agriculture;
  • add a local touch to the US-imported NGO model ;
  • grow innovation in economy;
  • taking on the role of regional power;
  • 100 years since the Great Unification – Alba Iulia (2018).

I am sincerely impressed when things so concrete and realistic emerge inside a conversation about Romania’s future directions. Will really take place? Time will tell.

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