Review of Connecting for Non-Formal Education 2023 - How was it?

Connecting for Non-Formal Education 2023: Fostering Collaboration, Exploring New Frontiers

    As the organizers of Connecting for Non-Formal Education 2023, eematico is delighted to celebrate the success of our event. It served as a catalyst for bringing together stakeholders in the non-formal education sector, fostering meaningful dialogue, promoting best practices, and exploring new directions within the field.

    Our primary objective was to create a platform where actors in non-formal education could connect and initiate thought-provoking conversations. We aimed to establish a recurring event and eventually build a community centered around non-formal education. Our specific goals included:

  1. Initiating a dialogue on understanding, promoting, and creating opportunities for non-formal education.
  2. Capturing the attention of education specialists and passionate individuals, emphasizing the significance of non-formal education.
  3. Exploring ways to elevate non-formal education as a critical subject within educational debates.
  4. Generating opportunities within the diverse group of participants, fostering collaborations and partnerships.

    The event spanned two days, with a workshop format during the first day and an interactive public event on the second day. Participants received a comprehensive brief beforehand, outlining the event's structure and key topics for reflection. Five essential questions formed the foundation of our discussions:

  1. What is non-formal education, and what does it mean for beneficiaries?
  2. What are the best practices in non-formal education?
  3. What opportunities does non-formal education bring for the development of children and young people?
  4. What are the challenges and pitfalls facing non-formal education now and in the future?
  5. What new directions does the changing context bring for individual organizations and cooperation between organizations?

    To address these questions, participants engaged in individual reflection, small-group discussions, and plenary debates. We employed various lenses, including perceptions and beliefs, strategies and methods, challenges and barriers, future and innovation, impact and benefits, and personal views, to analyze and explore the questions thoroughly.

    The workshop's results were remarkable, providing comprehensive insights into non-formal education. Four discussion boards were created to present the workshop's ideas to the public, serving as focal points for discussions during the public event.

    The public event commenced with warm-up activities and introductory remarks, followed by presentations from workshop participants, who shared their work and organizations. The audience then split into four groups, rotating between the discussion boards. Each group had the opportunity to listen to a short presentation on the board's topic, contribute ideas, and engage in lively discussions. This segment fostered connection, shared visions, and enriched the findings with diverse perspectives.

    A keynote address by Bethany Kaylor, the Communications Manager of Girls Garage, added an inspiring touch to the event. The public event concluded with reflections and feedback, followed by networking sessions that further facilitated meaningful conversations and collaborations.

    The outcomes of Connecting for Non-Formal Education 2023 were significant. The workshop provided a clear understanding of non-formal education's various aspects, including its status quo, positives, opportunities, issues, and new thinking. It laid the groundwork for potential collaborations among organizations and generated interest in joining the NGO Academy network. The event also dispelled misconceptions surrounding non-formal education and promoted its integration within the formal educational system. Furthermore, the event helped foster a sense of community among participants, paving the way for future discussions and the development of a strong and supportive network.

    As the event concluded, it became clear that the journey had just begun. We are inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of all participants and stakeholders. Our aspiration is to build a thriving community dedicated to systemic change and the advancement of non-formal education. We look forward to continued collaboration and further events that will shape the future of non-formal education. Together, we can create a brighter and more inclusive educational landscape for children and young people.

Workshop Participants

Luiza Apostu - Rubik School

Ana-Maria Costache - AMAIS

Edina Malkic - MIOS

Ruxandra Isailă Oprică - Fundația Agapedia 

Ana Maria Roată Palade - Orășelul Cunoașterii

Cristina Petrescu - De-a Arhitectura

Lidija Sejdinovic - Teta Pricalica

Andreea Stoica - Fun Science

Maria Țărmure - Small Academy

Ion Neculai - eematico

Marianne Mann - NGO Academy


Manager - Ion Neculai eematico

Coordinator - Mihaela Sultana eematico

Assiting manager - Ioana Iancu eematico

Hands on Workshop - Bogdan Bălănescu eematico

Graphics - Flavia Fabian eematico

Advisor - Carolina Pascal eematico

Facilitation - Florin Ghindă 

Design advisor - Andrei Carcea - Kort Marketing

Photography - Marius Lupu


  • The event was developed with the support of NGO Academy. The NGO Academy was founded in 2013 with the goal of strengthening the civil society sector in Central and South-Eastern Europe by providing further educational opportunities. NGO Academy is a partnership between Wirtschaftsuniveristaet Wien and Erste Foundation. As a parto of their educational efforts NGO Academy has developed the concept of Community Led Events. Community-Led Events (CLEs) is a funding scheme, developed by NGO Academy with the objective to enable exchange and collaboration among NGO Academy Member Organisations and other organisations and professionals in Central and South-Eastern Europe. A CLE is organised and held by one or more NGO Academy Member Organisations, with the purpose of networking, knowledge transfer, project development etc. In a call for application, NGO Academy members can apply for funding of an either closed or public event.
  • Nod Makerspace - were the providers of the venue at Mater Library, and supported us with discounted rates.
  • Perfect Simplu Coffee Shop - provided the coffee and refreshments for the public event
  • Veneto Secco - provided the refreshments for the networking event
  • Ela Bistro provided the catering for the workshop
  • International Hotel Bucharest housed our external participants. 

A document with the main results of the event can be found here.

A deeper and more detailed presentation of the structure of the event as well as the results can be found here.

You can see the invitation blog-post of the event (including the complete list of workshop participants and details about them) here.

You can see pictures from the workshop here and from the public event here..

Posted in: Parenting și educație