The theme of the Congress, Integration X, is a topic that moves Poland, Europe and the world at this time. People are forced to leave their homes in almost every corner of the world and seek refuge and meld into new environments. Technologies are advancing at a rapid pace and integrating into increasingly more parts of our lives. Large organisations realise that corporate citizenship and social responsibility cannot just be handled by one department, but must, as a transversal value, become integrated into every aspect of running the business. All of these circumstances create the need for integration.
The “X” of the Congress theme stands for the unknown; it stands for “exponential” - and X also is 10 in the Roman numeral system and 2018 was the 10th anniversary of SIETAR Polska; another point for reflection and celebration.
The Congress took place in Krzyzowa, a small village ca. 50km outside of Wroclaw. While small in size (around 220 inhabitants), Krzyzowa is of significant historical importance. The village was the seat of the von-Moltke family, who, on their estate, lead the “Kreisau Circle”, a community of diverse people opposing the Nazi regime during the 2nd World War. It was here that in 1989 the Polish Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki and the German Chancellor Helmut Kohl held the first reconciliation meeting between the two countries and decided to develop this property as an International Youth Meeting Centre. It hosts thousands of Polish and German youth groups and school classes each year along with other international meetings, conferences and training courses.
We chose to host the SIETAR Polska Congress in Krzyzowa not only for its historical relevance to our work in SIETAR, but also because it allowed us to have a more immersive Congress experience. We lived, ate, learnt and taught in the same beautiful place allowing us to really spend time together, form new relationships and deepen old connections.
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