ROM (Renewing Our Minds) Romania 2020 took place in our Polylogos headquarters in Cluj-Napoca on October 1-4. It was organised by Forum for Leadership and Reconciliation and hosted by Polylogos, with the theme “Becoming Ambassadors for a Better World”.
From Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon, 20 students and young professionals from Cluj and across Romania were gathered together for an intensive leadership training. Throughout these four days, the participants learned about the meaning of art and finding your life’s purpose, from internationally renowned sculptor Liviu Mocan; about servant leadership in theory and practice, from a leadership trainer with many years of experience around the globe, and Bert Looij, who has been serving the Roma community living on the Cluj city garbage dump, Pata Rat, for 30 years; about entrepreneurial leadership from Hermund Haaland, a serial-entrepreneur and co-founder and International Director of the Oslo-based think tank Skaperkraft, and Marcelus Suciu, the founder of a popular restaurant chain and specialty coffee shops in Romania; about art as a tool for reconciliation from musician Zachary Schmidt; about healthy dialogue and the value of political engagement from UK political advisor Heather Staff; and about the power of friendship from Anthony Cordle and former Norwegian MP Lars Rise.
To top it all of, we offered our participants an exclusive rooftop concert with the famous Romanian rock-band Proconsul. This was done in collaboration with one of our local partners, EBS Radio, and it was broadcasted live on their platforms as well as our own. The concert was followed by a celebratory dinner, where the participants got to spend some time together with each other and with the musicians, learning about their personal and professional journey in the Romanian music industry.
Throughout the four-day event, the participants enjoyed plenty of time in smaller discussion groups and over meals, processing and discussing the ideas presented and their practical implications for their jobs, volunteering, studies, families, and life calling.
We are so thankful for all the speakers, team and participants, all of whom actively contributed to make this a beautiful event. Below you will find a list of the speakers and sessions, links to their talks (if recorded) and websites for their projects and publications.
A successful entrepreneur and owner of several businesses in Cluj and across Romania and Europe; an inspiring motivational speaker and mentor.
Heather Nicola Staff
A political advisor on refugee, asylum and migration policy for members of the UK parliament, a strategic thinker with a passion for international development and cross-cultural work.
Watch her presentation: Dirty Hands, Clean Heart
A highly skilled speaker and dedicated mentor with many years of experience with leadership training and empowering young professionals
Watch his discussion with Lars Rise: Friendship & The Golden Rule
A former member of the Norwegian Parliament, a successful business owner, and an expert in mediation, dialogue and reconciliation work.
Watch his discussion with Anthony Cordle: Friendship & The Golden Rule
A serial entrepreneur with broad experience from politics, business start-ups and church-work; co-founder of the Oslo-based thinktank Skaperkraft, author of several books, and an inspiring speaker.
Watch his presentation on entrepreneurial leadership here.
A son, husband, father, poet and internationally celebrated sculptor and inspirational speaker who works within Christian and spiritual themes.
You can find more details about him and his work here.
He and his wife Margriet have worked with the Roma community in Cluj-Napoca for 28 years. His experience as a servant leader is an example to us through his work and life.
Thank you to our generous sponsors as well, without them this program would have been much more difficult to organize successfully.
Thank you to COVisual for their generous time and skill to document our event through photos and videos. Here is a selection of images from the event.