Dan has his eyes on the future. The 26-year-old NGO researcher from Moldova focuses on things like electronic governance and digitalising public services. So he was interested in the Swedish Institute Academy for Young Professionals (SAYP), especially its module on sustainable public management.
-It’s in Sweden, and where else can you learn about sustainability and public management if not in Sweden? he says.
But before his trip, Dan had to participate in the SAYP’s online coursework, which exceeded his expectations.
-When invested and really professional teachers are preparing the curricula and teaching you, it’s different from other online courses. We got to know our teachers, other participants and future colleagues before we met in person.
The positive online experience was a strong foundation for Dan’s time in Sweden.
-We visited a lot of organisations and authorities working in the field of sustainability. But this year, they changed some of the curricula because of the war in Ukraine and added more courses about diaspora, which is an important topic for me. They also put us together in groups by our interests and we got a chance to develop a project for countries like Moldova and others. And in the end, they gave us feedback on our ideas.
Out of all the ideas and topics he explored through SAYP, one concept seems to have really struck a chord: membership-based NGOs.
-You can build projects not only for your beneficiaries but together with them because they are also your members. I would like for my organisation to create a membership base.
Such a move could be an essential step for what Dan sees as his overall purpose.
-My larger career goal is to contribute to a Moldova that’s an innovative and borderless country, without corruption and unnecessary bureaucracy and artificial barriers for citizens and entrepreneurs.
And it would be due, in part, to what he learned at SAYP — something he thinks others should also experience.
-In a really short period of time, you will be able to expand your vision, expand your connections, your network, and even build a really interesting and fun project with your new international colleagues.