Mentoring Europe / ECEBM – the European Centre for Evidence Based Mentoring hosted its annual summit this year with over 40 selected presenters and more than 250 mentoring experts, professionals, researchers, government and civic leaders, mentors, mentees, corporate partners, students, and mentoring enthusiasts from across the globe.
“By connecting the world of formal and informal mentoring and learning, we can work together and learn from each other for the benefit of mentees,” summarised to Szilvia Simon, Community Manager at Mentoring Europe / ECEBM.
The presenters shared studies, as well as first-hand experiences, that underscored how mentoring can be one of the most valuable practices for the reduction of social and educational inequalities. Particular attention was given to “youth” mentoring in its diversity of forms, as well as ways to reach and support vulnerable youth in particular.
Sam McQuillan, Assistant Director in the Department of Psychology at the University of South Carolina and Research Board Member at the National Mentoring Resource Center, openly discussed mistakes and lessons learned through extensive research of mentoring practices.
Some top questions and issues were: 1) what are the predictors of positive outcomes for the young mentees?, 2) what approaches to support and training work well, and 3) what NOT to do and say in interactions with mentees to avoid well-intended yet potentially harmful mentoring behaviours.
Dr. Bernadine Brady, a Lecturer at the School of Political Science & Sociology, NUI, Galway and a Senior Researcher with the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, shared ways to improve youth participation and bring out the best in the mentees who take part in mentoring, for by involving them in co-producing and co-designing the programmes in which they participate.
All in all, the summit reinforced that mentoring can build bridges between schools, social partners, businesses and families and help create inclusive eco-systems. The summit, according to Ulla Zumente-Steele, who joined the Mentoring Europe Practitioners’ Committee, “was an amazing thought-provoking, knowledge sharing and networking event.”
Mentor International would like to thank the summit organisers and contributors for sharing their perspectives in the workshop sessions, panels and presentations.