On 8 October NANR and the Consul General of the Netherlands hosted a Welcome Back event in St. Petersburg. 

We started the day with a few icebreaker activities. Participants interviewed one another and then summarized their partner’s interests in one minute or less. Later Anna Agaltsova, Neso Russia’s Alumni Officer, presented NANR’s scope of activities to new members. She stressed how empowering and resourceful the alumni are and illustrated this by highlighting some of the projects that they had initiated and implemented. She introduced participants to the global Holland Alumni Network by presenting cases of alumni activities in other countries, such as Cyclothon in India and the Ecosystems startup in South Korea. A recap of all the activities conducted in 2016 followed. 


We also announced changes to the Alumni Board in St. Petersburg. With pleasure and gratitude we would like to thank Maria Strous, Valentina Ubushaeva and Tatiana Popova for their great support, inspiration and engagement during the 2015-2016 term. They were the ones that helped organise such successful events as Dutch Business Days and Maslenitsa Dutch style. We also welcomed the new Board for 2017-2018 consisting of Roman Buzko, Ilya Kokorin, Nadezhda Panina and Anastasia Nougaeva. The team has already proven to be proactive with tons of great ideas, so we are really looking forward to next year’s activities. 


The second part of the day was devoted to the Plan Your Own Event game, a brainstorming activity in which participants got in groups to prepare and present an event or activity for 2017. It was not easy for the jury to choose the best project, as all of the ideas were good. The first place prize was given to the Dutch Quest in St. Petersburg project. It was chosen for its capacity to a) gather not only alumni, but also prospective students and fans of the Netherlands; b) to combine education and entertainment and c) generate positive publicity and promote the Netherlands. The team will receive a budget of 50,000 RUB and organizational support from NANR and Neso Russia to implement this event in 2017. We awarded no second prize, but another project was rated quite highly by the jury. It involves educational and professional lectures in cooperation with the Museum of Logistics in St. Petersburg. We will try to implement it next year as well. 

 We wrapped up the day with some drinks and casual networking. For more photos please check #NANR and #NANR_selfie on Facebook and Instagram. 


We would like to thank all of the participants and, of course, our great hosts. We are looking forward to more events in St. Petersburg. For updates on these and other projects, please check out the NANR website and Facebook page