Consortium Meeting – Utrecht, April 11-12, 2024



ESHA hosted the recent consortium meeting held in Utrecht to discuss the progress and future steps of the SYNAPSES project. These meetings are crucial as they allow the diverse and intense work from the partners, spanning several work packages, to be presented and reviewed in an organized manner. This facilitates joint learning and fine-tuning of future steps.

The Dutch National Association for School Leaders (AVS) and ESHA welcomed participants at their headquarters in an historical part of Utrecht. To enhance understanding of processes related to societal transitions, Harry te Riele, an expert in the field, enlightened participants on the role of personal and professional development in times of change, emphasizing the importance of roles and processes in societal transitions.

We discussed the progression of the training framework, outlining key features, definitions, and national policies for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) across partner countries. Given the project’s wide range of stakeholders in educational roles, ESHA presented an interesting example of “developing schools as learning organizations” through leadership teams by means of a “learning turbine.”

All participants were briefed on the progress in collecting and evaluating training materials and how to select further initiatives to be presented in the project. An insightful session was also held on developing the SYNAPSES website to support the project in a tailored manner. The progression of the project over time creates clarity on next steps and future issues, providing the opportunity to encounter both opportunities and challenges in a timely manner. We discussed upcoming milestones and activities, particularly the summer school in Marathon scheduled for July this year.


For a joint endeavor like this, ensuring smooth collaboration in an open atmosphere is vital. One of the best ways to achieve this is through informal encounters, such as over a meal in a restaurant. Aptly called “de rechtbank” (the court), the dinner was hosted by courtesy of the ECBA. This setting facilitated open communication and helped iron out differences, fostering a stronger collaborative spirit.

After two days in a somewhat rainy Utrecht, the meeting proved instrumental for the continuing development and success of the SYNAPSES project.