Balkans Digital Creators Program: Leader's Lead On-Demand

Letter of Introduction

Dear Applicant,

This exchange program, planned for February 4-17, 2024, will bring a diverse group of digital creators interested in social impact from the Balkan countries to explore digital communication strategies and build industry connections. The first half of the program will begin in Washington DC to expose participants to political discourse in new media, coverage of social issues, and social activism in the digital age. In New York or San Francisco, the program will highlight best practices in digital marketing, content promotion, digital storytelling, and building online organizations. Digital creators include YouTubers, bloggers/vloggers, Instagramers, podcasters, newsroom digital specialists, social media influencers, and other digital professionals. Participating countries will be Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia. 

In a rapidly growing digital space, the Balkan region is facing social media misuse due to disinformation, flaws in internet governance, digital literacy challenges, and cybersecurity concerns. The Balkan Digital Creators Program aims to address the challenges and opportunities of digital expansion by empowering online voices from the Balkans to become more socially engaged and contribute to positive reshaping of the information space. Its goal is to equip Balkan digital creators with necessary skills, tools, and industry insights, while improving their awareness of social issues. The program will enhance participants’ digital literacy skills to recognize and counter disinformation and contribute to a better public discourse.

ELIGIBILITY & SELECTION CRITERIA: 

- This program is for digital creators from the Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia) who are interested in creating social impact through digital content

- Selected participants will have an interest in countering disinformation and contributing to the positive reshaping of social media in their communities

- Participants will be between the ages of 20 and 35

- Proficiency in conversational English

The program organizers will arrange and cover economy-class flights, airport pickup/drop-off, hotel accommodations in shared double rooms, COVID-19 tests and PPE, small stipend or meals, and cultural activities.

Deadline: December 10, 2023