On Friday the fifth of July the ninth edition of the Leadership Academy of Georgia took place in Gudauri. In the morning the participants and trainers, Jeroen de Veth, Berend-Jan van den Boomen and Joanneke van den Nieuwboer travelled from Tbilisi to the mountainous Gudauri. After having lunch, the training officially started.

On the first day, the main focus was on the personal values of the participants. Political background and preferences did not matter at this point in the training. Actually throughout the weekend the trainers mentioned “this is developing into a political debate” several times. This weekend’s aim was not to criticize each other on their difference; it was often stressed that during the leadership academy participants must discover common (political) grounds.

On Saturday, the second day, the day started with making SWOT analyses for each political party present. In this way, participants were very aware of their strengths/opportunities and weakness/threats. From there on the training focused mostly on media and communicating the message to the voters.

On the last day, during the session where participants had to give personal speeches, a change was noticed. The participants focused less on the political differences as was mentioned above. Positive feedback was given on content to almost all participants. Even though not all speeches covered political topics, we can conclude that so far understanding of different political ideologies was created. In the last part of the training, the participants made commercials for during election time. Overall, the training was very successful.