Skip to content
Event | 9 August 2023

NEVER: June meeting

  • Edan Simpson (Project and Communications Coordinator) and Jane Kinninmont (Policy and Impact Director) welcomed the gathered members and started the meeting by discussing commentary ideas. This mainly outlined information previously relayed to NEVER members; all commentaries should be 900-1,200 words long, address a specific policy problem within the existential risk space, and contain tangible policy recommendations.
  • NEVER members then went into break-out rooms for 15 minutes to discuss their ideas and provide an opportunity to talk and meet amongst each other, as was recommended after our inaugural meeting.
  • Edan told the group that ELN staff will be in touch soon with more details on where NEVER members have similar ideas and could share notes/collaborate. He also let the group know that ELN staff will be addressing member’s commentary ideas in our next commissioning meeting, and in the meantime to reach out if they have any article ideas or general queries.
  • Jane then opened a discussion on our preliminary ideas for a mentoring scheme.
  • She mentioned that the ELN had trialled out mentoring schemes before; a mentoring scheme that ran during the COVID-19 lockdowns was very successful, with mentors and mentees extracting much value from the programme.
  • Since the end of lockdown, however, our previous model of mentee-driven 1-1s has had mixed results as many mentees and some mentors have become too busy and have dropped the ball. We would like to do something more structured and after some consultations and consideration, we are proposing to set up small groups of 6 members each, who will meet on a monthly basis with a mentor. That mentor will provide a mix of mentoring, coaching and facilitation, so that the group is essentially also doing peer mentoring.
  • In this scenario, the ELN would send out a short Google form looking at what NEVER members would like to get out of a mentor, and what they’d like support and advice on before being allocated a mentor who could offer the appropriate guidance.
  • Edan and Jane then opened the floor for questions and comments. Some of the highlights included:
    • One NEVER member recommended 1-1 mentoring as they got the most value from this, and it would also avoid less experienced/confident NEVER members being potentially overpowered by more senior NEVER members within the mentoring sessions.
    • Another NEVER member suggested potentially ensuring a minimum number of 1-1s within the small group mentoring for a “best of both worlds” approach.
    • A NEVER member commended the small group mentoring approach due to its parallels with the Oxford/Cambridge supervision/tutorial model.
    • A NEVER member also brought to the table that different mentees have different needs and may want mentoring in areas ranging from subject matter, skills, work/life balance to general career development. Necessitating a careful consideration of appropriate pairings between mentoring groups and mentors.
  • After this discussion, Edan closed the meeting.

NOTE ON MENTORING: The ELN welcomes all feedback and finds it very useful. Please feel free to email Edan with any further comments or ideas, and we will set up a Google form to ensure that mentors and mentees, and their expectations, are well-matched.

General Feedback? Questions? Please reach out to Edan Simpson – [email protected]

The opinions articulated above represent the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the position of the European Leadership Network or any of its members. The ELN’s aim is to encourage debates that will help develop Europe’s capacity to address the pressing foreign, defence, and security policy challenges of our time.