Hello Atlantic Forum community, 

I am pleased to announce that this long summer brought a new addition to Atlantic Forum. This is Sante (but you can call me Alessandro) and I will work on making the Academy great again up and running. 

About me - I am an Italian young professional currently based in Brussels; my main areas of expertise include European foreign policy (with a focus on the EU Neighborhood) and politics, NATO and Transatlantic affairs. My passion for these issues led to pursue a Master’s degree at the College of Europe in Bruges, where I graduated with a thesis on Article 42.7 – the EU’s Mutual Defence Clause. After graduating, I worked at the NATO PA, as I drafted parliamentarian reports for the political and security&defence committees, and at the EU Delegation to the UN, for the Political Affairs and Security Council section. 

What motivated me to join AF is my motivation to raise awareness on Transatlantic relations. The Academy will try to bring this objective to reality: bringing students and young professionals together to foster cooperation, dialogue and friendships in the spirit of Transatlantic values. And with the summer recess (finally or alas?) over, there are several opportunities we should pursue - in the spirit of avoiding 'preaching to the choir' (an issue all too common on both sides of the Atlantic...). 

Right now, our priority is finalizing a program to form high-school students in Belgium and the Netherlands through a series of trainings, by the first half of 2020 (see last week's Dev Diary). And this is where you as Patron will have to play an active role: we will soon launch a call for trainers, so keep on following us on our channels. 

Along with that, we should start targeting university students. Previous Development Diaries have already mentioned some of the training and simulations we will gradually implement. 

We should aim in particular for students in their Bachelor’s. This is a crucial stage, where most misconceptions – or simple disinterest – concerning NATO and the EU is formed. Unlike other popular simulations, where flamboyant speeches, attention to procedures and unrealistic outcomes are the norm, Atlantic Forum's simulations should have a strong educational aspect, aiming first and foremost to ensure that people involved understand ‘what’ they are simulating and ‘why’ the same scenarios exist in real life, and not only ‘how’ they should do it. 

With Atlantic Forum’s growth, it is possible to imagine that off-the-shelve simulation for university students may be organized, on requests, in the first half of 2020.

Don't forget to check out Atlantic Forum on FacebookTwitter and Instagram, and join the Atlantic Forum as a patron here

See all Dev Diaries here: https://atlantic-forum.com/developer-diary