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Welcome to the EGEA Annual Congress 2024 official website!

You can find out more about our sponsors, patronages and partners in the Sponsors section.



9 September from 10:00 to 14 September from 12:00 Europe/Poland

During the month of the
Open Call for Participants we have got…

of which there were unique…

from…

🫂 Registrations🫂

Open Call for Photographers

Deadline – June 23rd, 23:59 CEST

The time has come – we are looking for Official Photographers! We would like to provide fixed spots for TWO talented, dedicated photograhers for the duration of our event.

The Open Call will take place via email sign-ups. We would ask for you to include in your email:

– a portfolio of your work, especially if you did pictures of people and crowds (a maximum of 50 photos),
– a short description of your experience, please highlight your experience with taking pictures at events (as a hobby is great as well),
– please let us know the type of photo camera you would work with at the congress.

Please send in your applications to: ac2024@egea.eu


Participants Fee

% fee to be paid AC 2024 fee
[EUR]
Group A100%203.94
Group B80%163.15
Group C65%132.56
Group D50%101.97
EGEA Annual Congress 2024 Participants’ Fee calculated by the Board of EGEA.
Insight, how Annual Congress’ fee has been calculated, can be seen in official EGEA documents (APPENDIX C)

🇦🇹 Austria

🇧🇪 Belgium

🇫🇮 Finland

🇫🇷 France

🇩🇪 Germany

🇮🇹 Italy

🇱🇹 Lithuania

🇲🇹 Malta

🇳🇱 Netherlands

🇳🇴 Norway

🇸🇮 Slovenia

🇪🇸 Spain

🇨🇭 Switzerland

🇬🇧 United Kingdom

🇭🇷 Croatia

🇨🇿 Czech Republic

🇪🇪 Estonia

🇭🇺 Hungary

🇵🇱 Poland

🇷🇴 Romania

🇷🇺 Russia

🇸🇰 Slovak Republic

🇹🇷 Türkiye

🇷🇸 Serbia

🇧🇦 Bosnia and Herzegovina

🇽🇰 Kosovo

🇺🇦 Ukraine



🌍 Scientific Programme 🌍

Theme of this EGEA year and theme of Change for the Future

With Agrifuture being EGEA’s theme for 2024, we believe there is no better time to look into the future. Agriculture has traditionally been a core element of Podhale’s economy and culture, yet its practices have continuously raised questions of sustainability. Now it’s time to brace it for the heavily changing environment surrounding it.

Moreover, all of us are aware of the dynamically altering conditions resulting from worldwide human impact and climate change. With extreme occurences and catastrophes that have been and are now happening in Europe, we want to provide insight and give room for diving further into these issues in a place filled with nature, deeply sensitive to unstable circumstances.

We also cannot forget the ever-so-important EGEA Regional Restructuring. In its spirit, we offer space to talk about the future of our Association. What does it look like with the new division just around the corner? What new challenges will we be faced with?


Workshops

  • led by: Bristena Misca and Nicolas Radu from Timișoara

If you have ever wondered while hiking or cycling how those beautiful flowers survived in those conditions or how it happened that we have our own endemic species in Tatra Mountains – then you need to check out this workshop! Here during 4 sessions you will:

  • learn the similarities and differences of distinct parts of Tatras and Polish Carpathian Mountains in terms of plants and animals appearing there
  • find out how to deal with dangerous / unpredictable situations that can occur on path
  • get wind of survival skills until help arrives

After this workshop you’ll receive the essentials about survival on mountain trails. If you’re very keen on mountain activities, you can’t miss out on this opportunity to expand your life knowledge around mountains!

Issues: The harmony of flora and fauna in different parts of Polish Carpathian Mountains and how to keep it alive

  • led by: Tonya Banasik and Natalia Hinc from Kraków

Every mountainous region with steep slopes has the same problem — land mass movement. In Podhale, one of its drivers is the Carpathian flysch. But what exactly is it?

What are the main hazards hiding behind the landslides and other types of mass movements? Where are the most endangered sites located? How can we protect ourselves from the possible danger? If any of these questions light a spark within you, we are looking forward to seeing you join this workshop.

Issues: Land mass movement in the Podhale region

  • led by: Martyna Kazlauskaitė and Laurynas Cicėnas from Vilnius

Do you want to live your best Polish Highlander mountain fantasy? Get yourself a wide-brimmed Highlander hat (as featured in the AC 2024 logo) and embark on a captivating journey into the heart of the Polish Highlands folklore.

Discover the treasures embedded in the mountain culture and understand how our vibrant traditions contribute to the allure of tourist destinations. Examine the dual impact of tourism on local culture — how it can both enrich and challenge the preservation of traditions.

Issues: Highlander folklore’s impact on local tourism and culture

  • led by: Stanisław Konieczny from Warsaw and Ugur Eren Daştan from Izmir

Every community that wants to grow and provide its members with good quality services needs good leadership and involved individuals. It is more difficult to find promising young local leaders when a lot of young people migrate to bigger cities or to better developed regions. Additionally nowadays young adults have many options for their professional career.

Why should they get involved in local issues and politics? What are the factors that convince young adults to choose this path? And what local authorities and communities can do to convince the younger generation to be more active? During the proposed workshop we want to find replies to these questions. 

Issues: Defining the weight of young adults in creating civil society nowadays

  • led by: Wiebke Breternitz and Lennart Greiner from Jena

Forestry is facing various challenges due to the increasing complexities of balancing ecological sustainability with economic and social demands, particularly evident in the Podhale region of Poland. Today, many more interest groups are interested in the use of the forest than 100 years ago, which can result in conflicts and misunderstandings between the groups. In order to get to know this place of interest better, we will explore the local forest ecosystem together, learn about past management practices and the importance of the forest as a cultural heritage and recreational area.

Have you ever wondered if trees can get wrinkles as well or how they communicate with each other? Can the use of remote sensing methods contribute to better interaction and understanding between all interest groups involved? If you’re interested in finding an answer to this question, feel free to join our workshop on remote sensing, even if you’re new to the field!

Issues: The importance of forests around us & reasonable management of them. How remote sensing can help understand it more.

  • led by: Theresa Steinert from Osnabrück and Lukas Jensen from Hannover

Are you interested in spatial planning? Do you enjoy working with aerial photographs, archival maps and LiDAR? If so, fly with us into exploring the changes in the development of the Polish Western Carpathians.

You will discover the characteristics of settlements in the Polish mountains (also some of the architecture) and learn about the factors that have influenced and continue to shape this type of development.

Issue: Changes in the settlement patterns in the Polish Western Carpathians over the years and now

  • led by: Klara Grošanić and Korana Komar Zagreb

Are you curious about the delicate balance between preserving the natural wonders of the Tatra National Park (TPN) and the influx of mass tourism? Research the concept of honeypots and explore how these attractive destinations within the park draw crowds of visitors.

Together we will look into the challenges posed by mass tourism, examining its effects on the delicate ecosystems of Podhale and its local communities.

Issues: The impact of mass tourism in the Tatra National Park

  • led by: Matúš Béber and Vít Šrámek from Prague

Do you enjoy exploring challenging environmental conditions? Do the possibilities of arranging the infrastructure by local communities light a spark within you? If you answered “YES” to either of the above, this workshop is for you! We will focus on challenges related to — among others — flash floods and halny wind (local foehn wind), which impose special adaptation of the infrastructure and architecture in the Tatra Mountains. The potential outcome of our work will be an outline of the conditions an ideal home or building must meet to withstand the environmental constraints of the region.

Issues: The adaptation of infrastructure to the environment of the Tatra Mountains


Trainings

  • led by: Marie Brožová from Brno

Public speaking is important for everyone. You might need it while presenting your research, pitching ideas to a group of people, or anywhere else. We will try different techniques on how to get more comfortable with public speaking, how to overcome fear, and make it interesting for the audience. Public speaking is also related to other things like your confidence, clear communication, or critical thinking, so it can positively benefit your skills. It does not matter if you are a little scared of public speaking, it is for everyone.

  • led by: Laurent Christen from Zürich

In this training you will use brain-friendly informal learning techniques to tackle the questions: what is an effective leader, and how do they guide their group towards success? How do group dynamics play out in groups of different sizes and purposes, and how can you influence these dynamics positively? You can expect a very interactive training with group work, discussions, and fun energizers in a relaxed environment. At the end of the training you will have learned a lot about facilitation: the skill of making things easier for your peers.

  • led by: Arne Koscharre from Marburg

Nothing is more important than our health and safety, so this training will be suitable for any person who would like to know the ins and outs of first aid and how to behave in a
life-threatening/hazardous situation. From the training itself you will learn the basics of first aid, which can save lives. Anyone can try their hand and learn how to do it properly with the help of a certified paramedic assistant from Germany (Sanitätshelfer), who will be conducting this training for EGEAns for the second time.

  • led by: Bartosz Pietrak from Warsaw

Improv class is all about letting go of almost all the limits. This training will consist of various improv games, which anybody can try themselves. It’s a very fun time, bonding social ties, integrating, but most importantly a valuable activity. As for the leader of this training (semi-professional actor for many years), he has taken part (rather successfully) in many improv games and knows plenty of them. You will (probably) leave this class more encouraged, self-confident and creative.


Special guests

to be announced…


Proposed excursions

⚠️🌍 Proposed excursions may differ in the final programme of the congress 🌏⚠️

Calling all forest lovers! During this easy hike you will be able to reconnect with nature and find inner peace, which might come in handy after yet another of the crazy parties we have in store for you.

The hike will start directly from our accommodation, where you will head south and enter the Tatra National Park. Moving along the Mała Łąka Valley and the Nad Reglami Path, you will be able to hear the voices of the Podhale forests. Don’t you worry though, as amazing viewpoints are also planned. You will reach the Grzybowiec peak (1417), from where an incredible view of the Tatras can be admired. On the way back you will get the chance to see the beautiful three-part Siklawica waterfall, where many photos are bound to be taken. Following the Strążyska Valley and the Pod Reglami Path, you will then be taken back to Dom Wczasowy Harnaś II, with more fun activities awaiting.

If you ever considered visiting Poland in winter, you must have heard of Zakopane. The city, just east of our Kościelisko, is nicknamed Poland’s winter capital for a reason. During this excursion (the only urban one, may we add) two groups of EGEAns will see the many sides of Zakopane, a city vibrant regardless of the season.

Both groups will get to see the core area of the city, which now serves multiple functions. You will be able to experience both the traditional architecture of Podhale and the sharply contrasting new tourist facilities. The route will begin with Krupówki, Zakopane’s very heart and undeniably one of Poland’s most recognisable streets, and end with a climb up the peak of Gubałówka (1126) for panoramic views of the city. In between, you will be entertained by attractions depending on which group you choose. The first group will follow a path in the footsteps of local culture, while the other studies Podhale’s nature and sports legacy. More on that to be announced…

The most distant of our trips will bring together people of different interests, with the running theme being water. Here yet again two groups of EGEAns will head north in the direction of Nowy Targ, Podhale’s historical capital, to find themselves nestled right between two national parks – Gorczański and Pieniński. Our destination will be Lake Czorsztyn, one of the largest reservoirs in southern Poland.

Before you get there though, you will get to see sights such as the scenic Bór na Czerwonem (a peatland that is both a nature reserve and a Natura 2000 protected area) and short but expansive Białka gorge (functioning too as a nature reserve). Having arrived at the reservoir, you will split into two groups. One group will, to put it mysteriously, delve into the past and future of the area, while the other searches for traces of volcanic activity and looks at the area from high above. The two groups will then come together to conclude the trip with a very special surprise. Do we have your attention? Good, as that is all we can say for now…

One of the longer journeys will take us to one of the must-see points of the Tatra mountains. It is here that vast numbers of tourists from Poland and beyond walk up the classic road to marvel at the truly iconic, blue miracle of nature. You guessed it, you will get the chance to see the Morskie Oko, Poland’s most known mountain lake.

Before reaching the final destination, you will walk alongside the picturesque valley of Białka (Rybi Potok) river, which is also the border between Poland and Slovakia. During the excursion itself you will:

  • learn the story about the Waterfalls of Mickiewicz
  • talk about the potential risk for the surrounding nature coming from the mass tourism near the Włosienica pasture and Morskie Oko lake
  • admire the views of the highest Polish mountain range

While most of the road from the starting point of our hike named Palenica Białczańska is quite easily accessible (it is a paved road after all), the last 2 km to the Morskie Oko are much harder, so please be prepared for possible slippery conditions! That is all we can say for now…

In comparison to the remaining hikes, this one is much less demanding, as it starts directly from our accommodation. Do not underestimate it though, as we have never heard of anyone who would be disappointed after visiting the famous Kościeliska Valley.

The hike will take place in the valley deriving its name from the village where our accommodation is located. The valley is one of the larger in the region and is known as a place where a lot of Polish Highlanders operate on local pastures, hence the ties to Agrifuture. Participants taking part in this trip will get to not only enjoy the balance between nature and human activity, but also see the cradle of the best oscypek cheese in the entirety of Podhale. Can you already taste it?

Do none of the previous excursions satisfy your need for a truly mountainous experience? Do you have a greater background in mountain hiking? Do you not mind getting downright sweaty and gritty? If so, join the utmost mountainous hike possible – the excursion to Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy! 

Sadly, no glaciers are left in the Polish mountains now, but many traces of their abundance in the past can be found. One of them is the titular Czarny Staw Gąsienicowy, which is much different from Morskie Oko as it is far less exploited by tourists.

Given the conditions, during this excursion you will:

  • take a long and satisfying hike…
  • …which in return gives marvelous sights of the Polish Tatras…
  • …and the biggest of the Polish Tatras’ lakes!

We know you are already excited about it – come join us on the trail!


Day schedule

⚠️🌍 Proposed programme may differ 🌏⚠️

Day schedule – explanations

coming soon…

📌 Location 📌

Region of Podhale

Podhale is a picturesque and culturally rich region in southern Poland, at the very base of the Tatra Mountains. Known for its natural beauty, Podhale offers a blend of lush valleys, towering peaks and crystal-clear alpine lakes. Its cultural identity is shaped by the unique Highlander people (pol. Górale), who have preserved their traditional lifestyle, music and food.

Podhale in Poland offers an exceptional setting for hosting the EGEA Annual Congress 2024 due to its unique combination of geographical features, cultural richness and convenient infrastructure. The region’s stunning landscapes, encompassing the Tatra Mountains and picturesque valleys, provide an inspiring backdrop for diverse and absorbing workshops. Additionally, Podhale’s strong cultural heritage offers a distinctive experience that can enhance the congress’ atmosphere and provide participants with a deep sense of the place.

Podhale, Town of Zakopane; Source: https://visitmalopolska.pl/

Town of Kościelisko

The beautifully located Harnaś II complex, with plenty of attractions at our disposal, proximity of hiking/biking trails and location in the center of Kościelisko is a guarantee of fantastic stay!

Accommodation of Dom Wczasowy Harnaś II

Nice atmosphere, highland hospitality, tasty food and traditional interior design will make everyone feel at ease here, which will encourage you to return to this beautiful nook below the Giewont Mountain.

  • over 200 places
  • double, triple or quadruple rooms
  • restaurant and Big Hall for General Assembly and Night Programmes
  • smaller rooms for workshops and trainings
  • pool table, soccer and volleyball fields

& much more this place has to offer…


🚝 Transport suggestions 🚀

to be announced…


💛 Sponsors, Patronages and Partners💛

💛 Our lovely sponsors

💛 Our lovely patronages

more coming soon…


👷Meet Our Orgateam👩‍💻


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