From 4 to 10 July 2016, Transparency International (TI) organised its 7th annual School on Integrity in Vilnius, Lithuania. 120 young activists and future leaders from over 60 countries exchanged their experiences in the fight against corruption and participated in the anti-corruption and accountability training.
The internationally renowned speakers highlighted that the time to eradicate corruption is now. Frank Vogl, co-founder of TI, opened the summer school with the words: "My generation made a start, yours will make the change". Cobus de Swardt, TI’s managing director added "grassroots outrage at corruption has never been greater", while current Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė highlighted that:
with a generational change of the people in charge in Eastern Europe, behaviour has a chance to change as well - now is the time to tackle corruption.
In addition to the stimulating presentations and inspiring conversations, participants worked in intensive training sessions on questions such as “how to turn open data into super power” or “how to build a successful anti-corruption advocacy campaign”.
The programme focused on corruption in all sectors including education, security and sports and emphasised prerequisites which are necessary to successfully tackling corruption in any of these fields, such as good whistle-blower protection laws, access to information and the will of the political elite to improve transparency.
Several experts underlined the importance of the fight against corruption in education. According to Boris Divjak, director of the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, "tackling corruption in education is fundamental since it effects the lifelong behaviour of a whole generation".
Katja Hinz, Associate Project Officer at the IIEP’s ETICO project participated in the 7-day training programme. "It was a very rich week, in which I learned a lot about the ambitious initiatives being undertaken by fellow participants from all over the world, as well as deepened my knowledge of tools to fight corruption".