Early Childhood Development System in Visegrad Region

Starting: October 15
Duration: 6 weeks
Team size: 5 max.
Live sessions: 8 minimum
Time commitment: live 35 hours, individual 25 hours
Timeline: click here
Learning objectives: click here
€150-800 (see details below)

application deadline: 30 September

Application closed

The project is co-financed by the Governments of Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.

Photos by Johann Walter Bantz and Krstan Petrucz.

What you’ll be doing

You will learn how to work as part of a highly motivated, remote, interdisciplinary team. Working with others is challenging even if you are in the same space. Understanding what makes a remote team perform will give you the confidence to join any project-based team in the future.

As part of a team of 5, you will learn the basic psychology behind successful collaboration, how to set up your remote workspace, what tools to use and how to communicate and resolve conflicts.

As with every Holis course, you will work on a real challenge (see details below). We strongly believe that no cognitive energy should be wasted while learning but should help those in need. You will learn about methodologies, approaches and tools to work on social justice challenges and you will gain experience on how to use them.

Bonus: the project you will be developing might be selected and funded to be implemented.

What will you work on and why

Collected evidence in numerous case studies confirms that quality early childhood development can set children in adversity on the right track towards a brighter future. When services are provided early, the return on investment is the highest. Nevertheless, it is exactly those children most in need of early childhood development and care, who are absent from these services. This video explains everything much better than we ever could.

Holis Facilitators and Experts


Justyna Turek

Sustainable Design Consultant & Facilitator

A dynamic and versatile professional, recognized for her expertise in sustainable design and innovation. As a design researcher, process facilitator, and ideas initiator, she specializes in creating immersive experiences, systems, and workshops that enable companies, brands, organizations, and events to effectively communicate their sustainable value to users. Her extensive experience spans a wide range of industries, including product, service, and manufacturing companies, as well as collaborations with design and culture studios in Paris, Helsinki, New York, Stockholm and across Poland. Co-founder of Change Pilots and Next Agents.


Michala Lipkova

Product Designer, Assistant Professor at Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava

Michala is a designer working along boundaries of product and experience design. She leads commissioned research projects at the Institute of Design at the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava. Since 2013 she is a managing director of collaborative platform Flowers for Slovakia, focused on promotion of Slovak design abroad. In 2017 she has co-founded hardware startup Benjamin button.


Noelle Dye

Innovation Accelerator & Leadership Coach

Noelle is an explorer of the human experience. She has worked as a designer, innovator, inventor, and coach, and has built and led cross-functional teams in hardware, software, and service design as a consultant, in-house for start-ups, and in-house with some big brands. Currently, she guides leaders and organizations of people to discover their inner champions to achieve their visions.


Pascal Wicht

Strategic Designer

Pascal is a strategic designer based in Lausanne Switzerland. His work is focused on the orientation of people in their exploration of different futures. Pascal's approach mixes an ethnographic enquiry of people with the foresight practice of horizon scanning. He is also the founder of Whispers & Giants, a strategic discovery agency helping organisations succeed in the early phase of innovation journeys. In parallel, he teaches the discovery process in universities and business schools.


Dorottya Marosváry

Head of the Kindergarten Club at the Real Pearl Foundation's "tanoda" program

Dorottya works as a teacher, mentor and communication specialist for non-governmental organizations working for Roma inclusion and equal opportunities in Hungary. Her main areas of expertise are reading motivation, mother tongue development, she currently works mainly with the 3-4- year-old age group. She strongly believes that the for-profit and non-profit sectors could learn a lot from each other.


Julcsi Péterfi

special education teacher, 'tanoda' teacher at the Real Pearl Foundation

Julcsi has worked in the model village of the Foundation, in Told for 6 years. She joined at the very beginning of the Tanoda program during her university years as a volunteer. She now works with children from the age of 3 to 18, but her focus area is early childhood development, especially preschool programs and motor skill development.


Justyna Turek

Sustainable Design Consultant & Facilitator

A dynamic and versatile professional, recognized for her expertise in sustainable design and innovation. As a design researcher, process facilitator, and ideas initiator, she specializes in creating immersive experiences, systems, and workshops that enable companies, brands, organizations, and events to effectively communicate their sustainable value to users. Her extensive experience spans a wide range of industries, including product, service, and manufacturing companies, as well as collaborations with design and culture studios in Paris, Helsinki, New York, Stockholm and across Poland. Co-founder of Change Pilots and Next Agents.


Melanie Berry

Senior Specialist, Innovator Supports

As Senior Specialist of Innovator Supports at the Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University, Melanie oversees the ongoing development of the Center’s innovator support offerings including the IDEAS Impact Framework and ScienceXDesign. Melanie brings extensive experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs to support young children and families facing adversity, and she’s passionate about helping innovators in the early childhood field use information and data to achieve better outcomes. She holds a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from the PGSP-Stanford Psy.D. Consortium.


Peter Strážik


Peter is the headmaster of a school in Spišský Hrhov, Slovakia. Peter was one of the first headmasters in Slovakia to introduce an inclusive school curriculum. He works as a senior expert for community programmes at Škola dokorán - Wide Open School, n.o. He has participated in many projects in the field of inclusive education and in the care and education of preschool children.


Roland Harwood

Compulsive Connector

Roland Harwood is a compulsive connector of people and ideas. As a successful serial entrepreneur, he is currently Founder and Director of Liminal, a new venture currently in development. Prior to that he was Co-Founder and Managing Director at 100%Open, the multi award-winning open innovation agency that works with the likes of LEGO, Ford, UBS, Oxfam and in 25+ countries around the world to co-innovate with their partners.


Simona Mancusi

Service Systems Design

Latin soul got lost in the Nordics, secretly aspires to become a private detective using her dyslexic overhearing power. Prone to get stuck in questioning rabbit holes and earning headaches out of it. Cares about words. Obsessed with humans and making schemes.


Stanislav Daniel


Stanislav is a Roma activist with many years of experience in promoting equal education rights for Roma children in Slovakia and internationally. He worked for the European Roma Rights Centre in Budapest and the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw. He cooperated on several pieces of research and analytical reports on the state of education for the Open Society Foundations and until recently coordinated an international network of professionals working with the youngest Roma children Romani Early Years Network in the Netherlands. He currently works for a philanthropic company based in Vienna.


Zuzana Sojková


Zuzka is alumni of the leadership program Teach for Slovakia, she has cooperated with the Slovak Research Institute of Child Psychology and Pathopsychology and she is the founder of Naše školstvo - NGO that works on creating a development network of BBSK elementary schools.

Junior Facilitator

Anna Ulahelova

UX Designer

Anna is a designer in UX, information and graphic design. She likes to observe and research topics connected with society, city and environment. She is passionate about design theory in Central Europe and Slovakia. She likes complex and meaningful projects where she can help to analyse, ideate and use visualisation to understand problems. Currently working as freelancer on projects in Slovak culture, design and environment. She co-works with strategic design and innovation company Stride XL in the Czech Republic.

Junior Facilitator

Dominika Majewska

Industrial Design/ Speculative Design

Dominika is a designer, researcher and social innovator based in Copenhagen, Denmark. She works at the intersection of social design and environmental transitions, focusing on creating balanced connections between human-made and natural systems. User experience researcher passionate about psychology. Explorer, looking for connections between the urban and rural tomorrows.

Junior Facilitator

Ella Weldon

Project Lead and Community Developer

Ella is currently working as a Project Lead and Community Developer for social and environmental consultancy Liminal. Her academic and work background spans psychosocial research, international development, migrant’s rights advocacy, youth mentorship, women’s empowerment and public health, with equity and justice the thread that ties them together. Ella is a DJ and radio host and puts on parties with her community sound-system cooperative.

Junior Facilitator

Gábor Suhajda

UX Design

Gábor is a UX team lead and product designer at Emarsys (part of SAP). He spends most of his time there facilitating a common understanding between teams and improving design processes. He’s the co-founder of MOME ID, one of the most acknowledged product design courses in Hungary where he’s a course leader, lecturer and mentor. With the MOME ID team, he’s been running design camps since 2016 dealing with non-digital co-creation, design thinking, speculative design & service design.

Junior Facilitator

Jeremiasz Rzenno


I am a product / graphic designer. I was the co-founder of Have a Bite (a media startup) and I have been working with Ergo Design - a design and consultancy agency.

Who we are looking for

We will work with experts and practitioners of early childhood development. We will investigate what are the barriers of a well functioning early childhood development system and will develop potential solutions. Our main geographical focus is the Visegrad Region.

We are looking for participants from diverse backgrounds including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Behavioral Change
  • Communication
  • Early Childhood Development
  • Learning Design
  • Local and Regional Governance
  • Service Design
  • Social Services
  • System Change
  • Visual Communication

How much does it cost?

This program is a non-profit endeavour. We receive a lot of volunteer work, get support from our sponsors, and grants. Nevertheless, your contribution is essential to make it work. We kindly ask that you pay as much as you can within the following ranges.

Student/Unemployed: €150-200.
(Self)Employed: €200-400.
NGO, Corporate: €400-800.

We have scholarships! Check the FAQ below!

Why Holis?

The Holis approach is different from traditional courses. We pay attention to every aspect of your well-being and learning.

Our courses are designed to deliver a unique and unforgettable educational experience.


Why do I need to apply?

Holis School has a limited number of places every year. This is the main reason why you have to apply to be part of Holis. We also think that a limited size group (maximum of 30 people) helps establish meaningful and long lasting connections. And finally we are certain that the right mix of people will bring a better learning experience. Our main role during the selection process is to select the best candidates who will make a great team.

Can we apply as a team?

Yes, you can! If you are a team of at least 5 people and maximum of 7 and have a diverse set of skills and knowledge you can apply as a team. You will need still have individual applications where you can let us know about the name of your team so we understand who is part of the team.
If you are applying as a team you will get 25% discount from your personal participation fee.

What’s the cancellation policy?

We might cancel the event if there is no sufficient participants or no sufficient funding. We do everything possible to not to cancel any of our events.

If you have to cancel your participation, here is the deal. If you cancel up to 2 weeks prior to the beginning of the event we will refund 90% of the participation fee. If you cancel 2 weeks or less before the beginning of the event, there will be no refund. This is due to the short notice to reassign your place.

I'm not a designer. Is Holis for me?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that we would love to have you. Holis is about interdisciplinarity and as you might guessed it doesn't work only with designers. Based on the feedback of our non-designer participants it's quite challenging to keep the tempo. We will do everything possible to prepare you for this experience. You will have an extra design methodology online session.

How and when to pay?

You will receive the information regarding how to make the payment once your application has been selected.

Do you have scholarship?

We offer a limited number of scholarship places for those who can't afford the full fee. With a scholarship you will receive a 60% discount on your fee (based on your needs and our resources). If you are planning to apply for the scholarship please let us know at the end of the application form. Scholarships are awarded based on financial needs and the quality of your application.
We expect a participants with a scholarship to become a Holis Ambassador and help us in our mission to raise the awareness around soft skills, interdisciplinary collaboration, peer learning and social innovation.

What’s the student/employed ratio?

We allocate 30% of the places for students/unemployed.

What’s included in the price?

  • Preperatory online session
  • Accommodation (9 nights)
  • Daily 3 meals (9 days)
  • A carefully selected international interdisciplinary team
  • An outstanding team facilitator
  • A real problem/task to work on and make an impact
  • High quality photos and videos that you can use
  • Certificate at the end of the programme
  • Follow-up online session
Please note that you will be responsible for your travel to and from the venue!

Life can only be understood backwards