Holis Coronavirus Update

Maxim Dedushkov

November 29, 2021

update 29/11/2021

We don't know what future brings. We assume that Covid will stay with us for a while. There will be times when we will able to travel and meet and there will be times when we won't. Keeping this in mind we are aiming for flexibility. That being said we want to meet in person in 2022.

update 20/07/2021

I can't believe I have to write it but we canceled Holis again. When is it going to end? It's frustrating. Seemed like everything is going well. Anyway, seems like it's still too early to organise in-person Holis. We have decided to cancel for the following reasons:

- we experienced an extremely high application withdrawal level this year: 65%! It's usually around 3%,
- some of the applicants have uncertainties regarding their vaccinations,
- uncertainty regarding the delta variant causing the 4th wave in EU and how effective are the vaccines against the delta variant.

That being said and obviously being sad we already have a plan B. Starting today (okay, maybe not today but very soon) we are developing Holis Digital (we need a better name), the first online Holis learning experience. It's extremely early to say anything about it but one thing is sure: we want to do it this year, most probably starting in October.

Our aim with Holis Digital is not to do the same thing online what we've done so far. I believe that's a totally wrong approach and causes a lot of pain in front of your screen. We want to develop something that is a native online learning experience. We have some experience already of designing and running online workshops (here, here and here) and we will conduct a research looking for best practices. We will take this project seriously. I mean we take everything serious. Almost everything. Well, some things, yes. But this one, this one is serious. Yes. Okay. Hope to see you online. Ahhh, we need a copywriter...

update 18/05/2021

As the numbers are looking better and better we are more and more confident that we are going to meet in person this year. And to be frank we can't wait for it. Last year and this year so far was hard and we are craving for just being with other people without masks and fear. This is why we decided that this year only vaccinated people can take part. We know that this might exclude some of you but we hope that everyone will be vaccinated by the end of August who wants to.
We are following the regulations for travel and gathering of EU and Slovakia and will post an update if anything changes. Meanwhile fingers crossed and get your vaccine as soon as possible!

update 08/02/2021

It's been almost 9 months since our last update. Where did this time go? :)

We finally made a decision about this year and we have some good news. There will be Holis this year! It might take a form of a hybrid online-offline or (if the covid situation requires) an online workshop. If we decide to meet in person (this is what we are aiming for) we will take all necessary measures to make sure it's safe to be together. This might mean that only vaccinated people can be part of the offline workshop and/or the need of a fresh and negative covid test. One thing is sure: we want to have a safe environment so we can enjoy those 10 days to the fullest.

update 18/05/2020

Long story short: we decided to postpone our summer school activities until further notice.

After receiving an all time low number of applications (7 for Portugal and 7 for Slovakia) we decided to postpone the summer schools until everything gets to the new normal. We could have postponed the application deadline until 31 May as we planned to do but we thought that it would be probably a waste of our time. Sometimes it’s better to kill or freeze a project than trying to push it further and harder. Instead, we will focus our energy on developing new digital services and projects, doing more research and development work and running some organisational experiments.

Thank you to our team facilitators, team facilitator buddies, experts and those 14 applicants who believed in us and supported us despite the current situation. We promise that once international travel and gatherings don’t require an extra skill of “how to survive in a pandemic” we will get back to business and we will reopen the applications. Until then do more of the stuff that’s important and less of what’s only urgent.

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update 30/04/2020

We discussed the process of how and when are we going to decide if we have to postpone or cancel Holis. The flowchart below is the representation of our thinking:

* How will we decide if the situation allows to organise Holis?

  1. We will check the official national coronavirus sites to see if travel is allowed to the destination countries.
  2. We will check the official national coronavirus sites to see if events up to 50 people are allowed.
  3. We will check with participants if they are allowed to travel.
  4. We will evaluate if the required measure at the time (physical distancing, masks, etc) allow to organise a Holis that we all like.

Portugal coronavirus updates: here

Slovak coronavirus updates: here

update 27/04/2020

We are working on scenarios of what is going to happen and how and when we will make decisions regarding postponing the summer schools. We want to make it as transparent and straight forward as possible.

update 26/03/2020

We were talking about what should we do with the current situation. Besides following the obvious rules of this time (stay at home if you can, wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, help those in need) we decided not to join the train of corona anxiety news and chaotic help offers (even with best intention) that occupy our feeds right now.
Instead, we want to focus on the future.

We think the time is now to start building the society we want to live in. Obviously, it won't be Holis who will change the world and make it a better place. But we can do our part. Every one of us.So our plan is to slow down, keep calm and keep going on the path we are walking for the last 7 years. Because we believe this is the way to go. It is the path without extreme achievements but a steady one. And Holis Alumni is the best proof that it works. (ok, this is a bit cheesy, but still true.)

We also understand that you might have anxiety and be distracted and can't do any decisions right now regarding your future plans. Be assured that we are in this together and we will postpone the application deadlines and/or the summer schools if necessary (in case you ask us for that or we don't have enough applications due to the current circumstances).

update 16/03/2020

This is a time of uncertainty. We understand that many of you might wonder what will happen with Holis School this year. We mean, obviously this is not your biggest concern at the time still we want to update you on this.

Holis School will go on as scheduled until further notice. This is the most important information you have to know at the moment. The application deadline stays 17 May and the dates for Holis Schools stay as planned. If anything changes we will let you know. 

Why? Because we have no idea what is going to happen. So we decided to make any decision closer to date and update you on what we think regularly. So keep tuned and we promise to communicate in time and be transparent.

Meanwhile please take care of yourself and people around you. We agree with physical distancing (it shouldn't called social distancing though). This Washington Post simulation shows why it is important. If you are able to stay at home please do so. We will only be able to fight this virus if we act collectively. Please think about the vulnerable people, about people who are not able to stay home, about your friends and family. And if you need one more reason, please stay home and make sure that the virus goes away by the time we will meet in Slovakia and Portugal.

And one more thing. This pandemic is not only about health but also about welfare. Many people who already have difficulties paying their bills will suffer even more. Please consider how you can help them. 

Stay tuned, stay safe, stay home and please stay positive. Ehm, positive in terms of… you know confident, forward-looking, constructive… not corona positive :) 

Holis Team