Early Childhood Development System in Visegrad Region

October - November 2021
Live Online Sessions

application deadline: 26 September

Apply Now!
Photos by Johann Walter Bantz and Krstan Petrucz.

What you’ll be doing

We love in-person workshops. We were planning to have one beginning of September. But we decided to cancel it due to the unfavourable pandemic circumstances.
We are working now on developing a native online workshop. It won't be about showing the same slides and do the same exercises we do in person. That doesn't work. We want to use our recent experience in attending/designing/running online workshops. We know what to avoid. We want to know how to do it better.
Stay tuned, more details are coming soon.

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


Henryk Stawicki

Co-founder of Change Pilots

Helps organizations create products, services and brand scenarios based on design strategies. As a co-founder of design consultancy Change Pilots he offers a unique point of view as both strategist and designer capable of creating measurable, novel solutions. Always brings multicultural perspective thanks to years of practice abroad including New York and London and such organizations as Parsons School of Design and IDEO.


Justyna Turek

Co-founder of Change Pilots

Designer, researcher, and initiator of the ideas. Creates processes, experiences and visual systems that allow brands, organizations, and events communicate integral value offered to their users. Her experience comes from working with design studios, product and service companies as well as design and culture centers in Paris, Helsinki, New York, and across Poland. Passionate about sustainable development, Human-Centered Design, and mindfulness.


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.


Šárka Benešová

Talent Management Designer

Šárka helps organizations to create a supportive, value-driven environment for the growth of human potential. She guides them through innovations, cultural change, design of development programs, hiring, and onboarding processes. Her background is in adult education and experiential learning, she works with a Czech design studio Court of Moravia, which draws on design thinking, human-centered design, and game design.


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.


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.

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: less than €300-400*.
(Self)Employed: less than €400-500*.

* we need to figure out how much the online version will cost. will update soon.

Why Holis?

The Holis approach is different from traditional courses. We pay attention to every aspect of your well-being and learning. Our venue is in a rural environment away from the rush of big cities; we prepare all of the delicious food that you will eat ourselves; there are opportunities to participate in sporting activities, games, and evening bonfires.

All of this is intentionally planned 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 45 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.

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. 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!

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 4 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.

If you have to cancel due to Covid circumstances we will refund 100% of the participation fee.

Life can only be understood backwards