Olivaint Conference of Belgium
|Type||Student debating union|
|Dutch & French (& English)|
|Affiliations||Politeia Community |
The Royal Olivaint Conference of Belgium NPO  is a Belgian independent, multilingual leadership organisation and debating union for students founded in 1954. It is the only student organisation in Belgium operating in both official languages (Dutch & French). The slogan of the association is 'Teaching governance today, growing leaders for tomorrow'. Its aim is to educate its members for public life. Its focus is on training in public speaking, debating, writing and leading conferences with top politicians, academics and business executives. The Olivaint Conference of Belgium was founded on the model of the Conférence Olivaint in France. Candidate members must submit a written application and undergo an interview by the Conference's board of directors. The Conference limit its membership to 50 persons per academic term. Membership is limited to two years.
The association is a member of the Politeia Community, an international network of similar organizations like Olivaint Conférence and Studentenforum im Tönissteiner Kreis. The Olivaint Conference of Belgium is a sister organisation of the Oxford Union Society.
Its main activity is organizing bimonthly thematic workshops. These meetings take place at the University Foundation in Brussels on Saturday afternoons. During these meetings, the students hold oral speaking exercises. Public speaking exercises allow students to become acquainted with effective speech techniques. These exercises are judged by an experienced corrector, which enables the student to significantly improve his/her speech level. After those exercises the members have the opportunity to meet with prominent actors of the Belgian socio-economic, political, academic and cultural scene. In addition to the thematic workshops, members have to contribute with written articles to the magazine “Contact”. An eloquence contest among its members is organised once a year. The event is opened to former and non-members. At the end of each academic year a study session abroad is organised. After the trip, a report is published.
Weimar Youth Forum
The Olivaint Conference of Belgium is a participant of the Weimar Youth Forum. This is a yearly meeting of the Studentenforum im Tonissteiner Kreis (Germany), the Centrum Inicjatyw Miedzynarodowych (Poland), the Olivaint Conference of Belgium and La Conférence Olivaint (France). The organization of the Forum follows the example of the ‘Weimar Triangle’, regrouping France, Germany and Poland on international affairs matters, first hold in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Forum was first organized in 2004 in Warsaw. Since then, it has been held every year, promoting debate on economic, social and political issues in Europe. The Forum thus allows discussing these matters, confronting them with the European integration project. All of this is done in an independent spirit.
50 years of existence symposium
In 2005 the conference celebrated its 50 birthday by organising a symposium at the Egmont Palace. The event attracted many alumni and prestigious guests, including his Royal Highness the Prince Philippe of Belgium, former prime minister and Olivaint alumni Jean-Luc Dehaene, minister Armand De Decker, viscount Étienne Davignon and many more.
Notable Former Members
The conference also organises few activities for the more than 1,100 alumni.
- Jacques van Ypersele de Strihou, Minister of State and former chief of staff king Baudouin of Belgium and king Albert II of Belgium
- François-Xavier de Donnea, a Belgian politician and a former mayor of the City of Brussels
- Philippe Haspeslagh, dean Vlerick Business School
- Alexia Bertrand, non-executive director at Ackermans & Van Haaren and politician for MR
- Jean-Luc Dehaene, former prime minister of Belgium and Member of the European Parliament
- Henri Tulkens, professor Université Catholique de Louvain
- Gregory De Clerck, Managing Director at DOMO Group
- Francis Delpérée, senator and professor of the Université catholique de Louvain
- Philippe de Buck van Overstraeten, director BUSINESSEUROPE
- Bernard Lietaer, the author of The Future of Money: Beyond Greed and Scarcity
- Luc Willame, former CEO AGC Glass Europe
- : Cambridge Union Society
- : Oxford Union Society
- : Studentafton
- : London School of Economics, Grimshaw International Relations Club
- : The Durham Union Society
- : Berkeley Forum
- : Yale Debate Association
- : Olivaint Conférence
- : Debattierclub Stuttgart
- : Studentenforum im Tönissteiner Kreis
- : Common Sense Society Budapest
- : Queen's Debating Union
- "Politeia Community" (in German). Studentenforum im Tönissteiner Kreis e.V. Retrieved 6 May 2014.
- (Dutch) Belgian statute book,  benoemingen ontslagen statuten, Belgian statute book .Retrieved December 30, 2013
- (French)Conférence Olivaint,  website, Conférence Olivaint (en France) .Retrieved December 30, 2013
- Olivaint Conference,  List of Contacts , Politeia Community .Retrieved December 30, 2013
- (French)s' investir dans "Olivaint...", , Le Soir .Retrieved Mai 27, 2014, 2014
- University of Rwanda, , University of Rwanda .Retrieved December 30, 2013
- (Dutch) Olivaint Conference of Belgium, , Olivaint Conference of Belgium study report .Retrieved January 12, 2013
- Belgian students’ organization visits NUR, , kigalishining .
- Weimar Youth Forum, , toenissteiner-studentenforum .
- Website Olivaint Conference,  Alumni, Alumni page. Retrieved December 30, 2013
- Jean-Luc Dehaene obituary: Politician who fought hard to keep Belgium together and went on to lead Uefa’s Financial Fair Play initiative, , The Independent. Retrieved May 27, 2014