On Wednesday, 18 March 2009, ESI Deputy Chairman Kristof Bender moderated the final training workshop of the programme, which was developed in co-operation with ESI. In its first project cycle, the programme focused on environmental policies. Participants included core staff of think tanks from Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia.
On 19 March Kristof participated at a conference about the role of think tanks in public policy making organised by the European fund for the Balkans. He spoke about "pitfalls of think tank work" on a panel with Aaron Presnall, Director of the Jefferson Institute, Goran Buldioski, Programme Director of the Think Tank Fund of the Open Society Institute, and Ivan Vejvoda, Executive Director of the Balkan Trust for Democracy.