In more formal words, Blago00 is the 7th edition of theCentral European Summer School in Generative Grammar. This year, it takes place in the town of Blagoevgrad (Bulgaria) between the 31st July and 11th August 2000.
In reality, we try to achieve four things at the same time:
'Intensive' is not hard since most of us spend inordinate amounts of time working anyway. The feel nice part mostly means ensuring a relaxed atmophere. To favor this, a simple formula has proven pretty succesful up to now: cancel the barrier between "teachers" and "students" outside of the classroom. Meaning that we all stay in the same hostel (Many nice parties have resulted from this!), reimbursments are pretty similar between the two, etc. The fact that the teachers organise the school themselves also helps a lot.
One prominent goal of the school is to be useful to places where generative grammar is only emergent, or non-existent yet; focusing on Central and Eastern Europe for the time being. A big part of this is financial: most conferences and schools are simply unreachable for a student from central or eastern europe. Our response is to organise a school which is entirely free: there are no admission fees, anyone can just walk in. On top of that, we offer grants helping people to travel to the school, and helping them to pay the hostel. All the staff is involved in making this possible: all the teachers come teach for free, the school is organised by volunteers, and the hosting university (AUBG) kindly offers the rooms for a small fraction of their usual price.
Another big part of this is to offer many and good introductory classes, which are very accessible and presuppose almost no technical knowledge. This year, the classes are clearly separated into an introduction-track and a mid/advanced-track. Practically every teacher teaches one class in both track, resulting in an offering of about 10 different topical introductions.
The other prominent goal of the school is to bring together top notch researchers and make them interact in a calm and stimulating setting during two or three weeks, in public. The idea here is twofold: on the one hand provide great conditions for intellectual sport and creative research; and on the other hand provide mid to advanced participants with a great stimulant: live research done in a didactic way. (The difference between 'teachers' and 'advanced students' is of course largely artificial in this context).
Accordingly, the intention of the medium/advanced track is to present live but accessible research&debate to students who already have a grasp of the basics, but not necessarily of the topic under discussion. This will take place both in the form of normal 1h seminars, and in the form of a daily 3h-long 'research seminars' or 'discussion sessions' [an experimental feature of this year's school].
it's a well-known platitude that much of the novelty of research comes from people who are new to the field, typically graduate students, post-docs, etc; but also researchers newly converted from other fields. In sharp contrast with most (all?) other schools, we're not squeamish about inviting (very) junior staff, when we sniff promising content. And the proportion of stars to new-turks is typically inverse with respect to traditional events. (I suppose it helps that most organisers are themselves pretty junior ;-). Notice that we do have rich-and-famous established scholars teaching, but the proportion is typically inverse with respect to traditional events.