Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Messages from the Eurasian Economic Summit, Istanbul 2014

It was most interesting and very educational to be a part of a conference organized by the Marmara Group, where the distinguished guest speakers were from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Iran, Afghanistan, Serbia, Greece, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Israel, Slovenia, Lithuania, and many more from the Region.

What an incredible shift in perception and perspective. What enrichment to everything I have experienced in the last year and a half, sharing our experiences and visions in 9 countries around the world.

Photo: 9 countries where we were engaged in 2013-14

During the introduction to the conference, its core topic “Glocalisation, From Global to Local, From Local to Global”, was given an  even a deeper meaning.  Looking around the hall at the opening plenary session with over 900 participants from over 40 countries that were conducted in the Turkish language, I suddenly realized that only a few participants were wearing headsets for the translation. Quite a statement.

Photo: Plenary Session, EAEF 2014
Source: EAEF 2014
The insights that I share  with you are coloured with my personally view. In addition, I could not be present at all presentations, since some were conducted in parallel sessions. So, please go beyond my messages and explore them yourself. I can only hope that this invitation is encouraging enough.

The key points for  discussion:
  • the global population has grown for 2,9% in 2013 (the predictions for the future are even more accelerating),
  • the world is entering a new exponential growth cycle,
  • the key focus of the Region: the “Silk Road Partnership” (a new Regional co-operation of the countries that used to belong to the Silk Road in the past) in the field of energy (gas, oil), ICT (telecommunications; digitalization, access to Internet), peace, strengthening the global position,
  • the role of ICT is growing and needs to be systematically addressed; the Region is still mostly focusing on the infrastructure projects,
  • the migration is a serious challenge for the Region, especially the non-volunteering migrations, which will require a systemic approach, and close co-operation of all governments.
The key characteristics of the EURASIN REGION:
  • the emphasis is on taking a long-term view: “The moves we make today, will matter to our grandchildren.”,
  • the major regional projects are currently energy, telecommunications, and transportation: gas pipelines, fast railway, fiber-optic highways, internet access; Azerbaijan, and Turkey are seen as key players,
  • women are slowly being recognized as equal individuals; this is seen especially important for sustainability and democracy; however poverty and inequality are impediments to democracy and development,
  • involuntary migration, especially human trafficking are seen as an increasing challenge,
  • religion plays a very important role in setting the values and social behaviour of the Region.
A significant impact at the conference was the inclusion of representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Due, not only to their painful and tragic experiences from recent history, but also because their words are drawn from a very deep source of  Universal Truth, and  from a sincere wish to co-create a better world. This was the case with the speech  of the  Prime Minister of BIH, too. When he spoke of brotherhood, co-operation,  and partnerships, his words penetrated deeply, on the frequency of profound sincerity. One could sense a  sadness in his tone, however;  the crucial  necessity of not surrendering higher believes and values, was stronger, and remained with us at the end of his speech. Bosnia and Herzegovina plays an important role in the attempt to inter-connect  evolving modern worlds. The wisdom that it will apply for taking the country out of the crisis (especially in the view of the events that happened in days that followed the conference) will be of a great importance for the Region and the world as a whole).
As a background to the economical and social problems and opportunities I could hear more profound and deeper messages. Speakers were talking about the era of humanity. There was an open invitation to all of the participants that, instead of living on the mistakes of the past, we make the necessary changes, and look for new foundations, which will create a more prosperous future.
Cooperation, manifested by innovation, integration, sustainability, and democracy, will lead to finding solutions to open political issues and peace; this was recognized as the key enabler of stability.

Turkey is committed to lead the Eurasian Region and to strengthen itself as an important protagonist in the new era of humanity. I see a great opportunity for Turkey in social innovation, and modern social modelling that could support the management of the diversity that they have on many levels. This could also be an incredible enrichment of global consciousness.
The conference created space for some fresh topics that could present deeper connecting points of the Region with the global community, and encourage the participants to look beyond the current establishments:
  • the sustainability concepts and philosophy as presented by professor Agni Vlavianos-Arvanitis,
  • a call for creative leadership and development of cultures that could accept such a leadership, as pointed out by prof. Danica Purg,
  • the Slovenian proactive use of ICT in the support of civic participation and collaboration that I presented (BTC corporate sustainability and corporate responsibility model, Challenge:Future – a global project for youth empowerment, InCo movement – a civil initiative for business and social innovation, Heart of Slovenia – regional development initiative). 
Photo: Violeta Bulc at EAEF 2014
Source: EAEF
A special awakening call came from the presidents’ panel, with the former president of Slovenia, Mr. Turk included, that talked about forced migrations and exposed the dark pictures of global networking (modern slavery). While listening to almost frustrating calls for action, an old saying came to my mind “Nobody is free until everyone is free”.

Photo: Slovenian Group at EAEF 2014
Sara Jud, Violeta Bulc, Danilo Türk, Danica Purg and ambassador Milan Jazbec
Source: Vibacom
And, as one of the youngest participants, a student, at the conference had pointed out, it seemed that no matter what the title of the conference was, in the end,  economic interests overpowered the topics for peace. Which, on the other hand, is the only topic that matters to the young.  That is the only factor that  the young seek from those currently in power – the preservation of peace! Yet, apparently, according to the conference interest, we are far from holding it in our immediate consciousness. The forum for economic affairs had several hundred participants, yet, the room where the importance of peace was discussed held only around 40. How can “peace” become the key topic by those in power? Why would it be, after all? For those that manage the concentrated global capital, “peace, or no peace”, makes no difference, as long as they control the situation. However, also due to the conference experience, I believe that I will live to see the day when  financial capital will be repositioned to its primary role - on the level of an exchange mechanism, and humanity will become the core focus of the global progress.

Photo: Istanbul, 2014
Source: Vibacom
And finally, let me end  this Aktualno 2.0 with the saying that Hon. Hikmet Tanriverdi used to finish his speech: “One cup of coffee received, keeps memories alive for 40 years”. Let us manifest those memories that matter as fruitfully as possible from this conference, for the well being of us as individuals, our societies, our civilization and the planet Earth as a whole.

Osti Jarej, Violeta

How can we cooperate
Where can we meet globally?
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