24 September 2013
Policy Makers and Professionals Convene in Warsaw
A new network of Armenian leaders in Europe is now taking shape, following an AGBU-supported seminar that brought together key policy makers, entrepreneurs, journalists, and academics in Warsaw, hosted by Polish Senator Lukasz Abgarowicz.
The event, held earlier this month, served as a forum for senior professionals from across Central and Eastern Europe, who have an Armenian background or an interest in Armenia, to develop a new peer leadership network. The 23 representatives included member of the Parliament of Ukraine Arsen Avakov; member of the Parliament of Sweden Esabelle Dingizian; business executive Edward Mier-Jedrzejowicz; opera conductor Haig Utidjian (Czech Republic); and member of the Parliament of Romania Varujan Vosganian.
Drawing from their diverse backgrounds as industry leaders and lawmakers, the representatives discussed ways that the AGBU-supported network will further strengthen Armenian leadership in the public arena, facilitate dialogues with public authorities in their respective countries, and advance Armenian issues across Europe. These are issues that will be on the agenda at future regional seminars, which will be held in France, Romania and Sweden in the coming months, as the new network is formed.
The representatives also strategized ways to leverage their expertise to foster future leadership in diasporan young professionals, who will meet the challenges of Europe’s rapidly changing political and economic environment. They discussed the AGBU GORIZ program, which provides post-graduates who have an exceptional academic record and experience in civic engagement with the tools they need to succeed in their fields. While GORIZ offers trainings, networking opportunities and seminars, representatives at the Warsaw conference agreed to advance those efforts by including a mentoring component for GORIZ members. The AGBU Europe District president Alexis Govciyan welcomed the proposal for the new mentorship initiative, stating, “These outstanding individuals are willing to invest in the promotion of leadership in others. Their contributions will be invaluable to encourage all of us, and particularly the next generation, to strive for excellence.”
Through a series of seminars, participants also discussed some of the opportunities and challenges facing the Armenian diaspora in Europe today. Professors Chan Choenni of the VU University Amsterdam and Lukasz Lotocki of the University of Warsaw presented their research on the migration and social integration of Armenians in the Netherlands and Poland. Participants agreed that comparable research on Armenian communities in other countries should be promoted as an invaluable tool for policy and action.
As AGBU Europe Director Nicolas Tavitian noted, the new leadership network will help the Armenian diaspora continue to thrive in Europe. Commenting on the Armenians’ centuries-old presence across the continent, he stated, “We need Armenians who are building their lives in Europe to know that they already have a long history here, with a distinguished record. Through these seminars and our leadership network, we will continue building on those foundations.”
To learn more about the leadership network, please email email@example.com.
For more information on AGBU GORIZ, please visit www.agbugoriz.org.