(Lina Adukaite – Senior Consultant Bright Purple CEEB region)
Lina Adukaite, Senior Consultant Bright Purple CEEB region, who attended the conference with her colleagues Jurga and Jurate talks about her experiences of the day and the Scottish connection.
“We are a small nation, therefore, everyone of us have to be ten times as cautious, good, educated and do ten times more than members of large nations,” the Lithuanian President stated at the opening of the Meeting of World Lithuanian Youth 2012. Dalia Grybauskaitė added she would always support those who want to identify with and work for Lithuania, very patriotic and may I say, it made me think that our Scottish counterparts would be of a similar mindset? After all Scots as I have learnt from my time working at Bright Purple, are a fiercely patriotic people!
The ‘Meeting of World Lithuanian Youth 2012’ took place at Harmony Park in Prienai district, of Lithuania. The event was the first of this kind and on this scale, since the independence of Lithuania.
The Festival welcomed everyone regardless of a country of residence, occupation or age. It was a place to have great time and make friends from all over the world. It was a meeting point for those whom “Lithuania” has a special meaning in their hearts.
The World Lithuanian Youth meeting is the youth festival encompassing science, business, and politics and cultural areas. There were more than a dozen areas where over a hundred presentations, meetings and discussions took place. Discussions with well-known figures were open to everyone wishing to share their beliefs and attitudes. The world Lithuanian youth meeting was attended by 3,500 people from more than 30 different countries, that’s an amazing statistic.
The Prime Minister along with the ministers of national defence, justice, foreign affairs and education had a discussion with the young audience on Friday, 13th of July. Discussions took place around business, science, cultural and political topics, creativity workshops, sports events, meetings with prominent people, networking and career fairs, along with an entertainment agenda of film screenings, concerts, plays, and a fashion show were also held over two days. It was a packed agenda!
AMBASSADORS OF THE EVENT:
Ilja Laurs – Founder and Chairman of GetJar, world’s largest independent mobile application store. “European Manager of the Year 2011”, “25 European Tech Leaders”, “Top 40 most influential people in mobile communications”. Ilja speaks on all major telecommunication conferences and is regularly quoted in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN, CNBC, BBC, Bloomberg and many other news sources. GetJar is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices in Seattle, the UK and Lithuania.
Dalia Ibelhauptaitė – is a Lithuanian opera, theatre and film director. In 1991, Ibelhauptaitė was invited to the Royal National Theatre Studio in London. She has been in London ever since. Ibelhauptaitė has also given master classes at National Opera Studio and Royal National Theatre Studio in London, is a popular teacher in China, Israel, Holland, France, Los Angeles and India. Ibelhauptaitė married to an English actor Dexter Fletcher.
Andrius Mamontovas – Actor, singer and composer, awarded for Merits to Lithuania, nominated for the Lithuanian National Culture and Art Award, “Street Music Day” ideological leader.
Algirdas Kaušpėdas – is a Lithuanian rock musician, the leader of Lithuanian rock group Antis, an architect and one of the Sąjūdis (Reform Movement of Lithuania) initiators.
Juozas Statkevičius – Lithuania’s most prominent fashion designer. He is the first designer from the Baltics presented his haute couture collections in Paris and the first Lithuanian who has made appearance on glossy pages of Elle and Vogue. His designs are available in New York, London, Tokyo and such stars as Bjork, K. Sadgwick, N. Watts and Princess of Denmark Mary wear them.
Ray Bartkus – is a Lithuanian artist. He is the designer of the Lithuanian 50 Litas bill. Since 1991, he has illustrated for a number of publications, including the New York Times Book Review, Harper’s Magazine, the Wall Street Journaland Time Magazine.
Jonas Valančiūnas – is a 20 years old Lithuanian professional basketball player, currently playing for the Toronto Raptors. He is a member of the Lithuanian national basketball team. Valančiūnas was selected by the Toronto Raptors with the fifth overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.
Antanas Guoga – is a Lithuanian–Australian businessman and professional poker player. Currently a major sponsor of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation.
And the biggest attraction was President (1994-1998) of Costa Rica – José María Figueres Olsen. A businessman and politician after he left the presidency of Costa Rica, he is involved in global issues such as climate change, sustainable development, and technology. He led the World Economic Forum – Concordia 21, and from March 2012 he is The President of organization “Carbon War Room” fighting for climate change.
The Career Fair – was based at the stable’s in Harmony Park and we all thought it sounded very British and very Royal! It is a heated horse arena that conforms to international standards and international horse competitions are often held there.
Our friends at the stable‘s included a variety of some of the biggest companies in Lithuania, as well as an array of International businesses to include Lithuanian Post, Lithuanian Railways, Invest Lithuania, Danske bank, SVYTURYS and UTENOS ALUS breweries, Enterprise Lithuania, Philip Morris Lietuva, Vytautas Magnus University, ISM, Eika, The National Association of Lithuanian electricity and Baltic Legal Solutions, amongst others.
This was a fantastic opportunity to meet many people, many young people who will play a part in the future of Lithuania one day and the Bright Purple brand demonstrated the proactive attitude of our firm and stood out for all to see and we received a lot of compliments for that! Our stand was busy all day long and we met a lot of interesting Lithuanians who had travelled from many continents, shared a lot of our contacts and it didn’t stop there, because after the career fair was over, we decided to enjoy the rest of the event and we were lucky enough to take some salsa lessons with a Lithuanian trainer who was based in Australia!
Why have I been asked to speak about this youth conference by Bright Purple?
Because our CEO Nick Price and Bright Purple have shown their commitment to youth through the very successful and prominent, Bright Futures Programme, they believe in youth and its ability to add value and at the same time, Lithuania is also committed to working hard to secure the future of its youth – seems like a lot of comparison’s to me?
Scotland, like Lithuania is a small country and its youth is critical to its future success as a Nation and therefore making sure that the youth is engaged, inspired and fully motivated to make a difference is vitally important. Lithuania, again like Scotland has many issues with regards to its youth population and both countries have suffered from a lack of exciting opportunities that engages its youth and both have therefore seen an exodus of talent over the years and yet similarly, both countries are always keen to try to attract their national’s back home, bringing new found skills and experiences with them.
What can we learn from each other as both our small nations push to grow in the global economy and how can we achieve the necessary growth, if we lack plentiful skilled talent, with the rights attributes and skills that match our Nation’s ambitions? Without talent we can’t grow, can we? Youth lays at the centre of the puzzle – we must engage and inspire youth and we must give them the opportunities they desire, or we’ll simply see them leave us for more attractive shores.
I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Bright Purple’s apprentices and they have shown me that you can very quickly develop talent; I think it’s amazing what our firm has done in just 6 months with 6 young people! It’s even more amazing given the youngsters who started in January 2012 were previously uninspired or without the motivation or drive to continue in to further education, something here in Lithuania we take for granted that all our youngsters will carry on to further education.
Youngsters need to be given the chance to shine, in both our small countries and in Lithuania there are already many young people making their mark in industry and politics, but we need more opportunities for them. How much more can be done in Scotland to engage youth, I would suggest a lot
Can Scotland match Lithuania and hold its own World Youth Conference – why not try and see what happens and give youth a voice on a big scale, just as we have done so successfully here in my home country of Lithuania.