The Ludwik Rajchman Foundation was born out of belief in the civil society as the foundation of a prosperous, healthy democracy. Its establishment came on the centenary of Wilson’s Fourteen Points, which gave rise to international liberalism. In a region whose societies have been desecrated by decades of conflict and totalitarian dictatorship, this truth rings more audibly than elsewhere. The Solidarity movement has proven to the world that the spirit of democracy is strong all throughout Europe. Today, three decades after the re-unification of the European continent from the tragic state of forcefully imposed partition, we recognize the need to nurture and foster the freedom that our predecessors have won. It is because we believe that what is taken for granted, falls into neglect and disappears. By teaching the young generation the virtues of a healthy civil society, we want to reinforce the foundations of our freedom, and remind everyone of its immeasurable value.
Yesterday needed warriors and revolutionaries, today needs responsible statesmen and citizens.
We aim to contribute to a more frequent and friendly dialogue between future leaders in their respective fields from all around Poland. We want to help build a community that will provide a framework for future cooperation between these talented individuals when they will be in positions of importance to our community’s well-being and development. This goal is a rather ambitious one and we do not suppose that we alone will able to resolve it completely, if anything can, but through our effort we hope to make a significant enough change to make our country and region more stable, prosperous and responsible internationally. We understand that in order to achieve such levels of civic responsibility and engagement as in countries with long and established democratic traditions, we need to take grassroots action and commit ourselves to it with patience and hard work, so that we can make up for nearly 50 years of foreign-imposed totalitarian regime that desecrated our civic life. We see our commitment as an investment in a more stable and prosperous country, society and region.
We strive to be as apolitical and non-partisan as possible. We are inviting speakers and partners from across the political spectrum in order to make our community inclusive to young people of all political beliefs. We want to show our beneficiaries – the youth – that everyone is welcome so long as they have the determination to pursue their own and their society’s betterment. By retaining political neutrality, the Rajchman Foundation can truly aspire to be a representative of all driven and talented young people. We believe that promoting “unity in diversity” we can help create a better and more cooperative elite of the future.
Cultural life is one of the values we hold dear and since the very beginning we are striving to support its development among the many talented young people that look for inspiration and guidance. Our events have seen the appearance of world-class directors, such as Agnieszka Holland, Juliusz Machulski and Janusz Gajos and rising stars of electropop, the Dumplings. We hope to expand our cultural activities and provide support and advice to many more aspiring artists.
We realize the huge and sometimes underestimated impact of the disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence or the economy of sharing. Therefore, we want to make our youth acquainted and comfortable with them as soon as possible. To that end, we have engaged with current leaders in the industry, by having them speak at the Young Leaders’ Conference – Mr. Winiarczyk who introduced Uber and Ofo to Poland or Ms. Poślad who heads the public policy department at Google Poland. We have also partnered with Uber Eats in 2018 – the first such partnership with an event in Poland. One of our speakers, Marcin Iwiński, is the co-founder of CD Projekt, one of the most successful startups in Poland that produced the Witcher, dubbed as the best RPG game in history. His life story provides an example of immense opportunities given by the modern, connected world and proves that a company set up by high school friends, thousands of miles away from the Silicon Valley, can become a world leader of its industry with a worth of nearly 4 billion dollars.
The Young Leaders’ Conference is our first and flagship project. Its purpose is to encourage and nurture future Polish and Euro-Atlantic leaders, by giving them direct access to the most influential personalities of today’s world – successful business people, prominent politicians, world-class athletes, leading scientists and noteworthy artists. We have discussed values and virtues, public service, and pop culture, ethics of business as well as participatory democracy. We want to give the promising youngsters a chance to meet their peers from all around Poland, listen and interact together with distinguished professionals and form relations and bonds that will last for years and result in benefits for them and the society.
Our Foundation is also an attempt to create a simple and operational institution of aid to the youth. Taught by years of participation in student unions and adult-to-youth aid organizations we have discovered that simplicity and de-bureaucratization is a golden principle in creating an efficient and purposeful organization that will have real impact on the youth of our time.
But our development does not end here. In the course of the Young Leaders’ Conference 2018 we have raised more than 3,500 dollars for charity. As the Foundation grows, so will our scope of engagement. We will soon be able to provide grants and scholarships to talented young individuals in order to support those who need our help today, and whose future achievements will contribute to the society in many different ways. The Rajchman Foundation will grow – and with it its positive impact on our society.