The notion of ‘self-made’ man did not exist before the Velvet Revolution
In the past, individuals could not really surpass the economic and social status of their family. To jump levels was almost impossible. Instead, most people followed in the footsteps of their parents. They lived behind barbed wire and only those with a rich fantasy could imagine that one day it all could be different.
Sometimes, I feel we do not appreciate our freedom enough
Freedom is now a forgotten privilege by my generation. I could clearly observe this trend at my university. We had all kinds of European Union projects available to us. But, not enough took advantage of these opportunities.
What would our parents have done, for an opportu- nity to at least step across the border?
I believe, that everyone that left for abroad, is inherently a risk-taker. To pack your bags and leave your homeland, takes great courage. Being an immigrant in a foreign land is not easy. But, any country that receives these risk takers, is greatly enriched. This mindset breathes life into any economy.
The Czech Republic goes out of its way to attract Slovak students
Currently there are more than 20,000 Slovaks studying at Czech universities. The Czechs want the best brains from Slovakia and they are getting them. It is a very smart strategy. Too bad we do not see the benefit of retaining our best talent.
Slovakia is a young country, we are 25 years-old
We are country that is still a teenager in many ways. We are growing and evolving at a very rapid pace, but, like a 25-year-old adult, we still have a lot of maturing to do. We can’t expect our country to have the same well-oiled functioning system, as those that have had the same regime for 50 or 100 years.
Young people need to see this as an opportunity
To recognize that they have the unique ability to be part of this progress. Of course, some people, don’t even recognize that there is a world beyond the walls of their apartment. But, we need to engage with this world, we need to see ourselves as part of it.
Those that come back share a similar vision
They bring with them a new mindset, that helps to accelerate change. They really want to make a difference and have an impact. But, just like my generation needs mentors and role models to learn from. So, does our country.
We need Slovak leaders to return and help elevate our nation
Even though I studied in Austria and France, I always knew I wanted to come back. I went abroad for a specific purpose. I wanted to gain new experiences, new languages and new exposure.
I knew that the impact I could have in Slovakia could be far greater than anywhere else
Change can happen a lot faster here. We do not have the same barriers as some bigger countries. At the same time, Slovakia is also part of the European family. That means, we are not operating in the world alone. We can learn from the best.
The time has come for Slovakia to adopt a more innovative mindset.