Address by President Ivanov at the School for Young Leaders 2013 Opening Ceremony

shkola1Distinguished professors, participants, friends and supporters of the School for Young Leaders,

It is a real honor and pleasure for me to greet you today in Ohrid, the place where, as mentioned, for millennia knowledge has been transmitted from one to other generation. Ohrid, which is our spiritual capital and a symbol of what connects and binds us. Symbolically, it is what the School has become today.

This fourth generation, indeed, confirms what we had in the past and what we plan for the future. At the beginning it was only an idea, an idea to create youth for the future and future for the youth, because Macedonia needs people who know how to lead now and in the future. We need leaders not only in politics but we need leaders in economy, culture, business, sports, in all fields. Therefore, the structure of the participants varies each year and involves different segments of our society. Asked about the idea for the creation of such a School, I frankly say: What can you expect from a professor getting involved into politics but establishing a school. Hence, the School is a result of the desire to continue with education and transfer of knowledge. This School is, in a way, recognition of the entire individual success of the participants achieved so far, because, through the School, you will upgrade and improve all the knowledge you have gained. This School is not just for obtaining knowledge; this is a School for many skills, experiences from our friends of the School. I call them friends because they are constantly in contact with us and they tell us what to expect from this generation, from those who are in these positions, in these state responsible posts. For we live in a world that is rapidly changing, world in which knowledge quickly becomes obsolete, world that is facing major challenges and requires new solutions. Solutions that sometimes go beyond the patterns we know, solutions that must be offered by people who are not burdened by many traumas of the past.

This is a generation that is growing; generation we are trying to focus in a direction to be able to offer solutions, to offer visions, to offer views for this fast revolving world. This would be helpful not only for Macedonia, but for the region, for the entire planet, because we live in a world in which global has become local. What happens globally is felt in our everyday life. The fact that we have mobile phones that give us the possibility to access the entire human knowledge indicates that we have really huge potential and great opportunities to influence not only the situation in our countries, but the situation in the wider surroundings.

shkola2I take this opportunity to express a public gratitude to the business community of Macedonia that has recognized the idea and generously and wholeheartedly supports it. This year we have international supporters too. I am really thankful that they have realized that this is for their benefit, that Macedonia really needs people who will be able to establish contacts and friendships with other people in the world. The School not only lives these days while we are in Ohrid, but it continues to live through the Alumni Association throughout the year, waiting the next generation. As you were welcomed by previous School participants, you will have the opportunity to welcome the participants of the next generations. It is, in a way, a solid friendship that will follow you in your life and allow you to interact with other successful people who have achieved much in their life and need to progress and advance. That is Macedonia's capital. You are the ones who will be in these positions one day, you are the ones who will create one day, Macedonia will be really proud of you. Investing in you is investing in those who come after you.

I really feel immense joy and happiness when I see all former participants on the lists of awards, recognitions, scholarships. I am filled with happiness when I meet our successful people at foreign universities, foreign companies. Although they are out of Macedonia, wherever they go, they have Macedonia with them, and they work for Macedonia. Many of them come as lecturers and participants at the School, which only shows that the School is really a big ship that is sailing. This was said to the first generation. I urged last generation to understand the School metaphorically as a journey by car, because when you are in a car you must look ahead. Therefore, the windscreen is always a big window, whereas the rear-view mirror is a small one, enough for you to see who is about to pass you by and jeopardize your safety. We, unfortunately, in the past, in our region, the rear-view mirror was so big that there were so many car crashes and accidents we still try to overcome. Thus, I wish that you see more ahead, that you hold the steering wheel firmly and have as many fellow travelers as possible and transfer them in a different world, a world filled with joy and happiness.

Principles of knowledge and experience are today as they were in ancient times. Principles remain the same. Therefore, we expect you to be diligent, hardworking and always ethical. To see the consequence of each decision you make, and the knowledge that you gain at this School to allow you to be several steps ahead of others, to think from the future point of view and to see all the consequences of the decisions you must make, to be aware of everything that has been transferred to you that you need to persevere and transfer to the next generation. That is why we insist so much on ethics in our School, we insist on consistency in the adoption and execution of the tasks, because during the School you will have to cope with real problems that need a solution. You will be trained to work in teams and the team that will face crisis you will be able to see who is the leader, to see who can lead and who can bring solutions. You will be educated to upgrade the experience of our distinguished guests and friends. You will simply be faced with something that cannot be found in your books, because many of the books you studied of are already outdated. The experience and knowledge of our guests and friends, the decisions they have made in the past, which allowed them to be here today with us, should be inspiration for you. I wish you success, many ideas, many visions, lots of desires to contribute to your environment after the School. I repeat, big thanks to our friends, to the supporters, and great gratitude to the media that enables our work here to be accessible to the public, to make known that in Macedonia world-class people come, people from world renown institutions, international institutions, distinguished leaders of countries who never leave you indifferent and always have something to say and learn from them. Once again, I wish you success and I will listen to you at the closure of the School.

Thank you.
19 August 2013, Ohrid


Address at the closing of the 4th School for Young Leaders

01Good evening,

Here we are. As you know, at the beginning, two weeks ago, right from this place, it was said that this school should metaphorically be considered a journey. That journey is about to finish now. The journey and the certificates obtained take you on a new journey. A journey through life and a journey, primarily, in pursuit of happiness. It was also said that happiness is with the brave. Thus, it is not luck that you are here, but you deserve to be here, because for all that you have achieved so far, the award is this School. Through the School we reward you for what you have managed to achieve, for the success in your education, in your friendship, to be part of this journey.

You have learned many things at this School. If you see the number of hours, it is the same as a whole semester at some faculties, and the number of lecturers, it is for a whole school year. After all that you have experienced, some, without offence, give a diploma, not a certificate. Therefore, for all the knowledge, all the know-how, everything you have gained as skills, experience from others, you should have a sense of gratitude. May that feeling be with you for a lifetime. Always be thankful and have the sense of gratitude. As previously mentioned, the mission is that those who give immediately forget, but those who receive it, i.e. you, should always remember it and be grateful for the beautiful moment, the beautiful event, the beautiful hour of beautiful coffee, the beautiful day, and be thankful for all that is beautiful in life. And please do not forget to say thank you. Be grateful, indeed.

Although gratitude always comes at the end, I would like to mention and thank, at the outset, all the friends of the School, to thank those you have seen and those you have not seen, for all the logistics and all the support and assistance for this School. I will not mention names, but I will thank the waiters and the cooks and the management of this hotel. Thanks to all members of the business community, to all drivers, taxi drivers, to all those who helped you focus on this journey. When you learn to be grateful, you will see how life is grateful. You will learn how life pays you back. When you learn this, you will see how many things in your life are easy, how easily they are achieved, even some intangible things. You will learn many things in life and you will be really grateful for it.

However, the most important thing is that all beautiful things will come. Our people say: What is for your will not pass you. Therefore, do not be impatient. Have patience to experience the merit of your personal efforts and your mind. Do not rush; everything in life has its own order. Follow the order and everything in life will come true. Learn to share always what you know. Indeed, that is the mission of the School, which we define as Network Thinking - thinking jointly, sharing experience, knowledge, because we live in such a world. That is the reason why one of the biggest companies in the world, not by chance, has taken that idea in its slogan: Share. Share what you have to share. Because you are part of many networks, you are part of the experience of all your teachers, all your experienced managers, of all experienced people you have listened to, discussed and shared with in these two weeks. Throughout life you will be aware of the benefits it brings, as compared to the others. You are not yet aware of the power you receive now. Since all this knowledge is part of you and you are part of it, too. Metaphorically, when you swim in the Ohrid Lake, you know not where you belong. As you swim in the Ohrid Lake, not knowingly, you are in contact, through the River Drim with the Adriatic Sea, with the Ionian Sea, with the Mediterranean Sea, with the oceans. When you swim in the Ohrid Lake, you are part of the world. So, the knowledge, the experience and skills you have gained make you part of the overall knowledge, experience and values. And therefore, I think it will be your support in life.

Our intention is every generation to be inter-connected and to communicate, to share experiences, knowledge and skills. Never be selfish. Never be greedy. Never be predacious. Otherwise, life will punish you. Always be good and share what you have with others. Because if you do not share your knowledge and experience, you will forget it, it will disappear. Try to be always innovative and creative. No matter how unachievable the thing might seem, you never know which path your idea would travel and whom it would serve to succeed. Therefore, always be positive, creative, innovative. It is true that we speak what we think. What we speak, we live. Always try to have positive thoughts that bear good ideas. These good ideas will come in contact with good friends that will be helpful in your life. We are not aware how much we need each other, especially those who are good. As goodness is limited, and wickedness is unlimited. As it is said that darkness is absence of light, wickedness is absence of goodness. Therefore, be good and spread that goodness. And every time you have the chance, seize that moment. Only once we fail in life. Be aware that what you do disturbs your existing beliefs. It is said that you can not change the past. With your good behavior, you actually change the past for those who come after us. Your descendants will remember you by your deeds. However, remember one thing - wisdom is not to be quoted, but to be applied. Wisdom is left by our ancestors so that we can benefit from it, not by quoting it, but by applying it. Thus, all the knowledge and experience you have been taught of is given to you to use and to transmit it, and to spread innovation, creativity and kindness. Therefore, this ethical moment is present at this School.

In life, you will experience many things. Forget the bad and remember the good. You will have many friends, as the School has, but they are with you because they want to learn from you and share with you. But to really succeed in life, you need enemies. They are an indicator that you have succeeded. They are the ones that admit. It is a sign that you have achieved your target in life. And, as for the period while you were at this School, you have given up many things that your peers have done, especially in Ohrid, to be all day long on the beach, to party all night long, to socialize and do nothing, you made a sacrifice in order to get something that will be useful in your life. So, everything in life is sacrifice. If you make a sacrifice, you get. If you do not make a sacrifice, you will not be able to enjoy the result of your sacrifice, investment in your happiness. Happiness is a feeling of those who have succeeded and who dreamed, whose dream has become a reality. Feel free to dream. Dream, imagine and strive always for sublime things. Hence, our goal was to establish such a school, and we strive, each year, to make it even better. That is the goal of this School and the philosophy deriving from these years of independent Macedonia - to build Macedonia in height, with the highest standards, criteria and the highest principles. You are part of it. Therefore, be the best, be successful every time and you will be happy. At the outset, I told you that I will speak at the beginning and I will listen to you at the end. Now, when the time comes for the certificates, I would like to hear each of you how you have experienced this journey, provided that you do not repeat each other: be concise, be creative, innovative. With a word, or a gesture, as you wish and know, tell us how you spent these strenuous 14 days. I told you at the beginning, it will not be easy, but the moment came and you are not yet aware of what you have gained and participated in. Thus, while waiting for the ticket for a new journey, I would like to thank you for being a part of this idea, which was only my idea in the election program, but has become a reality. I was dreaming and sharing ideas. And, I told you at the opening and I will finish with that. What can you expect from a professor getting involved into politics but establishing a school.

Thank you.
31 August 2013, Ohrid


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