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Public Lectures: NEWS


1,600 students in Dnipropetrovsk are given formula for development and modernization of Ukraine from Tony Blair

Tony BlairOn Tuesday, October 23, 2012, at the invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, Tony Blair - Prime Minister (1997-2007) of Great Britain - gave Public Lecture entitled “Modernizing Countries in 21st Century”, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

The event held at Metalurg culture center gathered nearly 1,600 students and Zavtra.UA scholarship holders form Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kyiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Luhansk, Poltava, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Mariupol and other cities. Employees of Interpipe factories also attended the lecture.

Opening the first Public Lecture held by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation outside Ukrainian capital city, Victor Pinchuk stated: “Tony Blair is probably one of the best candidates on the planet to present the future. There are very few such people in the world. And I’ll do my best to make sure that the majority of them get to Dnipropetrovsk so that you have a chance to meet them.”

During the lecture Tony Blair presented his vision of the key factors, which influence development and modernization of countries in our time: “In the 21st century open and free societies work best. This is certainly a question of democracy. After all, democracy is the path that allows people to monitor government activities. On the other hand democracy is a free society in the sense that people are free to generate new ideas, be creative and find new ways to do something. If the world is changing rapidly, then you have to change quickly to keep up. In this world only those who are open to new ideas and who are always looking for new thinking will be able to succeed.”

Tony Blair emphasized that education is a critical element to ensure successful future of countries throughout the world: "Education becomes the main component of a country's future. The education that is intended not only for the elite, but for the masses; quality education, not basic. This means that education system should be reformed almost worldwide, making sure that quality education is accessible to everyone. <...> Countries that want to be successful in the 21st century should focus on the development of higher education and make it the basis for development of intellect, skills and technical progress."

He also added that it is important to "create an initiative-driven competitive private sector, which would build partnerships with universities, because it is where they get skilled workers from."

In addition, Tony Blair highlighted the importance of improving efficiency of governments, noting that “we have left behind the old idea of ​​separating into “right" and "left", which dominated the twentieth century. Today we live in an era of a government that should focus more on efficiency rather than on the issue of ideology, should focus on how to turn ideas into action."

After the lecture Tony Blair autographed books with his biography for the top three Zavtra.UA scholars.

Also, as part of his visit, former Prime Minister visited the new plant "INTERPIPE STEEL", where he emphasized the importance of industrial development for the country: "It is extremely important for Ukraine to have modern industrial facilities like “INTERPIPE”. The latest technology, innovative approach to work - it is a huge success for the country. The plant should become a platform for development, become a symbol of what modern industry should be like."

Photos from Tony Blair’s visit to Dnipropetrovsk are available here:
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