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GeneRations has got it right. The OEES 2021 congress has been launched!

16 of November '21

The6th edition of the Open Eyes Economy Summit congress has kicked off! Ahead of us are numerous discussions, skirmishes, sessions and panels centered around the event's slogan: GeneRations are right. What can we learn from intergenerational discussion?

The opening ceremony of the International Congress on Value Economics at Krakow's ICE Center, in keeping with the slogan of this year's summit, encouraged participants precisely to have an intergenerational dialogue, opening their eyes and minds. Importantly, at the event one can indeed see a large cross-section of ages among the participants - from the youngest to seniors.

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OEES is held hybrid once again

photo: Lubomir Nikolov

The mayor of Krakow, Professor Jacek Majchrowski, assured of the city's openness to everyone, without exception, symbolically expressed by the wide-open gates placed on Krakow's coat of arms, while Professor Tomasz Grodzki, Speaker of the Senate, expressed the hope that the event, which begins on this November morning, will be a space for discussion about what needs to be done to make Poland better off. The opening ceremony was also attended by: Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović (Secretary General of Europa Nostra), Bertel Haarder (President of the Nordic Council), Felix Loh (President of Singapore's Gardens by the Bay park) and Paul Donovan (Chief Economist of UBS Global Wealth Management).

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Speech by Professor Tomasz Grodzki, Speaker of the Senate

photo: Ola Kloc

During the congress, individual sessions are divided into four main blocks: COMPANY-IDEA, in which speakers and debates focused on diversity management; BRAND-CULTURE devoted to streaming and gaming, INTERNATIONAL GOVERNANCE and CITY-IDEA, a block focused on historic cities. And it is this part of such a diverse, interdisciplinary and opening event that we will take a closer look at.

uczestnicy OEES 2021 stoisko A&B

Left: OEES 2021 participants; right: A&B booth.

photo: Lubomir Nikolov

game of the city

The content partner of the CITY-IDEA track was the City of Krakow. The guests were introduced to the discussion by two lectures - one given online by Professor Michael Turner of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design from Jerusalem, and Professor Jacek Purchla, who drew attention to the problems of historic cities, which like a lens focus the problems of globalization. The fundamental question, Purchla stressed, is the question of the process of creating heritage and its interpretation - who creates, who manages and to whom does heritage belong, to whom does the city belong? How can cities be modern while preserving their identity? A key issue, the professor noted, is the involvement of local communities in this "game of the city." The issue of resident participation in caring for heritage came up repeatedly during this panel.

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participants of the MIASTO-IDEA pathway

photo: Lubomir Nikolov

what's next.

Another part of the block was an inspirational session titled "Historic cities - what next?", and its guests - managers of cities of different scales whose historic centers are UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Bruges, Vienna and Krakow. The session was moderated by Robert Piaskowski, Plenipotentiary of the Mayor of the City of Cracow for Cultural Affairs.

In the first part of the panel, guests compared the situation of tourism in cities before the pandemic to the current one. Minou Esquenet, Councilor for Climate and Energy. Climate and Energy Councilor, Environmental Policy, Smart City and Facilities Management from Bruges, said that during the pandemic, far fewer tourists visited the small Belgian town, but its authorities managed to conduct some research among residents at the time, who, it turned out, are proud of their city and its heritage, and the more proud they are, the more easily they accept tourism. Ernst Woller, President of the Vienna State Parliament, stressed that the Austrian capital is not only a historic city, but also a rapidly growing one - over the past twenty years its population has increased by nearly 400,000, and yet Vienna has been awarded the title of best city for living for ten years in a row. For the authorities, therefore, it is important to protect the monuments, keep them in good condition, as well as to develop the city and maintain a high standard of living for its residents.

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from left: Robert Piaskowski, Minou Esquenet, Jerzy Muzyk, Ernst Woller

photo: Lubomir Nikolov

Deputy Mayor Jerzy Muzy k, representing Krakow, in turn, talked about tools that help in the preservation of monuments. Important instruments used by the city are Local Spatial Development Plans, which cover nearly 72% of the area, and the Cultural Park program, which protects the historical landscape, including less distant history, such as the Nowa Huta area. Creating a city that is modern and at the same time takes into account the heritage is achievable, as Jerzy Muzyk stressed, in cooperation with the residents. However, the Krakow authorities face a rather complicated process of awakening the need for participation among residents, he added.

peaceful skirmishes

The third part of the event was a skirmish on "Revitalization and Human Rights to Cultural Heritage" between former General Conservators of Monuments Tadeusz Zielniewicz and Aleksandr Broda. The skirmish turned out to be very peaceful - its participants discussed, among other things, what a modern reform of the historic preservation service in Poland could look like (Aleksander Broda pointed out that the solution could be to put the functions of provincial historic preservationists into the hands of local governments, and thus the possibility of local authorities to decide on the heritage located in a given area, while maintaining certain "fuses" - singling out the most important historic buildings for which the state would be responsible) and on a slightly more controversial topic - the reconstruction of the Saxon Palace. Aleksander Broda diplomatically stated that Warsaw justifies this type of idea, but one has to wonder in what historical costume it would be rebuilt, with what materials? Tadeusz Zielniewicz, who provoked the question, questioned the validity of rebuilding the Saski Palace in a historical costume with a completely different function. He added that it would be more interesting to create a contemporary architectural interpretation with a strong role for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

"let's learn from other people's mistakes"

The next part of this block was an in-depth session titled "The historical city - between Disneyland and a livable place," led by Agata Wąsowska-Pawlik, director of the International Cultural Center in Krakow. Invited to the discussion were: Miray Hasaltun Wosinski, an expert on the management of UNESCO-listed sites, Professor Franco Bianchini, who talked about the urban politics of historic cities, and Krzysztof Żuk, Mayor of Lublin.

od left: Agata Wąsowska-Pawlikod left: Agata Wąsowska-Pawlikod left: Agata Wąsowska-Pawlik

from left: Agata Wąsowska-Pawlik, Miray Hasaltun Wosinski and Krzysztof Żuk, on screen: professor Franco Bianchini

Photo: Ola Kloc

In his speech, Krzysztof Żuk talked about the lessons the city has learned from the mistakes of other cities without having to make them on its own territory - including the advantages of dispersing tourist attractions and moving traffic out of the Old Town - today tourists (and residents) also visit the Lithuanian Square, the Meeting of Cultures Center, the Saski Garden or the People's Park, located a few hundred meters away, and focusing on the individual, more demanding tourist.

inclusive social movement

The last session of the day was a special session on the New European Bauhaus project moderated by Dr. Hanna Schudy of Wroclaw University. The European Commission Representation in Poland was a partner of the session, and invited to participate were: Xavier Troussard (head of the New European Bauhaus at the European Commission), Hubert Trammer (member of the New European Bauhaus Roundtable), Izabela Van den Bossche (VP Communications, City Solutions, Fortum) and Jacek Siwiński (CEO of VELUX Poland).

od left: Hanna Schudyod left: Hanna Schudyod left: Hanna Schudy

from left: Hanna Schudy, Jacek Siwiński, Izabela Van den Bossche, Hubert Trammer, on screen: Xavier Troussard

Photo: Ola Kloc

Opening the debate, the panel's moderator said that the New European Bauhaus, announced a year ago, was in a sense prophetic - as it responds to the problems currently being signaled, however, as she noted, this term had not come up in any of the previous discussions. Representatives of the program - Xavier Troussard and Hubert Trammer talked about the very idea of the New European Bauhaus and the competition, in which prizes were awarded in ten categories, including for completed projects, which, according to Trammer, shows that projects in the spirit of the movement were being created even before the program was announced. The new European Bauhaus aims to be an inclusive social movement, pointing out good solutions to avoid the situation of inequality that occurred, for example, during the transition, in which the rich got even richer and the poor lost even more. Izabela Van den Bossche pointed out that we should encourage inclusivity in society, create a platform to draw from different patterns and cultures, and adapt projects to local conditions and contexts. The locality of solutions was also highlighted by Jacek Siwiński, who also emphasized the need for flexible design that can adapt to the changing needs of users.

Day one of OEES 2021 is behind us, with another day of sessions, debates, skirmishes and meetings ahead - you can find the event program here. We would also like to invite you to the Open Architecture Studio Festival accompanying the congress, this Friday we will move to Lodz, where we will be able to get a behind-the-scenes look at the work of architects at Tamizo Archite cts and KUOO ARCHITECTS [FOPA 2021]. See you there!

Organizers, patronage and partners of FOPA 2021


  • Architecture & Business

Patronage of the event

  • SARP Krakow Branch

FOPA 2021 partners

Ola Kloc

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