Banff, Canada 27th June
At the TED Summit yesterday a group of TEDsters and TEDx-ers gathered to discuss the profound shock we feel about Brexit.
One idea suggested by a participant was to lobby our MPs as they will have to face their electorate with the terrible consequences of this fateful move.
If you are reading this and you care about the freedoms, peace and stability of Britain and Europe, and you have a vote in Britain, please write your version of this to your MP. You can find out who it is here
If you know any British person who thinks like me, send them a link to this post
I will never forget you helped me if you do
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Richard Lucas
Date: 27 June 2016 at 07:43
Subject: please stop us leaving the EU
I know you have been reported as being one of the MPs who was in favour of leaving the European Union.
I implore you to change your mind.
If there is a vote in the House of Commons in which you are given the opportunity to do anything that could possibly stop it happening – please do so,
If there is a general election and you are a candidate for a party that wants to stay in I will vote for you
You have an opportunity to stop a national disaster and have a historic responsibility to your country, its people and those of Europe too. The freedoms of trade and movement that so almost all Britons treasure are at stake. The integrity of the United Kingdom and our security are in the balance.
The rising tide of racism and intolerance in the UK will only get worse as our economic plight worsens.
I realise it is a big political risk to be seen to be defying the will of the majority, but
the majority was tiny,
many people did not vote
and Britain’s and Europe’s liberty, prosperity and security are at stake
Many of those who voted to leave are angry with our and the EU’s political systems. Leaving the EU will not do anything to fix these problems.
I have lived out of Britain for many years, and didn’t get a vote, but have invested in Britain creating jobs, I have children whose freedoms are about to be lost and I care about the freedoms that the EU gives all Britons, and Europeans too.
This decision will change the course of history.
Please do the right thing and do what you can to keep us in, as we stand on the precipice of catastrophe.
If you care about making University Education more entrepreneurial please listen to this interview with Richard Miller of Olin.
I am re thinking my approach – Olin is to Universities what the School in the Cloud is to schools. – maybe benchmarking against San Francisco and/or Cambridge is not ambitious enough. …
Several points to note
1 Focus not about brand Warsaw, or Poland instead of Brand Kraków but brand Central Eastern Europe,
2. Also note how Professional Service providers (lawyers, and esp bankers) in Warsaw are way ahead our our Kraków community. minute 19:00 in his response to my observation that we never see bankers and seldom lawyers, or accountants at startup community events. In Warsaw they have been showing up at Google Campus events.
With the honorable exception of Jan Marczyński Legal advisor and partner at JWMS law firm (jwms.pl) who is a regular at Open Coffee Krakówockrk.co/faq and is doing things the western way, offering pro bono advice to startup and Katarzyna Orzeł – who I met at an X Massive event (companies I am involved in are a client of both law firms ) we are not visited by many professional support services at events like Startup Stage, Hive, Krakspot, and Open Coffee… (If anyone reading this feels left out and offended, please post a link below, and apologies in advance) come tomorrow (this was posted on Wednesday 15th June) to Open Coffee Krakow and prove me wrong..
4 Hat tip the UMK (City) and UM (county) authorities and KPT – county and town and technology park officials do show up and are very welcome… The fact they join our meetings, rather than expect us to show up in their offices is fundamental to developing soft linkages, (other officials reading this please note)
An example of the government being ahead of the business community. 🙂
5. It’s great for Poland that we have Google Campus in our country. Of course it’s a bit sad for Krakow that we no longer have more events than everyone else put together, but a thriving startup scene in Warsaw and Central Europe is good for us. Capitalism is not a zero sum game.
6. I’m leading on AGH but if there are members of our community who can take responsibility for making sure we reach the new students in other disciplines, (teachers, music, actors, artists, geographers doctors sociologists linguists, farmers etc ) who will arrive in Krakow in Q4) get in touch, It’s criminal that there is so little pro active outreach to promote startups and entrepreneurship in these communities, (and again if I am wrong post a link).
Call for action – essentially we need people who can clone what we are going to do in AGH, which is a series of regular networking events similar to Cambridge’s Enterprise Tuesdays where current students interested in enterprise, meet alumni who have gone into business in an informal setting. http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/entrepreneur…/…/enterprise-tuesday/
This is a leadership oppportunity – I can’t organise events in every dept of the UJ & PK, but if anyone reading this wants to take responsibilty, let me know and I’ll invite you to a meeting in September where you can find out what you need to do in your depts If you want to help with the AGH project, you are equally welcome. First and Foremost introductions to AGH Alumni who have started businesses of any description and who would be able and willing to join and contribute (time + energy – not money) to participant focussed events with students)
Until yesterday I haven’t been to a concentration camp site since I went to the Dachau site in Bavaria in 1984. That terrible and profound experience cemented my commitment to tolerance and freedom that has stayed with me to this day.
Yesterday 3rd June 2016 I was honoured and humbled to have been part of the JCC’s Ride for the Living. See the route here
and media coverage here . I went because Jonathan Ornstein asked me a few weeks ago “Why don’t you come on the ride?” (I knew about it from last year’s TEDxKazimierz, and had not thought it was my type of thing) but found myself saying. “yes – why not” and now I’ve done it. It’s been an very profound and moving experience.
Before the gates of the Auschwitz museum at the Opening Ceremony – Jonathan Ornstein stated – calmly and clearly
“My grandparents were murdered here …”
His message reached seldom touched parts of my soul. Jonathan and the Jewish Community Centre in Krakow are spearheading a movement to focus on rebuilding Jewish life in Poland. The realisation that many of the 150 people making the 84 kilometre (55 mile) ride yesterday – were not only making a commitment to life and the future – but also honouring the memory of murdered relatives hit me at different moments in the day.
An old man, Haim (Chaim?) participating in the ride – born in during the war – told me how his baby brother had died in the forests during his parent’s escape from a Ghetto in Nazi occupied Poland – for lack of food and medicine. His name “Haim” means “life”. His life a testimony that the Nazis failed and lost.
Another participant read out a long list of his relatives who had been murdered. Totally heart-breaking to listen to.
Robert Desmond – whose ride started the whole project off (if you don’t know what the Ride for the Living is watch his TEDxKazimierz talk) told me how he had not lost a single relative to his knowledge in the Holocaust. For him (and all of us, I think) – the Ride shows that we are defiant and public in our opposition to intolerance, racism and oppression. He called for those on the Ride to do something positive during the day. I thought “at least I’ll write blog post”. I will also interview him for the ProjectKazimierz.com podcast – not just to spread the word about this project – but also his tech startup.
During the incredibly well organised day, a heroic team of volunteers and leaders from the JCC: Sebastian Rudol, Agnieszka Giś and dozens of others supported us. (apologies for anyone omitted). The well equipped, organised, and professional police kept us safe (Polish style) on the public roads. Many of those spectating as we cycled by smiled or waved (inevitably once in a while an angry driver sped by, dangerously close and fast. Bad driving is a disgrace every day of the year .
Any time I thought of my sore backside, aching knees or sunburned skin, I just reminded myself of the torture, murder and misery of the war, the broken hearts and minds, left behind afterwards. Even though my pain was real it was also nothing.
I’m neither Jewish nor Polish, though I’ve lived in Kraków, Poland for more than half my life. The Ride for the Living feels important because it is so aligned with my core values, namely: 1. No matter what has gone before – we are alive now – What we do now is under our control and is our responsibility. We are going to be remembered for the things that we say and do. 2. We should know the past. I don’t recommend clicking the following links if you want a happy day, yet it is important to remember the countless lesser know places of terror like Ivano-Frankivsk here in Ukraine, That people like SS-Hauptsturmführer Hans Krueger really existed and that their crimes against Poles, Jews and others were almost beyond comprehension. Individual people were responsible for what they did, The millions of deaths were made up of disgusting crimes like these. The Dachau I saw in 1984 was just one hell hole of so many.
3. That it is possible to change the world for the better . That those in favour of tolerance and freedom, and living a better life now can take action. In the words of 91 year old Professor Wojciech Narębski – here on the TEDxKazimierz stage in 2015 – “if you are lucky enough to be alive and free, and to have a family – you should appreciate your family, your life and your freedom, and do something worth doing with your life.” The Ride for the Living raises money for good causes and awareness – both “never forget” and “celebrate life”.
4. There were smiles and laughter and talk about plans for the future. It is hard to make sense of the atmosphere. At a deeper level, whatever we do – can be done in a more or less positive way. The Ride for the Living is a terrific example of how to do things right and at scale.
Thank you and respect.
I don’t feel I have done full justice to my feelings about yesterday – This is a start, in the words of my father J R Lucas “the best is often the enemy of the good”. I hope this is good enough for today.
If you want to know about Jewish life in Poland watch this TEDxWarsaw talk by Rabbi Michael Schudrich (note the subtitles… which I am proud to have contributed as part of the TED Open Translation Project -meaning the talk is available in Hebrew and Korean as well as English). Watch this video to understand why I was inspired to work on Rabbi Michael Schudrich’s talk. If you want to know about the JCC watch Jonathan Ornstein‘s TEDxWarsaw talk here