Generation Freedom Conference: bridging 3SI’s Emerging Youth Leaders

On 22-23 September in Warsaw, dozens of speakers, 50 young innovators from the region, and hundreds of guests came together for panel sessions and dedicated workshops.

Steve Wozniak - engineer, inventor and tech entrepreneur, co-founder of Apple Computer.
Steve Wozniak - engineer, inventor and tech entrepreneur, co-founder of Apple Computer. Photo: courtesy of State of Poland Foundation

Now in its third edition, the Three Seas GenFree Conference focused on technological advancements, innovation, youth empowerment, and most importantly, our collective freedoms. Attendees of this year’s Three Seas Generation Freedom and Future Leaders Conference, entitled “Technological Innovations Furthering Freedom, Independence of Nations and Individuals,” enjoyed a palette of engaging sessions delivered in the format of TEDx Talks for the entirety of the first day. In addition, the 50 young initiators from all corners of the region who won this year’s competition also participated in another full day of dedicated workshops, tackling common challenges through alternative solutions.

Therefore, the morning of 22 September saw hundreds of participants make their way to the auditorium of Warsaw’s University of Technology, eager to listen to a wide array of experts and business representatives who would deliver in-depth commentaries with respect to our digital future and latest technological developments.

Among those who took the stage was Dr. Lars Frolund, who explained the geopolitical potential of machine learning applications and Europe’s digital sovereignty, particularly in the context of current conflicts. He was followed by Dr. Colin W. P. Lewis, who presented the ways AI solutions enable finance and banking sectors to thrive and how the 3SI can tap into these deep tech opportunities. On a similar note, we had Dr. Yuri Felshtinsky, a Russian-born historian now working in the US, who shed light on Russia’s evolution throughout the ages, its future in a multipolar world, and how we can gain resilience to prospective threats. When it comes to regional experts, several eminent figures from academia, business, and policy sectors were present, touching on the Ukrainian refugee crises, nanotechnology, sustainability, energy independence, cybersecurity, and water resources, among other topics.

This year we focused on new technologies, as opposed to last year, when the focus was on gaining and maintaining freedom. I anticipate that this edition will provide a forum for young individuals to exchange ideas and experiences (…) as they represent the first generation in decades to enjoy the privilege of growing up in a free environment. I believe that this conference will serve to inspire them to develop ideas for the effective creation of new technologies and systems, the ethical use of which can support people, societies and nations in gaining freedom in the broadest sense

Włodzimierz Dola – President of the Board for the State of Poland Foundation, organizer of the conference

Moreover, the most highlighted moment of the day was the discourse offered by Steve Wozniak, the legendary Apple co-founder, stressing the need for “dialogues on leveraging technology to bring about positive global change.” Also, the “king of geeks” explained his backstory and the rise of tech giants, drawing parallels with the region and fruitful context we find ourselves and emphasizing the need to establish credible, safe, and transparent mechanisms for the industry.

Following this tour de force, the 50 young leaders, finalists of this year’s competition of innovative regional projects, including the grand prize winner Matúš Sadloň from Slovakia, had the opportunity to gather together and enjoy a day of dedicated workshops at the Innovation Center of Warsaw’s University of Technology. During these applicative sessions, facilitated by SHOPA, the participants took a deep dive into their respective ideas and learned new ways through which their initiatives can become a reality, including design thinking and various business models.

Organized by the State of Poland Foundation, the conference enjoyed the honorary patronage of the Polish Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, BGK, alongside the full support of TVP World and the Warsaw University of Technology. As such, by observing the growing number of participants, guests, and partners, we can trust that future editions will continue to be flagship events that foster regional understanding of key matters.

Christopher Radovici

is a Ph.D. student at the Bucharest University of Economics, former Westminster graduate, specializing in CEE and EU Neighborhood affairs, involved in several cross-disciplinary research projects across Europe and with a series of active publications and conference participations in the field of IR, FP and Macroeconomics. Private and Civil Society - Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Gold finalist, alumni of Alpbach, Aspen and SUSI, actively contributing to various civil society organization and think-tanks in the Danube Region, while also having been the founder of a social entrepreneurship start-up.

Latest from Three Seas Initiative