Technical University, BudapestThe kickoff meeting for our project (EnerCity, at the moment of this writing in a preliminary stage) took place in the Technical University of Budapest, where we were warmly welcomed by Prof. János Szlávik, Head of Department of Environmental Economics. In his keynote he mentioned just in passing a small detail which still remains in my memory: We sat only 20m away from the place, where the planning for the 1956 revolution took place. And that thought influenced my mind when peering down into the hall where the statues of two former professors seemed to whisper, watched by two faces on the balustrade.

There’s a Whisper

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5 thoughts

  1. Good luck with the project, seems useful and promising!

    I have been reading Milan Kundera’s L’Art du Roman, which reminded me of how things turned out in (Eastern) Europe after 1956. Not a good time for artists (or professors).

  2. Looks (and feels) really historical. The shots nicely convey that feeling…

    Yeah, also good luck for your project from here. At a kickoff the atmosphere is usually really optimistic, hope you can keep the spirit!

  3. Juha, Thomas, thanks for the good wishes for the project. It certainly was a good place for a kickoff meeting, and with a way better atmosphere than our usual administration buildings.
    The change in eastern Europa happens at an amazing speed, however, it seems to me, also increasing the divide in the societies. All local colleagues I was speaking with confirmed that especially the pensionists are facing hard times with unvarying ressources yet sharp price hikes everywhere. But for the moment surely the disciples of the free market are in the majority.

  4. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

    I have been reading about European history, recently about the civil war in 1918 in Finland (red against whites and vice versa), and it was a learning experience. Being a member of the “welfare society”, it is hard to remember how grandparents and their ancestors had it (some had, some didn’t). In fact, in Finland it was until 1960s until we got a comprehensive education system and functioning healthcare. And some are now pondering whether we should rethink this.

    1. A very similar discussion regarding the society’s care for all their members is going on here in Germany, where this principle of basic care for everybody is under fire from both the conservatives (unchanged probably since imperial times) and the young high-income market liberals. For sure there has to be a discussion about the level of subsidies related to the tax income of the state. But for me taking faith in market powers as the only just regulatory mechanism – and in this way wanting to annihilate the precious good of a still way short of perfected equality of opportunities especially in the education system – means a development towards self-destruction of our society. Giving in to those voices certainly would yield in a regression back to the corporate state that for a long time formed the shape of most European countries – at a terrible cost for those at the basis.

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