Meeting with the students of Yerevan State Medical University after Mkhitar Heratsi
Discussion date and time
June 11, 2021
Noubar Afeyan, the Co-Initiator of The FUTURE ARMENIAN discusses the vision of looking into the future and working on the future so that the present becomes better. Diaspora has a huge potential that is not being utilized at its best, and much effort should be put into this.
Summary: by N. Afeyan
- As Armenians, we are defined by our past. Armenians are spread worldwide, and the Diaspora has a big role in molding the future of the Armenian-ness. We should make better use of the Diaspora as our competitive advantage.
- Despite the many difficulties Armenia faces currently, we still have a free and independent homeland. The key to our success is in unifying our forces – why should you get involved? If not you, then who?
- The difficulties of 2020 could not have been predicted. This makes us realize that there is not one, but many possible futures, and we need to be ready for all of them. Therefore, the situations that are out of our control should be counteracted with strategy.
- The world of innovation and entrepreneurship is all about anticipating the future and making it real. Unless we are far-sighted and see beyond the present hardships, we will not see the future and its possibilities.
- Only via popular participation and engagement, the initiative will achieve success. People get interested, and then they attract and bring more people. These 15 goals are discussed widely among groups of people and many more vital sub-goals derive from them.
- Collective thinking is the utmost idea behind this initiative. We need to become one in understanding what we want for Armenia. If we don’t then there is hardly going to be many different types of Armenia with no distinct path and goal.
- The Future Armenia is not about individual projects and each one succeeding on its own. The collectivity within the Diaspora needs to be redesigned. And it is not a one-way – Diaspora to Armenia, process. Both sides need each other. It should be a partnership. Diaspora can be strong with strong roots, strong Armenia when the goals of both parties are mutually beneficial.
- We need to make education vital and central again. Creativity should be emphasized, and innovation should become a national strategy.
- Good governance is key and work needs to be done in this regard. We should demand that decision-making is based on facts and strategy, not simply hope and aspiration.
- Leadership is one thing all youth organizations, NGOs, etc. can help us with. Getting involved in leading this effort in their circles.
- Armenia is unstable and in constant unrest these days as the country is preparing for elections. whoever ends up being in charge, we will invite them to become the heads of the process. At the end of the day, numerous smart and skillful people are engaged in this initiative. Wise country heads will go after supporting important ideas, rather than finding support for their own ideas.
- Armenian HEI leaders should also get interested and involved in this initiative. New ideas are often scary for leaders, not only in Armenia but worldwide. However popular ideas take a span, they get heard and followed. The more people join this initiative the bigger the say, the harder it will be not to listen and follow.
- The task that we all can do as we get involved is gather facts and data, find the weaknesses in the arguments, gather more people around that idea and promote the possible solutions to it. When facts and arguments are turned into strategies and policies, the idea becomes interesting and attractive for all.
- Epidemiology and vaccinology will most probably become the leading medical professions. This does not come to undermine other specialties and areas. Nonetheless, the years and difficulties that we live come to prove that health security should prevail simple medicine. Since health security is not about waiting for a disease to appear to try to find treatment for it. It means to try to secure health against threats, to prevent, to delay.
- Being resistant to innovation is normal and not–normal, and it depends. The answer to becoming less resistant is through education, respect for professionals and the work they do. Hesitance comes from either confusion or ignorance. It is normal to hesitate in the quality of something at the beginning, but when it continues it means the person was ignorant to see through the solution, to read, to analyze.
- It has always been hard to attract investments in Armenia, before the Artsakh war and after, as well. But when we start working through the 15 goals and build functioning strategies around them, when some of the objectives are covered, we will see investments rise, naturally. When these goals are made national strategies, we’ll see change happening.
- Armenia is the nucleus of the Future Armenian initiative, but it’s a naturally evolving process, and we know that the nucleus cannot evolve without the mitochondria which is the Diaspora.
- This format of the Future Armenian is odd, but this is what we have, and this is how we can voice our initiative. Everyone is encouraged to participate. If we work on the future, the present will be guaranteed.