Dec 14, 2012
Sylff is a fellowship program with global significance that nurtures leaders to address the needs of a world with increasingly diversifying values and lifestyles, noted Professor Andrzej Mania, vice-rector for educational affairs and chair of the Sylff Steering Committee at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland.
He made the remarks during a ceremony commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the Sylff program in Poland, held on September 7, 2012. Jagiellonian University became the forty-second member of the Sylff community when it signed the Sylff Agreement in May 1992.
The ceremony was attended by the university rector, Sylff steering committee members, Sylff fellows from Poland and other countries, and members of the Nippon Foundation and Tokyo Foundation.
The ceremony was held in the venerable Main Hall of Collegium Maius—the oldest building on campus. The university was founded in 1364, and the six-century-old setting lent an atmosphere of history and distinction to the event.
The celebration began with a congratulatory address by Professor Wojciech Nowak, rector of Jagiellonian University, followed by Professor Mania’s speech.
Yohei Sasakawa, chairman of the Nippon Foundation, then commented on the characteristics a leader should have, and Takashi Suzuki, the Tokyo Foundation’s director for leadership development, offered his remarks on the need for leaders to be able to deal with the most challenging of situations, such as a natural disaster.
Finally, Pawel Laidler, president of the Jagiellonian University Sylff Fellows Association (JUSFA)—which co-organized the event—noted that a Sylff fellowship is valuable not just for enabling research but also for providing access to the global network of fellows around the world.
Another feature of the twentieth anniversary celebration was the Sylff Fellows Conference, organized by JUSFA with support from the Tokyo Foundation. The topic of the conference was “Europe and the World in Economic Crisis: Challenges and Opportunities.”
Participants included fellows not just from Jagiellonian University but also from Hungary, Portugal, Latvia, Germany, and Indonesia.
They presented their views on the conference topic based on social scientific research, covering a broad range of issues from the impact of the crisis on regional economies to the potential of the tourism industry.
Fellows from other countries were invited with the aim of strengthening the Sylff network. They introduced the activities of the Sylff fellows associations in their respective countries and explored the possibilities of enhancing cooperation.