PALLAS ATHENE GEOPOLITICAL DOCTRINES

Presented by Norbert Csizmadia, Chairman of Pallas Athene Geopolitical Foundation

North of Thessaloniki, you can find a mountain called Paggaio. This mountain was the most widely-known and most notable, most significant gold deposit of ancient Greece. In the times of Pallas Athene and Zeus, gold had a very important connotation, as a means of creating value. What is the symbolic significance of gold, or value, today?  It is knowledge, creativity, talent, people-to-people connections and technology. Pallas Athene is the goddess of wisdom, knowledge and law for ancient Greeks. she is the child of Zeus and Metis, the goddess of goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, but she was considered as Zeus’s daughter, as she was born from his father’s forehead. She inherited her wit from her mother, and her strength from his father. The goddess was known as the patron of warriors seeking the truth. She supported several heroes, such as Perseus, Heracles or Odysseus, but she did not like any unnecessary bloodshed. She is a warrior goddess; the most frequently mentioned epithets highlighting her relationship to war include invincible, saviour of the people.  Her presence in battles is rather protective, encouraging, disciplining; she is leading the people. Not only several significant inventions but also various skills are associated to the name of the goddess. In addition, Pallas Athene was the goddess of protectors of various cities, handicraft and wisdom. 

If we wish to draw and present our own 21st-century map, the map of PAGEO, we end up with the following map, which has four main compass directions and pillars, with four main focuses and areas:

  • Pallas Athene Geopolitical Research Institute, a small, think tank-type research institute with a focus on Asia;
  • Related to education, promoting training in geopolitics, geo-economy and economic geography on university and PhD-levels;
  • Inviting the leading global geostrategic thinkers of the world to Hungary, and supporting Hungarian economic geographical and geo-economic workshops, institutes and researchers;
  • Publishing products, publications, books

in such a Hungarian and international network which forms a bridge between the Far East and Hungary as well as Central-Eastern Europe. The major central element of our map is how we can become the European knowledge and intellectual hub of the 21st-century New Silk Road and the Asian century. What kind of long-term strategy and vision connect the two regions (East Asia and Central Europe), and what role does PAGEO play in that?

 

PAGEO FOUNDATION – GOALS, OPERATION

A Pallas Athene Geopolitical Foundation was established by the Central Bank of Hungary in 2014 with the aim of encouraging the creation of geopolitical knowledge, which can promote the economic development of both Hungary and the Central-Eastern European region.  Globalisation, which has accelerated by the 21st century, and its consequence, a global economic crisis affecting the whole world at the beginning of the century and the shifting economic world order increase the significance of the geopolitical discipline in terms of economic policies. Pallas Athene Geopolitical Foundation can effectively contribute with creating knowledge, analyses, establishing international and scientific partnerships, stimulating the activity of the Hungarian geopolitical scene and channelling international achievements, while also applying these results in the core activities of the Central Bank.

 

PAGEO RESEARCH INSTITUTE – CENTRAL-EASTERN STRATEGIC THINK TANK

In those two and a half years that have elapsed since the foundation of Pallas Athene Geopolitical Foundation, we created our Geopolitical Research Institute, the experts of which have produced over 384 researches, interviews, book reviews, scholarly articles and reports. The studies of our research institute are published on our website, www.geopolitika.hu, which have been visited by fifty thousand readers from 93 countries in the first six months of its operation. We launched our English site in March, 2017, on which all of our papers are published also in English for our international partners.

 

PAGEO RESEARCH INSTITUTE: FOCUS ON 6 COUNTRIES OF 1 REGION

If we want to learn about the future, we need to turn towards the East; not accidentally, the 21st century is going to be the Asian Century. Recognising the growing potential underlying in the East Asian region, the Research Institute of PAGEO focusses in six countries in Asia: China and Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, India, Singapore, and Indonesia. This is the region that have transformed most successfully in the past decade, and accounted for 87 per cent of Asia’s GDP and 78 per cent of its population in 2010. Our researchers have specialized in the countries in focus, and they all can speak perfectly the language of the particular country. In addition, we seek to enhance the professional knowledge base of the Research Institute with the work of Hungarian and regional external collaborators and the knowledge of fellow researchers whom we can host within the framework of the “visiting fellow programme”.

Our aim is to create one of the best research institute of Eastern Europe, with a focus on Asia, and put ourselves on the map of the best and most innovative e research institutes of the world.

In May, 2017, within the framework of EUOBOR (European One Belt One Road) initiative, our research institute was granted the “Euro-Sino Economic Research Award”, which means the best European research institute on China and the Silk Road, and we are proud of the close relationship established, and the fact that we are the first one to be consulted from China on issues related to the region.

GEOLECTURES: NEW GEOSTRATEGIC GENERATIONS

It is one of the most important tasks of PAGEO to facilitate education, especially to professionally support the education of geopolitics, geo-economics and economic geography.   In this framework, we established our own institute, our Geo-Centre, at Hungary’s most prestigious university of economics, the Corvinus University of Budapest, where we launched our Master’s as well as our PhD programme as an interdisciplinary meeting point of economic geography, future studies, sustainable development and within the Faculty of Social Sciences. Students of the Faculty of Social Sciences majoring in International Relations can specialise in Geoeconomy both in Hungarian and English. Professionally, we take part in and coordinate the largest PhD programme in Central-Eastern Europe called Geopolitics and Political Geography from a geoeconomic Aspect, in which over a hundred students participate, and many of them choose the opportunities to connect and the future challenges related to Hungary and the New Silk Road as the topic of their dissertation.

Recently, we have invited such significant global geostrategic thinkers to Budapest who gave public lectures as part of the Geolectures series, including New York-based cultural anthropologist Arjun Apparudai, and Parag Khanna, a geoeconomic thinker living in Singapore, who is one of the 100 Top Global Thinkers of the world. In the Geocentre of Corvinus University and within the framework of the doctoral programme, exciting, thought-provoking presentations were delivered by Bruno Giussani, Director of TED Europe on knowledge sharing, by Zhang Lihua, professor at the Department of International Relations at Tsinghua University on the significance of One Belt, One Road; and by Didier Sornette, Professor at ETH Zurich on the predictability of the future, each attracting audiences of several hundreds of people,

In our event called Pageo Klub invited lecturers—all of them are considered as significant global thinkers—gave presentations on the topics of their researches and their most important results. What they have in common is that they all seek solutions to the most important challenges affecting millions of people; their presentations as well as live broadcast sessions provided thousands of professionals with the opportunity to be part of an exchange of experience

Our invited lecturers included American John Gerzema; world-famous, Hungarian-born physicist Albert László Barabási, a professor and researcher who worked at MIT in Boston as well, engaged in the world of networks; Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, again, a world-famous researcher of flow and creativity; Sandy Speicher partner at the IDEO Factory LAB at Stanford University, where she also serves as managing director of the education practice; Leonard Brody, a Canadian start-up daredevil of Hungarian origins; and Noah Raford, futurist from the United Arab Emirates. The most prominent thinker of geopolitics, George Friedman—who is also of Hungarian origins—held his book launch, and the Hungarian edition of his books was sponsored by PAGEO. Simon Anholt gave a presentation on the role of good places, and David Rowan, the Editor-in-Chief of WIRED magazine delivered one on the new technological world order.

 

BUDAPEST STRATEGIC HUB: SUPPORTING HUNGARIAN GEOPOLITICAL WORKSHOPS, INSTITUTES AS WELL AS INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMMES

Over the past two years, we have supported more than three hundred initiatives of a worth of over two million euros, which could act as the driver of the geopolitical scientific life in Hungary and of such events that have put Budapest in the global map. With the help of our aid, several Hungarian researchers could participate in international conferences and give presentations, and Hungarian research institutes, scientific workshops and centres could organize joint international professional programmes and conferences.

We sponsored such events as annually organized TEDxDanubia, which invites the most inspiring thinkers to Budapest. We were the main sponsors of EUGEO, Europe’s most significant congress on geography, held in Budapest in 2015; of WOMEX, a famous international event held in Central-Eastern Europe for the first time in its history; and of Budapest Brain Bar knowledge festival, which has been sponsored also by Google and WIRED this year, recognizing the novelty and international success of the event, which has become Europe’s most significant festival on the future. In the last two years, we have invited more than thirty international, world-renowned experts to Budapest. Within the framework of these programmes, a lecture was delivered by world-renowned economic historian and author, Niall Fergusson, Philip Zimbardo, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, Richard Florida, a professor at Toronto University, who gave a presentation on the rise of creative cities and the creative class, or Indian-born Sugata Mitra, engaged in education and innovation.

 

The experts shaping trends in geopolitics, technology and sciences delivered presentations in front of twenty thousand people in total at various events in Budapest, organized with the sponsorship of PAGEO. These events provide the opportunities for such encounters that stimulate international relations and inspire scientific collaboration. These events have significantly contributed to making Budapest the scientific, technological and creativity centre of the region.

 

BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS – HUG: HUNGARIAN GEOPOLITICS

Since January, 2015 we have sponsored the edition of 30 books in total, the topics of which can be related to various disciplines fitting the profile of the Foundation, ranging from geography to security policy, from geopolitics and geo-strategy to economics. World-renowned geostrategist, George Friedman, earned the appreciation of the professional audience and leading decision-makers as the founder of Stratfor, with his bold conclusions and extraordinary perspective. In his work, The Next Decade, he examines whether the American empire is compatible with the republic. Which will be needed in the world of chaotic Islam, expanding Russia, gloomy Europe and vast China? In his best-selling book, The Next 100 Years, which provides a broader chronological outlook, he writes about the possible future transformation of our world with scientific accuracy, but with the props of fiction. His book, Flashpoints, is an exciting lesson on history, and also a frightening forecast on the social and political fractures of our continent and their impact on the rest of the world.

 

HUG: HUNGARIAN GEOPOLITICS

HUG (Hungarian Geopolitics), the Hungarian and English magazine of the PAGEO Research Institute was launched in March, 2016. It is Hungary’s leading magazine on geopolitical and geostrategic topics. The goal of the magazine is to present our rapidly changing world, the importance of the geopolitical approach, the effects on new technologies on our everyday life and the rise of Asia to interested readers to a high professional standard but in a readily comprehensible manner. Our authors include Hungarian and international experts, world-famous professors and the representatives of the new generation of researchers, who have all undertaken to collect and present the morsels of information that are dispersed in several places in the world but are parts of an integrated whole.  

The first issue of HUG, published in the spring of 2016, examines the new geopolitical, geostrategic and geoeconomic trends of the 21st century, dwells on mapping our multipolar world order and pays special attention to distribute geopolitical thinking. The second issue of HUG examines the topics of discovering creativity, knowledge, technology and the transformation of education, and seeks the answer to the question as to what challenges future schools will have to face. The third issue of HUG focusses on China’s ambitious vision of foreign policy, the New Silk Road. It describes the process how the ancient Silk Road came into being, and its relationship, from historic times up to these days, with the particularly important economic and infrastructure project of our age, the New Silk Road, in which Hungary can also be given an important role. The fourth issue of HUG focusses on the transformation of technology, and on the nodes of the new global network, i.e. cities. It explores how infrastructure is transforming space, may it be the Trans-Siberian Railway or China’s high-speed rail transport. It examines how cities are becoming increasingly smart and how their significance in terms of world economy is growing, owing to the technological revolution. The fifth issue of HUG seeks answers to the future transformation of the world, through the concepts of the world order by great thinkers and through scenarios and visions on the mid-century. And the latest, sixth issue is about the great change of era, exploring the interrelations between growth, knowledge and technology.