5th September 2019 | Keynote Address Rien van Gendt | Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
The 150th birthday of Calouste Gulbenkian marks a perfect opportunity for the foundation to look at its own future in terms of its commitment, its relevance, its strategy, its programmatic concerns and its operating model. The international conference of today is in that respect both a moment of reflection and hopefully inspiration and creativity in looking at where we are and where we want to go. Obviously, this conference is not a stand-alone, an incidental hick-up, but is part of an ongoing process inside the Gulbenkian foundation to assess its activities and look forward. As an advisor to the Board I have the privilege to witness this fascinating process. It is clear that we are not looking at our future through the back mirror of a car. We do not just want to extrapolate existing activities into the future. On the other hand, the process, in which we are engaged, does not necessarily imply an overhaul of our entire program just for the sake of it. The foundation has been and is involved in some great activities and may stay with them. As I said before this is rather a moment of reflection and of creativity and creativity does not always imply embracing new developments, because they are new. On the contrary it is a sign of creativity that new developments may be nuanced or even rejected.