17th Economic Forum of Young Leaders


Karpacz, September 7-9, 2022




   10:30 – 11:000



Michał Eryk Południok

President of the Management Board of Brad Management Consulting Sp. z o.o.

- I would like to ask you at the outset, since we are at the Economic Forum of Young Leaders. I would like to ask you about how young people can use these competences, these skills, and this knowledge, which they gain during the discussion panels, during which you also mentioned in one of them, how we can use it in the labor market, especially those who, during the economic crisis, are entering this labor market or have their first steps behind them and this career path is not yet clearly defined for them?

- I think that what young people can most benefit from participating in the Economic Forum is a broader perspective on various issues. Here you can learn a lot of things about how certain mechanisms work, certain processes in various sectors, and through this you can sort of see more, see further than is usually available from the level of availability of knowledge of an ordinary young person who is starting to look somewhere on this labor market. So building yourself a perspective, thinking about where I want to be in 10-15 years, what opportunities I can have in 10-15 years, while in practice it’s just patience, hard work, and sometimes gritting your teeth to some things you just take some time to get to, so what you can do, is to take action, take initiatives in the companies you work for or look for companies, workplaces which appreciate the fact that someone stands out, that someone gets involved, this can be noticed, appreciated, and can translate into promotion, into developing one’s career. In particular, I recommend the private sector, corporations that simply have internal processes in place to catch such talent. If these young people have made it all the way here and found their way to a major economic forum, there is no doubt that they are outstanding individuals who can simply shine in a short space of time precisely in the talent programs of corporations.

- You are an example of a person who has made great use of these competences, because, as you said at the end of the panel, you were here not long ago on the other side, that is, as a young leader. How, in retrospect, can you describe, evaluate this knowledge and what, in general, contribution did your participation in this Forum have on your development?

- Certainly, just building an awareness of what my mission is, what my mission can be. Generally, at work, in business. That’s what the Forum gave me. Each one of us comes from a certain background, comes from a family of some kind, has some professional traditions, and we are often not aware at all of what opportunities there might be for us in completely different places. It was the same with me, I come from an academic background, from a family where I didn’t have any exposure, for example, to manufacturing companies, to the world of manufacturing, which I now specialize in, which fascinated me. So that’s the value that can be drawn from here and put to good use.

- And above all, courage.

- Exactly, yes, to move forward.

- Thank you kindly, thank you very much.

- Thank you.

Cornelius Ochmann

Managing Director at the Fundacja Współpracy Polsko-Niemieckiej, a specialist in European politics

- At the moment we are at the Economic Forum of Young Leaders in Karpacz. Cornelius Ochmann, Managing Director of the Foundation for Polish-German Cooperation, is here. Could you please tell us about it? The moment when the Polish-German treaty of Good Neighborhood was signed has passed more than 30 years. Recently, there has been a lot of animosity and misunderstanding in relations between Warsaw and Berlin. Will the current generation of 20- and 30-year-olds in the future be able to strengthen relations between Poland and Germany and eliminate the risk of our countries drifting apart?

- Young people are already contributing to the fact that Polish-German relations are improving, and it is also the activities of the Young Forum here that are contributing to this. Young people think in a European context, they don't dwell on conflicts; they look to the future, and here Polish-German cooperation is, in my opinion, crucial for the further development of the EU. And it is precisely the young generation here that will play a key role in the future of the EU.

- Thank you. What contribution can young leaders make to German-Polish relations?

- First of all, young people promote European topics. Now we are facing a big challenge, that is, what the EU can do, how it can help Ukraine, how quickly Ukraine can enter the EU. And above all this has to be dealt with by young people, it will take a few years, if not a dozen, but it will be young people who will decide this, not 60- or 70-year-olds.

- Thank you, and a final question: after the fall of communism, Germany quickly built strong economic ties with Poland. In 2022, our western neighbor was the largest economic partner, investing more than EUR 1.4 billion in Poland and creating 4,000 jobs. Will politics not put a damper on the aforementioned economic relations?

- I don't think so, economic cooperation has been growing since Poland's accession to the EU, trade with Poland has increased 10-fold; Poland is more important to the German economy than Italy, than the UK and so on. After China, the US and France Poland is currently in fourth place as an economic partner, and will be even more important in the future.

- Thank you very much.

Agnieszka Parol-Górna

Coordinator of the European Youth Capital Lublin 2023

- Forum of Young Liders in Jelenia Góra is primarily aimed at young people. What does participation in such a Forum give young people?

- It is an amazing meeting of young people in one place from all over Poland, but also from abroad, so the exchange of experience, the exchange of good practices, exchange of new ideas, and also matching people, and contacts in order to implement new joint projects.

- I understand that this is aimed at a specific group, secondary school pupils, students. Do these people have to belong somewhere in order to take part in such an event?

- They don’t have to be affiliated, but it is important that they are activists who want to do more, can come here, meet new people and then think about whether it is worthwhile to affiliate somewhere, because after all, there is strength in the group.

- I understand what benefits young people gain by taking part in such events? Does it have any influence on later work, on making friends and on taking part precisely in some associations or foundations?

- Surely it is not without echo in such everyday work; surely getting to know and be inspired by people who are already doing something is really valuable, getting to know people from different foundations and organizations, learning about their activities, networking, and developing linguistic or language skills, is very important in a young person’s life, and the very fact that they can also be a participant in the Economic Forum in Karpacz, and can draw on new trends presented there not only economically, but also socially. I think it is very encouraging.

- Exactly, the Economic Forum in Karpacz is one of the most important events in Poland, isn’t it? What is the interest? Do a lot of people take part in such events, can you see that there are more takers than, for example, in previous years?

- I think there is a comparison, because this Forum is really a big event and it gathers in thousands various people from politics, economics and society, that is why it is important that young people participate in it, so that they take advantage of these experiences, learn anew and benefit from new trends, which are really given to them on a platter.


of the 18th Economic Forum of Young Leaders