Simon Pribac Parliament Speech, July 5, 2012 (ENG subtitles)

Uploaded by SimonPribac on 07.07.2012

Greetings to all present at the National Assembly, my name is Simon Pribac and I
am a proud Slovenian, yet having recently also become a proud Canadian. –Eh!
–I have been honoured by our Parliament with the opportunity to speak to you on
the subject of Diaspora, Youth and Opportunities
which are not yet lost, but still nascent. And on that note my presentation shall
Throughout the last centuries, Slovenian nation has experienced a number of
emigration waves and creation of diasporic communities.
I will be focusing on 1st, 2nd and 3rd generational Slovenian expatriates… Our
expatriate youth, which is mostly concentrated within major
population centers in Australia, Canada, the USA and Argentina.
What I want you to remind you of, is that fact that our ex-patriot youth are
recognized in many cases as cultural, intellectual and commercial leaders
–I have been honoured by our Parliament with the opportunity to speak to you on
world-wide. For example: Jure Leskovec is one of
most recognized professors of Social Media in the United States, currently
teaching at the Stanford University Anze Kopitar was the first Slovenian to
win the Stanley Cup in the NHL Hockey League
Uroš Umek and Valentino Kanzyani are recognized artists in the international
electronic music scene and are constantly representing Slovenia worldwide.
On the other hand, the following questions appear among the members of
2nd and 3rd generation of Slovenian Community in Canada:
“ how do we dialogue between the recent world & what was passed down to us
from the older generations” old paradigm: how do we keep polka alive
no matter what new paradigm: what happens when
former polka nation fully embraces, rock, metal, hip-hop, techno, dubstep…
it is important, to keep diaspora youth be in touch with the living culture of
Slovenia, which is constantly evolving with world trends
We must develop strategies for operating in New Media and Social Networks,
which is a cheap and effective way to reach the lost 2nd and 3rd generation of
Slovenian Diaspora
An example of good practice: Hillel Toronto has a very interesting program,
where young perspective Jewish students are taken to Israel,
where they are being acquainted with for them and their co-agers interesting and
potentially future career useful activities in the state
- development divisions of technological firms, mobile telecommunications
providers, media production houses, venture capitalist, various forms of
contemporary art expressions, while they are being involved in intense
training on the subject on new media. Beside the personal introduction with the
Israeli creative society, the involved youth gets the virtual tools and ideas for own
engagement within it and also for the promotion of it abroad,
while at the same time, the sense of belonging and pride in the community
gets strengthened. New Media (currently mostly social
networks) are a very effective way for spreading information and interactive
activation of the target audience (this time this is our youth in diaspora).
Platforms for engagement and also the systems for rewarding and endorsement
of most active and influential online leaders (such as are
available, while only a fragment of investment is needed for achieving even
greater effect compared with the classical media.
> And in closing this first part of my presentation on 20th and 21st Century
Slovenian Diaspora, I ask that you consider these young
people as a natural resource – though foreign-based –
that we must consider developing in our common and our national interest.
> I will now speak to the significance of language.
We can often hear, that with the loss of a native language, the associated culture is
diminished if not lost… And indeed, with the generational
Diaspora as previously mention, these foreign youth are speaking more and
more international languages – me being a case in point – with many if
not most them perceiving Slovenian as ‘just’ the language their parents speak or
used to speak at home. > Furthermore, I would like to propose
that the linguistic situation is quite likely different from country to country where
these Slovenian ex-patriots live. For instance, the interest in the Slovenian
language and culture may be greater or lesser in some countries than in other
countries, and this must certainly be taken into
consideration when developing policies and implementing international strategies
required to address the overall theme of my
presentation to you. > Regardless, the lessening or loss of our
native tongue amongst foreign-based youth is most certainly the result of a
generational gap and lack of inter-generational cooperation
– and ultimately the link to both culture – past and present – and commercial
opportunities within Slovenia going-forward, which I will shortly
address. > As globalization tends to diminish
linguistic knowledge amongst members of Slovenian migrant communities and
indigenous Slovenian ethnic communities in neighbouring countries, we must look
towards developing new and more youth-attractive methods of cultural and
linguistic learning. For instance, an important alternative or
addition to existing Slovenian language schools in over-seas states is the
integration of cultural pride and the opportunity for
Slovenian-based commerce and entrepreneurship, this being a
fundamental means with which to better engage our young
people world-wide.
- Example of good practice: Through my past work at TLN Tele Latino TV as well
as various programs at the Jewish Community,
the system of international internships proved itself to be very effective. This
way, the Latin-American youth comes to Canada or Jewish youth to Israel,
where they are being involved in learning of Hebrew or English language.
Beside fully mastering the local language skills, such programs many times also
result in the same youth developing contacts and environment,
which allow it to create further life in the host state or develop business projects
between the states. - In such way we can also develop “Work,
Live and Learn” opportunities in Slovenia for our youth from diaspora,
with combination of internships and language courses.
And in closing this second part of my presentation regarding Language as a key
cultural point of commonality – and more so, of cultural differentiation
and pride therein and a most important link to our Diaspora –
I will now speak to the significance of Opportunity and entrepreneurial
international Commerce.
Now we all know that money is the root of all evil, but since Babylonian times it is
has become a necessity – a fundamental link in most human
transactions – professional, impersonal, personal and otherwise;-)
Consequently, we have to consider economic and cultural diplomacy as the
link to our thousands of Slovenian “foreign ambassadors” – the Diaspora!
So I’d like to suggest that the we consider new Slovenia-based entrepreneurial
opportunities as the key ‘attractor’ for foreign-based youth
– whether this entrepreneurship is based in cultural, technological, social, financial,
engineering or other such endeavours… It all boils down to commerce and
economics – in other words, Good Business for all involved!
As a specific example for driving this interconnected vision of Diaspora,
Culture, Language, and Opportunity forward,
I ask that you consider the possibility of creating regional, national and even
international entrepreneurial business incubators
in partnership with government and our nationally and international successful
private sector – for example, Gorenje, Trimo, Elan , Data Lab, etc.
Examples of good practices: Through culture and language we have to
re-engage our youth, and how do we make it stick?
Through business and commerce. Foster internship & temporary employment
opportunities for foreign-based Slovenian youth (6
months / 1 year work & study programs?) Language learning and business
development opportunities for foreign-based Slovenians
Streamline the process for business development: simplified
paperwork/procedures, economic incentives, special tax status
Private-sector and public-sector investment strategies
And, for the end, as the American politician William Jennings Bryan once
said: "Destiny is not a matter of chance --
it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for --
it is a thing to be achieved" Let’s achieve it while we still can!
Let’s achieve it now!
Thank you!