Only the sharpest minds and their cooperation are capable of addressing the global issues we face today. War, money, technology, so many things created by humans to control our world have ironically become insurmountable obstacles to building a clearer and brighter future. While many international conferences meet to address such dilemmas, one conference in particular looks to address these issues directly. The Summit of Minds is an annual conference which features thematic discussions on topics such as: geopolitical developments in Eurasia and the Middle East, high technologies and management, artificial intelligence, digital economy, and other contemporary fields of interest. It boasts a vast and diverse array of attendees, from private investors to military officials, current and past country prime ministers and Presidents, economists to entrepreneurs, scholars, politicians, the list goes on.The conference is typically held in Chamonix, France but for the first time in the history of the conference the venue has changed.
This year’s Summit of Mind’s took place in the mountain town of Dilijan in the beautiful country of Armenia. The organizer and founder The Summit of Minds and its hosting organization the Monthly Barometer, Thierry Malleret, noted that he was glad to organize the Summit in Armenia this year. Why Armenia? The country is currently in the middle of a radical change, both politically and economically. After decades of corruption Armenia is now headed by a Prime Minister and President who have nothing but the people’s interest and the prosperity of their country at heart. If this sounds implausible, a look at the two leaders’ backgrounds will settle any doubts. Armen Sarkissian was appointed President of Armenia in April 2018. Since then he has set about the work of reforming the Armenian government, striving to balance power between the President and Prime Minister. Sarkissian and new Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan are also working to tackle corruption. Deposed former President and then Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan had sought to consolidate power in the hands of the Prime Minister instead of the President as he prepared to migrate from the Presidency to the Prime Ministership and increase his powers. The Putin-style move triggered a popular revolution which resulted in his ousting. President Armen Sarkissian has a doctorate in theoretical physics and was longtime Armenian ambassador to the UK and the EU from 1991-1995 and again in 1998-1999, serving briefly as Armenian Prime Minister from 1996-1997 in the meantime. Dr Sarkissian’s has been recipient of many International Awards including the John Edwin Mroz Global Statesman Award, in 2018, named after the American diplomat who founded the EastWest Institute. Founded in 1980, the EastWest Institute is known for programs in the sectors of cyber-security, preventive diplomacy, economic and regional security. He also studied at Cambridge alongside Stephen Hawking and was one of the original authors of TETRIS. The Prime Minister is a great favourite of the Armenian people. After holding protests calling for political fairness for over a decade culminating with the 2018 democratic revolution, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan entered office with the people of Armenia behind him.
The President opened the Summit of Minds as its host on June 8th with a speech regarding the necessity for such in an event in today’s world and thanked the organizer of the event Thierry Malleret: “When I look at the global geopolitics, one thing is clear: uncertainties in the world are abundant. There are uncertainties about Europe’s future because of Brexit, in the US – related to the upcoming elections, in the Middle East, and many other places. Today, the world is full of new or recurrent ideas. A lot of populism, fake news, misunderstanding. Ultimately, what’s going to happen to the world? We are losing confidence more and more; we are losing the ability to talk. From that point of view, the Summit of Minds looks like a small ark. Today it’s not the Noah’s ark, it is an Armenian ark where people come to discuss how to save the world. And it is very important. I am very glad to have that small ark concerned with the future of the world here, in Armenia. What will it give Armenia? I believe it is very important to start listening what the world is saying.The Summit of Minds needs to be asked the key question – what’s going on in this world, what to do and how to do it? These are global questions, but they also relate to Armenia. Where are we heading to as the Republic of Armenia, as a nation; what and how we need to act? It is very important for us to know where the world is heading to, where it will be in 20-30 years, so that we design our program and chart our course, decide what we do and how we do it. It is important for Armenia. It is important because thanks to the Summit of Minds and a number of other summits, the world will learn more about us, while we will learn more about the world.”
Prime Minister Pashinyan followed the Presidents’ speech with one of his own, regarding the bright future the Summit looks towards for the world. Here is an excerpt from his speech: “In general, there are only two factors throughout the existence of our planet which influenced the planet Earth: one is the cosmic factor, the other is the human mind. Speaking about the main topic of today’s discussions – global and regional economic, investment trends, geopolitical developments, we see that the greatest investments in the contemporary world are made in area of the human mind. Today, the moving forces of the economy are the areas which are linked directly to the human mind. It has got to the point when the human mind is not satisfied with itself and the artificial mind, artificial intellect developing processes are going on in the world and this is, actually in the main economic trend of the world of the 21st century.” He also spoke about the future of Armenia and how the Summit would help situate the country’s strengths within the growing global community, saying: “This is also Armenian citizen’s era, the era of the Armenian nation because we believe that this is the era which will see the glorious rebirth of the Armenian nation. When it was the era of high seas, we didn’t have any; when it was oil’s era, we didn’t have any, when it was good luck’s era, we didn’t have any; when it was brutal force’s era, we didn’t have any. But know the time of the mind has come, and there is no doubt that we have the mind and actually our main course is charted, we need to develop our mind, we need to create conditions to allow our mind to develop, to express itself, to manifest itself, utilize itself, and get the opportunity to reproduce itself,”
After two days of thematic discussions, the President closed the Summit reinforcing that he looked to host and prepare for the Armenian Summit of Minds in 2020. He expressed hope that it would become an annual and permanent event.
KCW Today will be running a full length feature with more detail on the Summit of Minds in our July issue and why every country should be hosting one.
For more information on the summit visit: https://summitofminds.com/armenian-summit-of-minds/ or the official website for the President of Armenia: https://www.president.am/en/