Ellex Klavins Breakfast: Pan-Baltic Cooperation Stories that Inspire

Ellex Klavins has started a new tradition – informal breakfast meetings with clients and cooperation partners to share best practice examples and stories of inspiration. The first Ellex Klavins breakfast event was devoted to successful examples of pan-Baltic cooperation.
Foreign investors view the Baltics as a single market, however, we often hear about lack of cooperation between the Baltic nations in various sectors. What about examples of successful collaboration between Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania? As it turns out these stories do exist. We devoted our first informal breakfast event to success stories of pan-Baltic cooperation. We felt it was important to hear more about these projects and learn what made them a success,’’ comments Raimonds Slaidins, partner and co-founder of Ellex Klavins.
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The participants of the first Ellex Klavins breakfast event, which was recently held in Ellex Klavins offices, had an opportunity to hear the two inspiring stories of the successful pan-Baltic cooperation from the eminent personalities involved in each of them, including:
• Niklāvs Paegle, Laila Zariņa, Kārlis Bērziņš and Dagnija Smilga – the curators of the Baltic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Architecture; and
• Jānis Sārts – Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence.
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Re-discovering the Baltics at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2016
Despite a common belief that Baltic countries are almost incapable of collaboration, Niklāvs Paegle, Laila Zariņa, Kārlis Bērziņš and Dagnija Smilga were able to prove the opposite at the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2016 and they managed to do it in a very impressive way. Excellent mutual collaboration and jointly agreed common goals helped the Baltic neighbours to make their idea of a joint pan-Baltic representation come true, even though many people considered it impossible due to bureaucracy. As a result, it was the first time for the Baltic countries to have one united pavilion.
 “The Pavilion of the three countries” was able to unite the intellectual, creative, social and cognitive potential of the three Baltic architects in a unified viewpoint towards the Baltics.
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For the idea of having the joint pan-Baltic representation to become a reality, the team had to present it and win at the professional contests in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In order to do that, a common model of cooperation, work process management and many other aspects had to be agreed on. “We worked from many cities in Europe and constantly communicated via e-mails and Skype; sometimes our discussions lasted up till 3 AM,” told the guests Niklāvs Paegle.
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Nine curators from Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania who collaborated on the project had agreed from the very beginning that they would broaden the classical concept of architecture. “We did not want to regard architecture in the classical manner. Instead of that, we wanted to challenge the boundaries of architects,” commented Dagnija Smilga.
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Best practice from The Baltics
Jānis Sārts, Director of the NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence started his story by emphasizing that “Communications has become a crucial and comprehensive discipline, which fights for people’s minds and hearts”.
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Nowadays, technology helps communications to reach people directly, in a more personal way and by addressing them on a more emotional level. The traditional media, whose role for a long time was to balance various groups in the society and to bring people closer to the truth, is gradually disappearing.
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’How to ensure the tradition of Representative Democracy in a society where almost unlimited technology possibilities exist?’’ According to Jānis Sārts, this question is frequently discussed in many countries in Europe and in the USA. The NATO Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence, which was jointly created (and led) by the Baltic countries, has become one of the most demanded centres of competence in the world when it comes to Strategic Communications.
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Commenting the new tradition, Filips Klavins, Managing Partner of Ellex Klavins, said, ‘’The idea of the Ellex Klavins breakfast events was to create a platform for informal meetings where our clients could meet people whose opinions and achievements are valued and respected. In a relaxed atmosphere, we not only talk about the current topicalities, but also get to know the real stories of those people whose achievements we might not have noticed. We also hope that this breakfast tradition will serve not only as a place for exchanging opinions, but also as a starting point for new projects and ideas.’’
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