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A Dream For Turkey


TEMPO  December 2009 Article By Stefano D’Anna


            The invitation addressed to me from Tempo to dedicate a monthly article to the Turkish readers has been immediately accepted with enthusiasm as an opportunity to express my love for this Country and share some thoughts about how to lead Turkey to a greater and prosperous future.

For this series of articles, which starts with the issue of January 2010, I shall rely upon my background as an economist and a sociologist, but above all upon my knowledge of Turkey, its people and culture, as I have acquired it through my numerous and long stay in Istanbul and Turkey.  I believe that is because of this love and my ideal affinity for this country, that my Book “The School for Gods”, which has been translated in many languages, is a best and long seller in Turkey since 2006.

Real dreams are contagious and I am confident that also thanks to the pages of Tempo I will be able to convey my strong belief that Turkey needs now, at the time when its economy is growing so fast and is still on time, to prepare new leaders, pragmatic dreamers driven by ethics and integrity. I dream of a new generation of visionary leaders, at the service of Turkey and of the World, capable to play their role as a mission, as a sacred duty.  They need to develop a sixth sense: intuition, and a seventh one: dreaming.  They need individual attention, must be chosen and prepared one by one, cell by cell. Mass education cannot produce them. For this we need a School of Being where to teach that happiness is economy and politics is the art of dreaming.

The wealth of a nation doesn’t consist of its exports, industrial production capacity, plenty of natural resources, the discovery of oil fields or gold mines and diamond deposits. The real wealth of a nation is the quality of its system of values and above all its capacity to produce emotionally healthy individuals, who have eliminated from themselves any form of inner conflict and negative emotions. Change within society can only come through the personal effort of single individuals.

Behind every human achievement, at the origin of every intuition, of every scientific or social conquest, behind the world’s largest financial and industrial corporations, and all that is, beautiful, meaningfull, rich, there is invariably one man an individual and his dream. The life of an organization, of an entire civilization depends on the existence of visionaries, men and women, pragmatic dreamers, individuals. Without them no progress is possible.

The opportunity to express these ideas came from the invitation that I received to be a guest speaker at Forum Istanbul 2023 from President and Founder Yavuz Canevi.  The Forum was at its eighth edition and had become by now the think tank of the nation, gathering each year 600 of the top people, politicians, businessmen and best brains, with the objective to provide an answer to this crucial question: what can bring Turkey to play a key role in the world’s human development and global economic progress by 2023, 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic.

As I expressed in my speech, the crisis that the world is facing has little to do with economy and finance. The economical and financial problems are not the cause.  They could just be considered effects.  What we are really facing is a crisis of values and scarcity of ethical, impeccable leaders.

The main obstacle against which the most ambitious projects shatter is not the lack of financing or material resources, but a shortage of committed men capable of approaching politics and business with competence, efficiency, honesty, in one word, integrity. Men and women who dream and love; doubtless, fearless people capable of conceiving brave ideas and committing themselves to their realization.

It was then that a concrete Project for the future of Turkey was brought to conception and officially announced. I named it “A Dream for Turkey”.

To make this dream come true, and to have Turkey belonging by 2023 to the Bric’s emerging titans (Brazil, Russia, India and China), Turkey needs to prepare a new generation of leaders free of any ideology or superstition. They are the healthy cells of a new humanity and the real wealth of this nation and of the world.

Too many times we use the word individual without understanding how crucial is its deep and true meaning. Individual has a Latin etymology. It finds its origin in the root-word “individuum” which means indivisible, whole… like to say having integrity. Therefore we should call all ordinary people, marked by a fragmented psychology, with a conflictual attitude, governed by negative emotions and imagination, “dividual” and reserve the appellation of individual to the few among the few who have reached unity of Being, that special inner condition and state of mind that we call integrity. Integrity is the password of the future, and the central quality of leadership.

I concluded affirming my belief that to educate the new generation of leaders that Turkey needs, is not a matter of money, knowledge, power or social standing so much as the development in the youth of self-knowledge, the capacity to free themselves from fear and negative emotions, prejudices and obsolete ideas, and cultivate in themselves an indomitable passion for greatness and freedom.

Since my speech last may at Forum Istanbul, in few months this idea achieved widespread consent. In the spirit of doing something great for Turkey, supporting the development of future leaders, I founded the “Visionary Leadership Program and invited corporations, Foundations and business peopleto give it a concrete start and fund it with initially 40 scholarship and the creation of a new institution, a research centre and not a university, serving as an exemplary model to the world. Its mission is to educate a new ruling class of future leaders, visionaries, pragmatic dreamers as the real wealth and the most strategic resource of Turkey and the world.

Throughout  the summer, 40 Turkish students, the most talented and suitable for this program, were selected and interviewed one by one, among hundreds of candidates applying from the best universities.

While I am writing, these first 40 VLP students are already studying in Florence, attending a 3 months curriculum especially designed to prepare them as future leaders inspired by the highest moral principles, sense of greatness and beauty on the footsteps of Leonardo and the other giants of the Renaissance. As Ataturk said: “we are sending you as sparkles, you will come back as a wildfire.”

This is just the beginning of this beautiful, bold undertaking.
“A Dream for Turkey – The VLP Visionary Leadership Program” in the next years will attract new donors and scholarships will become hundreds to soon expand this dream to the world.

The education of special youth to develop their potentiality as leaders for the Future will be the one Turkey will be most proud of.

Starting my collaboration with Tempo, I could not think of a better news for Turkey and its people and to a best wish for a Happy, Prosperous, Dreamful New Year.

There are not solutions out there to choose from or to wait for.
YOU have to become the solution.
This is the Individual Revolution, an overturning of thought in political and business leadership”.

The School for Gods (Tanrilar Okulu) by Stefano D’Anna-Sinedie Publishing.