Poland’s young and creative people

In Europe today, Poland has one of the most vibrant and emerging design scenes.

In Europe today, Poland has one of the most vibrant and emerging design scenes.

Poland has one of the best educated societies in the European Union. Young people make up 30.2 per cent of the population who study, work and learn foreign languages. In their minds great and creative ideas thus flourish, creating the face of contemporary Poland: dynamic, entrepreneurial and innovative.

Two groups of young Polish professionals are presented in this article, IT specialists and designers, who although at first glance might not seem to have much in common, are both young, ambitious and creative.

At the 34rd ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest World Finals 2010 in Harbin, China, the Polish team from the University of Warsaw once again performed very well, winning the silver medal and edging out rivals from the US, Canada and Australia.

“Polish students like to participate since it gives them a chance to compete against students from the most famous universities,” said Warsaw University computer science Ph.D student Marek Cygan, the world champion of 2005 Google Code Jam and ACM ICPC 2007. In fact Polish universities did better than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology.

Poles are also renowned for their achievements in programming. A Polish computer science student from Warsaw University, Paweł Hajdan, became the first non-Google programmer to work on a new browser called Chromium. And SAP AG, the world leader in systems management support for business, accepted and implemented its software solution prepared by Polish IT consultant Michal Krawczyk.

In Europe today, Poland has one of the most vibrant and emerging design scenes. It is a natural inheritance of a strong creative movement, which developed in Poland from the 1930s to the 1960s, making Poland an important player among the most renowned international furniture producers.

This expertise, born out of a long tradition, is used by several important international brands which have been manufacturing their products in Poland for many years. A fundamental change is taking place at present: Polish companies are opening up to the global arena, proposing their own vision to the design community and promoting their own brands in the international market.

Winning numerous prizes and awards, Polish designers have become the hallmark of their country abroad. Małgorzata Ratajczak (Emandes), Marta Rowinska (Beton), Anna Siedlecka (Puff-Buff), Joanna Bylicka (Chillout Studio), Katarzyna Okinczyc, Oskar Zinta (Prozessdesign) are just a few examples of smart, young Polish designers who have created world class products.

“You have to hurry in order to buy our products” said M. Ratajczak, a winner of the Luce in Movimento contest at the Euroluce Fair in Milan. Last April Milan’s famous Salone del Mobile trade fair hosted the best of the young, emerging design scene in Poland. Furniture, industrial and graphic design, fashion, animation, architecture, engineering as well as multimedia were showcased and highlighted the Polish ‘young and creative’ sector.

In times of economic crisis, young Poles are trying to do their own thing. They do not complain, they “polish” their skills and look forward with optimism to the future.

(This article has been submitted by the Polish Embassy in Rome to coincide with the Polish EU presidency).


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