Restoration of the OLF
Rather than having one supreme concept or a defining single act, both the open society idea and the Open Lithuania Foundation (OLF) itself are dynamic, flexible and renewable.
Two recent occasions came as reminders of the latter: the celebration of the OLF’s 25th anniversary on December 3, 2015, while it was still in its suspension period, and the decision to restore the OLF taken on January 19, 2017.
The most active of the OLF’s community members came together both in 2015 and 2017 to consider and discuss needs, activities and development prospects with like-minded thinkers and experts in different realms.
Led by Dr. Darius Kuolys, the event in 2015, after a welcoming speech by longstanding OLF Chairperson of the Board Professor Irena Veisaitė, evoked on point and vivid interpretations of the open society idea by professors Leonidas Donskis, Egidijus Aleksandravičius and Alvydas Jokubaitis as well as Arūnas Sverdiolas and Gintautas Mažeikis.
After further significant changes in zeitgeist, with growing tension and threats to Lithuania and elsewhere, the gathering in 2017, moderated by Vytautas Magnus University’s (VMU) Dr. Algirdas Davidavičius, heard different ways of reconsidering the issues of openness and closedness. They were shared by the new OLF’s Chairperson of the Board, VMU Dr. Milda Ališauskienė, VMU Prof. Šarūnas Liekis, Vilnius University Prof. Dr. Aleksandras Dobryninas, the Head of Representation of the European Commission in Lithuania Arnoldas Pranckevičius, and Vilnius University PhD student Simas Čelutka. The audience was highly active and contributed many creative questions and interventions.
Observing the environment along with careful self-observation in the context of Lithuania, the region and the world constitute a central and permanently reemerging feature of the Open Lithuania Foundation.
Keeping its eyes wide open and horizons broad, strongly adhering to its core values and rejecting any type of fundamentalism are vehicles for the OLF to move towards the most important goal: an open, tolerant, critically thinking, resilient, and effective civil society.