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10 IMPRESSIVE SPEAKERS AND IMPACTFUL TOPICS IN THE “FOUNDERS’ LECTURE SERIES” 2020-2021

The academic year 2020-2021 came with many turnarounds, but the Heritage Community managed to keep it’s learning process on track, shared it’s successful distance learning model with schools around the world, and even more – succeeded to inspire our students and teachers with an incredible range of speakers in the “Founders’ Lecture Series” program. This unique initiative, implemented by director Robert Ford, celebrates the vision of an outward facing school developing global citizens and international mindedness. By connecting students and teachers to the world of education and to real life examples, the program keeps fulfilling the vision of the Founders – contributes to preparing Heritage students for the challenges of the future and raising the next global leaders and citizens.
 
This past year, the agenda of the series was held online. Nonetheless the range of speakers was impressive, making students and teacher very fortunate to have drawn upon such a wealth of experience and wisdom across fields like politics, diplomacy, academia, business, marketing, media, charity, humanitarian work and NGOs. Through the series, our guests’ stories were presented as examples of aspiration and success for young students, positive, hopeful role models that will inspire them in their own individual journey and pathway.

H.E. Steven Mark Fisher – the British Ambassador to Republic of Moldova (23 September 2020)
The first to speak in the second series of the “Founders’ Lecture Series” program was H. E. Steven Fisher, the UK Ambassador to Moldova, who delivered a fascinating first talk virtually. Excited as never before, students not only connected their digital devices, but they were also all eyes and ears, having the chance to meet such an honourable guest. The ambassador took students for a fascinating virtual tour to the countries where he had previously worked and lived, offering them an insight on how he became a diplomat, whilst highlighting the vital importance of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Students asked lots of questions about the ambassador's home country, as well as his impressions about places he visited and what he likes about Moldova.



Simon Springett on the UN’s 75 Anniversary (22 October 2020)
The “Founders’ Lecture Series” program continued with Mr. Simon Springett, Resident Coordinator at UN Moldova. Mr. Springett joined our second series on the occasion of United Nations turning 75 years, to discuss the UN Anniversary and reaching the Sustainable Development Goals in order to achieve a better, brighter, healthier future. Over 200 pupils have attended the online open lesson and together with Mr. Springett reflected and debated the directions of the UN, pointing out that it should address the global challenges of the 21st Century.



Venetia Bellers, humanitarian aid expert (19 November 2020)
You don’t meet people by accident, they are meant to cross your path for a reason. In this case, Venetia Bellers, the third speaker in the “Founders’ Lecture Series”, came to inspire students with courage, dignity and kindness, values that are highly appreciated at Heritage. Venetia Bellers, who is a humanitarian aid expert, was about to fly out to the Caribbean to lead aid relief following the damage of Hurricanes Eta and Lota, at the very moment of the session. Ms. Bellers portrayed her childhood and university years, describing how she got involved with working for NGOs, helping communities with immediate aid after disasters. Ms. Bellers has been to many unsafe places around the globe and has even brought examples of aid packs provided to show our children.



H. E. Paul McGarry, Ambassador of Ireland to Romania and Moldova (16 December 2020)
Continuing our list of remarkable speakers, for the fourth session of the “Founders’ Lecture Series” Heritage students and teachers met H. E. Mr. Paul McGarry, the Ambassador of Ireland to Romania and Moldova. Though Heritage students were familiar with the Irish culture and history, Mr. McGarry’s speech captivated them to learn more. The Irish Ambassador spoke to our students and staff about the history of Ireland and the country’s development as a small nation, welcoming immigration as a contribution to a successful Ireland and European nation. Mr. McGarry also mentioned the impact of migration and the vital role of our diaspora in Ireland. At the end of session, children started wondering about possibilities to learn and live in Ireland.



Martin Wilcox, director of ChildAid (20 January 2021) 
“We are the writers of our own stories!” - With an impactful opening that motivated listeners to reflect, Martin Wilcox, director of ChildAid, started the 5th session of the “Founders’ Lecture Series”. For the entire session, Mr. Wilcox laid an inspirational challenge and called on Heritage students to offer a helping hand to all children in need. He presented the extraordinary work of the ChildAid team, how they brought hope and support to vulnerable communities, families and children in Eastern Europe. Our guest also depicted the power and success of a community when lifting up others, making everyone thankful for the loving and united Community at Heritage.



Janet Royall, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, principal of Somerville College in Oxford (12 February 2021)
For the 6th session of the “Founders’ Lecture Series” children and teachers at Heritage had the honour to talk to Janet Royall, Baroness Royall of Blaisdon, the principal of Somerville College in Oxford. Baroness J. Royall discussed openly the role of women in the society, quoting Isaac Newton: “To make the most effective change, we have to stand on the shoulders of the giants”, but then she added about herself: “My giants are often women”. Baroness Janet Royall stated that both young men and women should equally have as many opportunities and aspirations for their future. And children couldn’t agree more, mentioning that they follow this attitude at Heritage. At the end of the session, Baroness Janet Royall concluded that Heritage students have clearly proved to be global citizens and leaders of tomorrow.



Ludmila Gurău, Strategy Director and Managing Partner of QUBO Communications (31 March 2021)
It’s becoming increasingly important that youngsters understand why media literacy is vital nowadays. That is why, it was about time for an expert in communication to share with Heritage students and teachers the underworld of modern media. For the 7th session of the “Founders’ Lecture Series”, our special guest was Ludmila Gurău, Strategy Director and Managing Partner of QUBO Communications. From Mrs. Gurău’s presentation, the exciting case studies analysed and the following discussions, Heritage students learned about disinformation, how to spot fake news and ways to fact check the media source before spreading the information across the web. Our guest advised teachers, students and their parents to establish a social media guideline, in order for everyone to be safe and enjoy freely their time online.



Andrei Lupu, Project Manager and Engineer at Faurecia (14 April 2021)
Many Heritage students often ask themselves: what does it take to have a successful career? Is there a secret shortcut to success? These questions were answered by Andrei Lupu, the 8th speaker for the “Founders’ Lecture Series” program. Andrei Lupu is a Project Manager and Engineer at Faurecia and throughout his professional career, he had many ups and downs. Mr. Lupu spoke about ways in which an academic mind, languages and consistency can open the world to a student. He highlighted for Heritage students the importance of adaptability and acquisition of skills such as communication, teamwork, independence and resilience, that have helped him build an international career. He advised our students not to fear the unknown and always be ready to step out of the comfort zone. When students could ask any questions, most of them were curious to know where is ‘home’ for Mr. Lupu, since he works and travels all around the world?



Felicia Tătaru, Sales Manager at Oakland International Ltd (21 April 2021)
Before ending the second series of the “Founders’ Lecture Series”, teacher Tatiana Popa prepared a surprise speaker for the 9th session. A young professional, whose life is like a fascinating book to read. That is how Heritage students described this session, after listening to Felicia Tătaru, Sales Manager at Oakland International Ltd. Felicia shared her genuine life experience when she failed and lost direction in her career, thus encouraging our students to belief in themselves, try as many times as it takes to get what they want, be courageous and bold. Her success story has really challenged our students by showing how setbacks, uncertainties and determination help to learn and shape lives.  Children enjoyed so much the conversation with Felicia and said that if she will ever write a book, they would be her first readers.



Mădălina Bubuioc from Threepipe Reply (12 May 2021)
Last, but not least, the 10th session of the second year of “Founders’ Lecture Series”, was marked by Mădălina Bubuioc, a focused and goal-oriented young woman from Moldova whose determination and enthusiasm took her to Vienna, then Paris and now London, where she works in a digital marketing agency. Knowing that most Heritage students wish to study at a university abroad and are curious to learn the stories of those who embarked on such adventures in the competitive outside world, Madalina gladly recounted her life experience as a student who left her home country and went to conquer the big world. She shared about real disappointment, struggles to adapt to a new culture and social environment. But being open minded, striving to work to prove yourself and grabbing any opportunities that come your way – gets you on the road to success, said Madalina. Having this occasion to speak directly to future university students, Madalina gave them powerful advice, one of which was to not be afraid to speak up.


Closing this year’s “Founders’ Lecture Series”, students and teachers concluded that these series is, indeed, a remarkable initiative, bringing so often valuable insights from various professional spheres, to motivate, encourage and inspire them to follow into the steps of those who have succeeded. This year, being fully online, the lectures have enabled a much larger audience and speakers to join us from around Europe, reaching impactful subjects. One of the strongest aspects of the series’ second year were the guests from local schools, who joined these opportunities as part of Heritage’s social responsibility program, through which our school continues to offer support to the wider national education community in Moldova.

This is a unique and innovative part of our wider, holistic curriculum, in honour of the mission and vision of our Founders, and we have now benefited from 20 incredible speakers in two years. And it doesn’t stop here: the series continue with an award winning Irish film maker, the new deputy US Ambassador and the new Chevening Scholars from Moldova under the UK government. Mark your calendars: the 3rd series of the “Founders’ Lecture Series” starts this autumn.

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