EMIS Opening speech 2019

Delivered on the 30/8/2019


Our lungs are burning. In South America and Central Africa miles on miles of forest are vanishing by the force of fire. The reddish orange which many of us attribute to the color of EMIS has become a dominant color on maps shown on screens around the world indicating the flames which are taking over our most valuable green areas. These fires are huge, hard to explain and control. But mostly, they are so far away from where we stand at the moment. We have the luxury to breath fresh air and turn our back to people and animals which are trying to survive surrounded by smoke. For most of us it is so far away that it is no more than an image, a media story painted in shades of red. But there are fires everywhere and the reddish color can be easily detected also a few miles away from here with the fire of a gunshot or a rock explosion or a burning filled across the border between Israel and Gaza. We can turn our backs to these fires as well. We cannot control all the fires in the world at the same time and for many of us it gives the sense of hopelessness, the feeling we lack any power. If we cannot put off these fires, so what is the point of knowing about them, of caring about them? Which force do we have in the face of these great forces of the world?


At EMIS we believe in the force of education. Cross borders and worldwide education in which people know enough and care enough to act. Education is a force of prevention. It does not focus solely on putting out fires, but on the attempts to prevent them. Education allow us to expand our knowledge and view point and combine our forces to create a different reality and find new ideas and solutions, step by step, day by day. Education gives us the power to influence one of the greatest powers of the world- the mind.

Through our biology and chemistry knowledge we can understand, for example, the function of trees and carbon and to think and re-think their roles. By our understanding of environmental and political systems we can analyze complex situations and locate the sources of power from which possible solutions can arise. Math and computer science provide us with the tools to create practical innovations. The arts equip us with the abilities to express our concerns and dreams and by that opening the minds of others. Everything we learn here can give us force to make change in the world, but we need that fire in us that will lead us to feel we can do it. That we must do it.

When education becomes a passion and you are burning with the desire to know, learn and act then education transforms into a force. When you decide to harness your education for the sake of good then a positive change in the world can start to happen. When we EMISers see the reddish orange color- we should think of the promise of EMIS and focus on our inner fires which can be the strongest force in any forest.