The Main Patron of the Conference is János Áder President of Hungary
Hungary has often expressed its commitment to talent support as a national issue that can only be effective if the whole world gathers its strength to bring it to success. Regions and nations may compete with each other fiercely, but they have a common future. Consequently, most tasks are also common. The European Council of High Ability was created in the wake of the realisation that wise talent management, like any other task serving the future of mankind, is our shared responsibility.
Knowledge built on talent is the only inexhaustible resource in the current world of mankind that is based, as it becomes increasingly obvious, on fragile equilibria.
Talent itself, however, is not enough. To let it unfold and be put at the service of the public good, of universal interests, it is to be nurtured with special care.
Natural resources simply need to be discovered and exploited. Talent, however, is of a different nature: it is not only utilised, but is also created by mankind.
A Hungarian maxim says “those who are talented know more than they have learnt”. Indeed, the essential thing in talent is the creative force underpinned by knowledge. It is important for the talented person realising himself, and is important for the community. A brilliant idea, the mysterious force of talent, may open new eras in the history of mankind – as was the case with the development of the use of nuclear power or in information technology.
I am very proud to quote these specific examples, since Hungarian scientists have imperishable merits in both. As some of you will know, the talent of Johnny von Neumann and of Jenő Wigner started to unfold in the same workshop, which can be no accident. It demonstrates that it is not enough for the talent to be born: an appropriate school environment and devoted attention are needed to convert it from potential into reality.
Albert Einstein described himself in a letter as follows. “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” We cannot doubt Einstein’s talent. But while respecting his opinion, we may nevertheless think that there are many types of talent, including curiosity that must be preserved by all means for a talent to be developed and asserted.
I do sincerely hope that this Budapest meeting will raise many new issues that can be put to use in practice, and will forge new professional and personal contacts between the participants. I also wish that it calls society’s attention once again to the importance of identifying, developing and fulfilling talent.
By doing so, your meeting will help develop an open and value-centred atmosphere that lets many forming talents and superior intellects turn from passionately curios gifted persons into real talents, creators of new values.
Hungary’s happiness to host the talent support professionals of the Continent is mingled with pride of the achievements of Hungarian talent support. I wish you a good time and effective work at the meetings during the Conference.
Budapest, May 07 2014.