by NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană at the NATO 2030 policy hackathon event
Thank you, Cathryn, so good to reconnect. We are good friends and I really appreciate your talent and your drive and your sophistication, so I'm so happy to be together with you. And also, basically this is the end of a long day, but I think I've been looking forward to this moment for a couple of days now. There is nothing more pleasant and rewarding than to see so many bright young leaders engaging and caring about the future of our alliance. And what a fantastic event this has been and congratulations to all of you: to the universities, the students, and indeed the leaders that have competed in this first NATO policy hackathon.
And of course, like always, I'm the only one, you know, in between the announcement of the results, and the end of this great event but I would like to say a few words just from me.
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg asked me also to chair the innovation board in NATO. I'm a true believer in leadership and engaging with the youth. And I think the end of this first approach of this sort for us in NATO, I know it was very busy week for all of you. I know and I watched, not all of the projects but some of the projects of the presentations, and it's so much work behind it. There’s so much intensity, there’s so much bright ideas over there so I think we’ll have to continue even after the announcements to chew upon the ideas that you have been launching.
And if I’m looking also to the topics, the thrust of the projects that you have decided to present in this first NATO hackathon – I’m amazed. I’m truly amazed by the fantastic overlap between the projects you have chosen, and the fundamental trends of our democratic societies, and the foundation on which NATO is built.
Many projects are speaking and presenting smart ideas about values. That's the underlying foundation of this alliance. This is the cradle of who we are. This is the, if you want, the most fundamental ingredient of NATO’s enduring success.
Then you also, many of you, have been presenting ideas on climate change. Again, this is one of the most dominant trends shaping our planet and of course shaping also the security which is coming, and security challenges coming from climate change.
Then, as I mentioned, I've seen many projects on technology. This is again one of the most aggressive, rapid, and overarching transformations of security, but also of human mankind.
And not last – resilience. Because many of the projects are speaking about economic resilience, about democratic resilience, how to fight disinformation, how to keep our democracies healthy and strong.
I'm just amazed by the sophistication of the propositions, but also by the values, by the imagination and the intense belief in our values that all of you have shown. So, I just cannot say how happy, how proud I am, and how much we have been enjoying this. But not only enjoying, because seeing young smart leaders is always a joy for us from an older generation. It's also a sign of the vitality and the depth of the foundation on which our alliance is built.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart. The same thing goes, you've seen Secretary General Stoltenberg just a little bit earlier on. I like to thank also Cathryn. I like to thank LEAD innovation for helping us craft this, and also the amazing academic institutions that you all represent. We are proud of you.
I cannot be finishing a long day of work at NATO here in the NATO headquarters in Brussels than being witness to this great experiment of ours. Keep it up. We'll persevere. We count on you. And I can consider you already as part of the NATO innovation ecosystem. Good luck and I'm looking forward to see who's going to win this. Everybody wins, we all win. Thank you so much.