Speech at the Diploma Award Ceremony on 11.11.2023.
Diploma Awarding Ceremony 11. 11. 2023
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to our diploma award ceremony.
Welcome to a unique event, particularly in this part of Europe.
Congratulations, dear students, on receiving your UDG diploma. I hope it will bring you happiness and pave the way for many more diplomas in your life, leading to a lot of success, satisfaction, and fulfillment for you and your families. (applause)
I hope that your current life at the UDG has awakened your courage and boldness to believe in yourself, respect your freedom and dignity, and to have self-respect!!!
I hope even more that you experienced a spiritual transformation during your studies, that you are on your way to liberation from "provincial arrogance" and "provincial mindset" and that you will contribute to the realization of this University's mission, which is to be a global player, to be a responsible citizen of the world.
I hope you understand that today's global business is looking for global leaders.
This event is being organized with the intention that everything that was invested in your personality, your character, and your humanity during your studies will be integrated even more deeply and organically into your being, that the memory of this event will always awaken in you the messages you received and cultivated during studies at the UDG.
As you can see, after ten years of hosting this event in the UDG premises, both the mission of the event and the large number of students have led us to rent this hall. How long it will suffice—I can't say! However, there are more halls and stadiums in the city. Our approach is always future-oriented, driven by our motto: "History of the Future". I hope you will never forget that your future is in you, in your hands, rather in your head, and most of all in your heart. The future is not destiny! The future is the result of individual decisions! Yours, Your decisions! That being said, the future is not ahead of us. It is with us, in us, the seeds of the future are in the present!... Why did we keep telling you that and discussing it? The present is the future that has begun!... Whether that future will be bright or darkdepends on Your decision and Your personal choices... Do you remember how many times we interpreted Shakespeare's message to you that capable individuals never remain at the bottom? Easier or harder, sooner or later, they reach the top!
Life is, without a doubt, the strictest teacher. Whether it's also the fairest one, you'll need to check that with your own life!
I hope that you are convinced, based on your experience of staying at foreign faculties and given that at least 2/3 of you receiving diplomas today have undertaken exchanges or internships at universities and companies worldwide, that our study model S=z•i² positions UDG as one of the rare universities globally that has organically integrated life into the educational process. You sensed that we don't teach students about life, but that students learn from life! I appreciated the suggestion of a group of students who humorously suggested that instead of the UDG, this university should be named School, or rather, the University of Life!!!
Indeed, we accepted the strategy of studies that the quality of studies can be connected above all by investing in the personality, in the character, into the student's Being, in the quality of the student's Being, and that only the knowledge that grew into one with the student's Being, with your nature, is true, life knowledge! Cramming and memorized knowledge lacks vitality, and anything lacking vitality is short-term... That is why evil is unnatural, because it lacks roots in life, because it is against life. Good, on the other hand, propels life forward, which is why it always wins and survives... And life is eternal!!!
We believe Aristotle, who said 2,500 years ago that human virtues can be learned, and the emperor-philosopher Marcus Aurelius, that virtues are acquired during a turbulent life, and therefore, during your studies, our aim was to shape you into the best possible version of yourself!
And a good man is a man with an open mind, endeavor, and generosity, a man of heart and hope for everything, a man capable of love!!! One of the messages to students during their studies is to fall in love with love!... No matter how chaotic, risky, and full of disasters this world may seem today, I believe that during your lifetime the time of the rule of the heart will come and a new world revolution will be led under the slogan "Love one another, people!". Haven't we persistently emphasized to you that nothing in the future is as possible as what seems impossible today!!!...
My dear students, never forget Ortega's message that life is an intellectual adventure!!! And many of us who have experienced most of our lives can confirm that! This means that life is not a mere cliché, has no predetermined solid structures, nor is it tied to one place. Your life is not someone else's - it is only Yours! So live it the way You think you should! Don't let someone else guide you, neither your parents, your friends, the political party, nor the state! Accept challenges in life!!! Be bold, because without boldness nothing serious can be achieved in life... Be "Obstinate" - as your ancestors once said!... Cuckoos don't have their own nest, and cowards don't have their own house or homeland! Dignity is not something that can be traded - where there is dignity! And dignity, as the great mind Spinoza said, is a visible expression of personal freedom!
I understand you belong to the generation of new technologies, to the generation that believes that technology, artificial intelligence, will by itself solve all your problems. Technology is very important and has brought many good things to mankind. It has made life easier... But technology is a good servant and an evil master! Every day we witness praises for artificial intelligence, which constantly and daily changes this world! But we still don't know where it goes, and what it leads to!...
Even 40 years ago, our former fellow citizen Borislav Pekić, warned us with astonishing intuition: "We will progress from robots that only communicate and can be turned off to those that can neither be turned off nor eliminated!"
To eliminate such a possibility - you, the young generation must consistently stay ahead of robots and artificial intelligence, not only in knowledge but primarily in creativity and intuition, not just in cognitive intelligence but especially in emotional intelligence. Artificial intelligence may threaten our head, but it will hardly ever threaten our heart!!! That's why I believe in love, in emotion, in empathy!...
My fate, the fate of Homo sapiens, being determined by an artificial brain is something I can never accept. What today's mechanistic mind propaganda fails to consider is that its aggressive assault on human consciousness will result in the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual atrophy of the human race... Today's key question is not: "Where is artificial intelligence going, but where are the spirit, thinking and emotions of man going?"
A world lacking spiritual essence can only yield a mechanized life—one marked by divisions, conflicts, and wars... During one of the lectures, I mentioned my concern about a potential scenario where 5% of the world's population could govern the remaining 95% and you asked me how to solve that problem?... My answer was: Be among those 5%!!!
What messages do I convey today? First, to understand that it is a great illusion that the easiest way to get to the future is by a forced march into the past. Secondly, avoid blindly following the mainstream, even disregarding the old saying "Where all the Turks are, little Mujo is there as well."... Search and fight for your path—the path of man! The way of the heart! And don't forget the words of the world-famous Montenegrin Petar Petrović Njegoš, addressing Vuk Mandušić who is crying over his broken jeferdar: "For in the hands of brave Vuk Mandusić every rifle will be right and deadly... A battle is not won with shiny arms but with a hero's heart! .." And those Njegoš' heroes, the heroes of the information age, are exactly you!!! It's just you!!! Each of you!
I previously mentioned that at least two-thirds of you participated in exchanges or internships at foreign universities and companies. This is the result of the openness of the UDG and the internationalization of our studies. We realized that the size of a university, or the size of the UDG, is determined neither by the size of the building, nor by the number of students, nor by the number of professors, but by the size of the network, that is, the international networking of that university! In that regard, we are a big University! We cooperate with over 100 universities across all continents, or rather, at least 100 world universities have their doors opened to us! Furthermore, we hold membership in some of the world's leading universities, notably the American University of Arizona, the first institution in the field of innovation in the USA. This partnership, governed by an agreement extending until 2042, raises both the University and our students to a global level! Many people worldwide perceive us differently when they see "UDG - powered by ASU" on our logo... The impact of this collaboration is just starting to surface, and this year's record-breaking enrollment is partly attributed to this partnership... Being a partner of such a university and its global network, which currently numbers around 20, with the ambition to incorporate around 70 world universities soon, and being accepted by such a university - signifies recognition in the market of "universities of the future." The ASU delegation is here—please say hello to them!
We are a member of ANSO (Alliance of International Science Organizations) headquartered in Beijing. ANSO comprises approximately 50 academies and scientific institutions worldwide, with which we closely cooperate, especially in the field of research and projects.
We cooperate with around 12 Chinese universities, paving the way for more of our students to stay in China, to participate in international research and to increase the possibility of obtaining double degrees. There are also Chinese studies that we organize at the UDG with the support of BUU. The Beijing Union University delegation is here today and I welcome them.
Two weeks ago in Samarkand (Uzbekistan), we became an affiliate member of the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization), which will provide our students, particularly those in tourism, culture, and sports, with opportunities for global internships in various companies! This is especially important because we have been conducting joint studies with the first-ranked university in the world in the field of hotel management and tourism - Vatel from Paris—for 12 years.
Three days ago we became members of the Management Board of the new global organization BRI network for research collaboration.
We are actively engaged in significant European projects, participating both as consortium members and consortium leaders. I won't remind you of your involvement and internships through the Student Business Center, the Entrepreneurial Nest, the Exchange of Entrepreneurial Ideas, Research Day, and the Work and Travel program... I won't remind you of one of our biggest and most original innovations during your studies: the "Ideas and Character" Project, the six cycles you had during your studies. All the efforts made to internationalize our studies primarily represent an investment in our students. It enhances their understanding of other nations' cultures, ultimately contributing to a deeper comprehension of their own national culture...
I believe you all understood the importance of knowing the language, freely walk around the world, and embracing diverse cultures. But I hope that at least this year you understood the importance of knowing a foreign language for understanding the language in the corridors and halls of the UDG. This year, a significant number of foreign students enrolled at the UDG—students from outside the region. They surpassed the total enrollment in all other universities in Montenegro. There is no longer a class where a student is not heard asking a question or answering in English. We also have courses taught in Russian, Turkish, Chinese...! Simply put, our vision is for the UDG to become globally recognized, a well-known international university. We aim for our students to get as many joint degrees as possible (with other universities), and for an increased number of foreign students to study at the UDG. This is the most effective way for the UDG to contribute to the spiritual transformation and life enrichment of our students, but also to the civilizational development of our beloved Montenegro!!!
We also invest a lot in the possibilities for students to enroll at the UDG, because students pay for their studies. We don't want financial barriers to enrollment. Why??? I believe that among you there are those who have completed their studies during which they had a scholarship from the UDG. For this academic year, we have allocated approximately 800,000 EUR for student scholarships. I'm confident that this surpasses the funding provided for students and pupils by any municipality in Montenegro. We operate as a private university, but in terms of our mission, we are, above all, a "social university", a university with the mission of modern development of Montenegrin society. This is a university that has a mission and not a business orientation!
We also generate opportunities for students to earn income during their studies, enabling them to finance their education. As a university, we value the financial contributions made by the students, and you, the parents. This respect means that we are also responsible for that money. And that means that we don't allow a student, or your child, to behave arrogantly and lazily with that money. He paid, not to sleep, but to study at the UDG!!! Hence, our regulations are explicit and strictly enforced. Our Disciplinary Committee responds to even the slightest oversight or breach of the regulations.
We do not play with modernity! We respect the university tradition, and above all, "class attendance is mandatory", and is really mandatory, "notebook and pencil", "homework", "essays", "participation in the discussion in class"... And above all, the UDG respects its students, which we prove with our unwavering dedication and professional commitment to each student individually!
Part of the secret of our rise is in the constant innovation of teaching, and most of you who receive a diploma today will develop and practice that nerve, that sense of innovation, which you acquired during your studies, in your further work. We are now developing a new methodology for organizing the class as a work of art. Class as a work of art, instead of a traditional class: Over the past year, we have organized seminars and conferences involving all professors and moderators on how to understand and shape the idea of MIRACLE!... It's not easy!... We persist in our efforts!... This year, we are experimenting with the course Economics and Development, which involves various faculties of the UDG and around 800 newly enrolled students. The experiment is carried out by 8 professors, 25 teaching assistants, and moderators, along with 10 demonstrators. I'm personally involved in managing this experiment!...
This new teaching method has been incredibly quickly accepted by students, professors, and moderators. This encourages me a lot because these are new generations that are not easily woken up... I think this experiment is waking them up. The aspiration is that the class is a product of the joint work and creation of professors, moderators, and students!... Of course, this is only one of the innovations. Innovation is our quick and fundamental reaction to changes - innovation is our key development resource!... It is precisely all these innovations that make our university distinctive and unique on a wider scale!!!
Dear graduates, as of today you can become a member of the Association of Graduate Students of the UDG, which has been formed today! Their representatives are among us and later you will have the opportunity to greet and hear from them. That association is called MEDOŽUČ (I invented the name: MED means honey and ŽUČ means gall) - again following Njegoš's thought "No one has yet drunk a cup of honey without mixing it with a cup of gall..." And this name of the association, "Medožuč", is in itself a message of older colleagues to those who are still studying, and to their younger colleagues. Our graduates, who have already achieved and are achieving careers all over the world in a short time, wish to share their experiences with the UDG and their younger colleagues. They aim to inspire and reinforce the potential of having completed—or yet to complete—powerful and internationally recognized studies!... They also assure them of their support and assistance at the onset and throughout their careers. We express our gratitude to them for their willingness to help!!!
I would like to end my speech with three messages...
All students are familiar with the thought of my favorite philosopher and sage, Zarathustra, from around 2700 years ago:
"Let's be able to be among those who will work to restore the world!"
This message has never been as relevant as it is today, and the responsibility it holds for young people from across the globe has never been as urgent as in today's chaotic world!
Dear parents, I have a message for you as well, but don't be angry: