Robert Willard came from the USA, he is studying economics and Slavic studies at Columbia University.
The young man spends a lot of time in Russia, but for the first time at Eurasia Global. “This forum is significantly different from the others, because there is information for people of my age - undergraduate and graduate students. Everything is aimed at developing our potential”, — the participant shares.
Speaking about people in Russia, he notes that here at some points people are more sincere: “Russian are not afraid to say they don’t like something. And if you smile, it’s generally a well-known fact — they really like you”. Here, when people speak, they can correct the person who helps him switch the presentation: “Please switch slower!” This is very interesting, I think it is a good quality.
Robert shares his initiative: “There is an environmental crisis in Uzbekistan: the Aral Lake has dried up, so the soil is quite contaminated, people suffer from anemia, tuberculosis. We have assembled a team, created a fund, are conducting various environmental projects, and are trying to help. We come there, set filters and plant trees”.
The team is also engaged in creative projects: “Last year we worked with young composers and created music, a symphony that accompanies the film about Aral. Now we would like to do this on a larger scale — for all objects of Eurasia”.
“The Aral Sea is one object, but in Eurasian space there are a lot of other beautiful places — Baikal, the Caspian Sea — under ecological threat”, the participant notes. With their project, together with composers from Russia, from corners close to these places, they want to draw attention not only to the ecology of Russia, but also to the objects of Eurasia: “Through these compositions we want to show the culture and spirit of the peoples who live next to these objects, and the need to preserve them".
“I think that life should be meaningful. I understand that I could work somewhere on Wall Street, but I want to help people. Highly it's nice when you come, put your energy in and see the emotions of people”, — says Robert.