About 30 years ago a Soviet journalist wrote: “Christmas is coming. The streets and squares of Milan are decorated, but the man in the piazza does not seem festive. This year Santa Claus won’t be coming down every chimney …”
Frankly speaking, Milan, along with the rest of Italy and indeed Europe as a whole is once again not exactly in festive mood. People are worried about the economy, about immigration, about the country’s place within the EU.
But! From Dec. 10-12 part of Milan became an oasis of progressive thought, friendship and cooperation in the form of the European round of the CyberSecurity for the Next Generation international student conference.
Here at KL we try to sow the good seeds of eternal virtues like rationality and consideration, flinging them in the faces of those who would reap a harvest of enduring misery for fleeting gain. In contrast with earlier European contests, this year’s geography was wider. The rooms of the Polytechnic University of Milan were crowded with students from all corners of the continent – from Barcelona to Krakow, from Plymouth to Sarajevo, and even from Tel Aviv (Israel may not be geographically in Europe, but geo-politics places it in this section). However, along with representatives from so many countries, the organizers were happy to see the high level and diversity of student research. These projects attracted plenty of attention in academic circles and the media. A large delegation came from Venice to listen to the reports and presentations, while Italy’s leading newspaper, Corriere della Sera, presented the conference’s top prize to Amela Tokitch of the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Over the three days we saw great enthusiasm, heard much applause and ate our full of risotto and ravioli. Wine was drunk, sights were seen and embraces shared … along with flashcards of useful information … We selected three prize-winners from the 15 participants, and they are off to the final at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, but the most valuable thing is not the winning but the taking part. The conference has once again succeeded in creating yet another close community of friends in academic circles, all centered on the efforts of KL.
Our final engagement in Milan took us to the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie to contemplate Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece ‘The Last Supper’. Here we understood that our colleagues from this event would go out into Europe like apostles, preaching the gospel of Kaspersky Lab and converting others to our collective doctrine of Saving the World. Thus it shall be done. Amen.
Head of Education Initiatives