5 questions with... Antanas Guoga
World travels, coding and Henry Ford.
Antanas Guoga | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual
1. How would you describe your political/leadership style in three words?
Trust. My grandfather worked for Henry Ford and learnt that great things can be achieved only with people who are trusted, can take the initiative and can think for themselves. Change. Business as normal is not an option unless we don’t want to succeed. I’m huge advocate for digital transformation. Positivity. I encourage people to create opportunities instead of setting barriers.
2. Is there anything you have personally achieved or done that would surprise people?
More than 10 years ago I surprised many people by moving back to Lithuania after spending more than 20 years living in Australia, Asia and all over the world. I deeply believe that Lithuania is the best country to live in, with fantastic countryside and clean weather, talented and open people wanting to change the world and open to the new opportunities of the digital age. Right now my biggest achievement is the largest modern technologies and entrepreneurship event #SWITCH! - it’s something I am extremely proud of. This year, more than 15,000 participants attended the event. Last year, we set the Guinness World Record for the largest programming lesson in the world, together with 712 children coding in one place.
3. What was the most inspirational and influential book you have read and why?
The Great Learning by Confucius. As a politician, I follow this great thinker’s advice to do the right thing instead of only what is beneficiary. Confucius’ insights shaped my personal and political behaviour. I support the idea that success is formed not by one achievement, but by many failures from which we learn.
4. Which person you have worked with has most inspired you in your career, and how?
The first person who inspired me in my career was someone I met back in Australia - a broker, Bill Buchanan, who trusted me, a teenager, and employed me in his office. During my political career, the most impressive person I met was Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the father of the World Wide Web.
5. What do you do in your free time to relax and unwind?
I enjoy going on long walks with my family and dogs and generally keeping active by meeting new people. I am very enthusiastic about blockchain technology development and still have a habit of following stock markets daily.
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