How can Poland become a country of innovation and leadership?
Over the last 30 years, Poland managed to increase its GDP nearly 8-fold, catching up to the European average from the darkest depths of economic underdevelopment and overtaking such long-established economies as Portugal. Throughout that time, we got used to thinking of our prospects in the brightest of terms. However, that may cease to be the case. It is becoming increasingly clear that in order to continue catching up with Europe’s most developed economies and avoiding the middle-income trap, Poland will need to become a country of innovation, introducing new ideas instead of simply copying good ones from others and executing them more cheaply. Poland will need to offer a home to a range of sector leaders, offering cutting-edge solutions. Can Poland get there? What will it take? The Business Development panel will host a range of speakers from some of the Polish companies that are already leaders, and from policymaking circles, who will tackle that question and provide prospects and recommendations for the future.
Mikołaj Kunica is the editor-in-chief of Business Insider Poland. He has previously been associated with Wirtualna Polska, where from September 2018 he managed the editorial team of Money.pl and was the managing director of the business and finance area. Previously, he worked as a communications director in Polish Development Investments (currently the Polish Development Fund) and in the Ergo Hestia Group. Mikołaj Kunica has over 20 years of experience in the media – he was a reporter, including “Wiadomości” by TVP1, “Fakt” by TVN and the Polish section of the BBC. He co-founded the TVN CNBC channel, and for over 6 years hosted the original programs “Day on the Markets” and “Markets of the Day”.
Karol Bach graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics in 2006 with MA in Finance. After being with JPMorgan for three years as an Analyst, he got into the Harvard Business School, where he graduated in 2011 with an MBA. Karol spent seven years with mBank, rising to Managing Director, Head of Investment Banking and Corporate Banking Development. He simultaneously served as CEO of mCorporate Finance S.A. In November 2018, Karol became Chief Financial Officer of Techland, a leader in the gaming industry and one of Poland’s most innovative companies. He also serves on the supervisory boards of Forbis Group and Exact Systems Group.
Born on 27 August 1974. Appointed as Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Development in November 2015. In 1999–2002, she worked in the Department of Foreign Affairs at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister. In 2009, she became the Director of the Museum of Polish People’s Republic (PRL) in Kraków. Jadwiga is a Councillor in the regional assembly of Małopolskie Voivodeship and Vice-Chair of the Commission for the Innovation and Modern Technologies.
Jadwiga Emilewicz is a graduate of the Institute of Political Studies at the Jagiellonian University. She has begun doctoral studies at the Jagiellonian University’s Department of International and Political Studies. She is a holder of Oxford University scholarship, as well as scholarship granted under the American Council on Germany programme by Dräger Foundation, ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius. She has been associated with Tischner European University in Kraków since 2003. A social worker, the author of numerous scientific publications. The former President of the Better Poland Foundation. She speaks English, German and French.
Paweł joined Abris at its inception and has been instrumental in the developments of its activities across CEE. He has been focusing on structuring and leading an efficient investment practice, building at the same time a strong network within regional business communities. His investment philosophy is based on two fundamental ideas: creativity and trust. He believes that making deals is not only about signing bullet-proof contracts but about establishing relationships that could lead to building leading businesses of the region.
In his personal life, Paweł draws satisfaction from backing multiple charity initiatives, in particular focusing on supporting young Polish artists through helping them find their artistic identity and empowering their ambitions.
Prior to Abris, Pawel was a Partner at Copernicus Capital group with a responsibility for the management of the Octava and Piast NFIs. Additionally, Pawel has held many C-suit positions including a COO of Mostostal Warszawa SA.
A graduate of Economics, at the AGH University of Technology, Robert Wawro is the Chief Operating Officer of Maspex – one of the largest producers of food in Central and Easter Europe. He has been with Maspex for nearly 20 years, starting as a Finance Analyst straight out of college. In 2008 he became the head of Maspex’s Czech, Slovak and Hungarian branch, which he led until 2015. He became COO in May 2019.
Beata Daszyńska-Muzyczka is the President of the Management Board of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego – the Polish State Development Bank. She graduated from economic universities with majors in corporate finance management and completed the Advance Leadership Programme at the ICAN Institute of the Harvard Business Review. She is an alumna of Cambridge University.
Since 1994 till 2016 she worked for the Bank Zachodni WBK (part of Santander Group). She was in charge of the implementation of strategic projects, including the New Branch Model, electronic banking – MiniBank24 and optimization and rationalization of bank processes. Since 2005 she headed the Logistics and Real Estate Area and since 2008 became a member and then the chairman of the Supervisory Board of Bank Zachodni WBK Property. Since 2012 she was in charge of the organizational culture transformation – project Next Generation Bank and she was appointed as a head of the HR Partnership Area. After accomplishing a number of strategic projects she became a member of the Management Board of Bank Zachodni WBK in 2015. Since 2016 she was promoted to the President of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego (BGK) – a state development bank that initiates and implements programs serving the economic growth and improving the quality of life in Poland. She launched a new BGK Strategy, focused on the implementation of actions planned in the governmental Strategy for Responsible Development of Poland. Recently she was deeply involved in the 3SI, mainly in the process of establishing the 3SI Investment Fund. The Fund, established in June 2019, is aimed at financing infrastructure needs in the 3S region to support integration and strengthen economic cohesion in the EU.
Digital Disruption in Finance
There’s no industry in the world that isn’t facing digital disruption, and the financial services sector has been at the forefront of this revolution. On our panel we have representatives of three of the main actors: traditional banks that are coping with this new challenge; one of the challengers, a leading global fintech; and investors: PE funds which on the one hand are providing capital and helping fuel this revolution, and on the other are exposed to this disruption risk themselves.
As the managing partner of the Poland and CEE offices of Bain & Company, Jacek draws on his 25 years of consulting experience from across Europe, Canada and the United States. Jacek leverages Bain’s global resources in digital projects such as automation, machine learning and advanced analytics to help companies in the region apply lessons from markets around the globe. He is passionate about helping CEE clients unlock the profound competitive advantages that flow from the right combination of people, tools, data and strategic focus. Jacek also delivers strategic advice to clients including private equity funds and family offices. His experience stretches from banking, through energy and utilities, to retail and consumer products, and he is an expert on topics including value creation plans, customer strategy & marketing and performance improvement. Jacek graduated from the Warsaw School of Economics and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Krzysztof Krawczyk is a Head of Warsaw office and a Partner at CVC Capital Partners, one of the world’s leading private equity and investment advisory firms. He is also a board member of CVC’s two Polish portfolio companies, PKP Energetyka and Zabka.
Krzysztof has over 20 years of successful track record in European private equity and he served on the boards of numerous private and publicly-listed companies in telecom, media, manufacturing, logistics and healthcare sectors throughout the CEE region.
Prior to joining CVC, Krzysztof was Managing Partner at Innova Capital, a leading mid market private equity firm in Central Europe. Krzysztof also worked at Pioneer Investment, a Poland-based private equity fund, and Daiwa Institute of Research, an advisory arm of Japanese investment bank Daiwa.
He is a Vice President and Treasurer of Polish Private Equity Association and co-founded and co-chaired its LBO Committee in the past.
Krzysztof holds a degree (with Honors) in Finance & Banking from the Warsaw School of Economics.He is also an alumnus of Executive Program at Harvard Business School. Krzysztof has been awarded a PE Person of the Year for 2014 by members of Polish Private Equity Association.
Mr. Kulig is responsible for developing investments in financial services and B2B services across the region as well as maintaining relationships with the company’s business partners and LPs and fundraising process for the Fund. Krzysztof has strong experience in European private equity and a proven track record of active engagements in numerous transactions throughout the region.
Krzysztof led or oversaw investments in Polcard, Meritum, Expander, Provus, PEKAES and PeP. He has also sat on the non-executive boards of Neomedic, WP, PEKAES and PeP.
Before joining Innova, he served in the position of Vice – President & Managing Director in Euronet Services Poland. He previously worked as a Principal Consultant and Head of the e-business and professional services operations in Heidrick & Struggles.
Krzysztof holds an MBA from the University of Calgary in Canada and graduated from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England. Since 2018 he’s been a member of the Polish Business Roundtable (PBR).
Karol Sadaj joined Revolut in February 2018 and took the position of country manager in Poland. In Revolut he is responsible for business development and launching Polish branch.
Karol Sadaj is an experienced marketer with a unique profile – with expertise from the world’s largest consumer goods corporations (PepsiCo, Philip Morris) with the innovation of global giants in the field of new technology (Google, Uber). Passionate about scaling businesses, defining marketing strategies, and growth hacking.
In 2016-2018, as the head of marketing at Uber in Poland, together with the team, he implemented an business strategy based on profitable growth, simultaneous increase in demand (increase in the number of passengers, application users) and supply (increase in the number of drivers). He was responsible for the rapid growth of the company, all marketing activities and cooperation with business partners, including local Uber and Visa partnership.
Previously, in 2015-2016, Karol worked at Google, as Industry Manager in Large Customer Sales team, he was responsible for advising on digital business strategies for key clients in the automotive, pharmacological and fast moving goods (FMCG) industries. He is actively involved in mentoring and consulting for startups (Google Campus Warsaw and a mentoring program for FinTech Huge Thing.)
His passion is technological innovation and diving. He graduated in management and marketing at the University of Gdańsk.
Przemysław Gdański graduated from the University of Gdańsk (MSc. in Economics) and took a one-year program in international banking and finance at Loughborough University in the UK. He completed Advanced Management Program at IESE Business School and several professional and executive development programs at Harvard Business School, London Business School, University of California, Berkeley – Haas School of Business, Ashridge – Hult International Business School and HEC.
He has over 25 years of banking experience. From 1993 to 1995 he worked for IBP Bank SA, then for ABN AMRO Bank in Poland, Romania and in the headquarters in Amsterdam. From 2002 to 2006 he was managing director of Large Corporates Division in BPH Bank. From May to November 2006 – CEO and general director of Calyon Bank Polska and Calyon SA Branch in Poland. In November 2006 he was appointed the position of deputy CEO in BPH Bank, responsible for corporate banking and real estate financing. After the merger of part of BPH Bank and Pekao SA – deputy CEO of Pekao SA, responsible for Corporate Banking, Markets and Investment Banking in Division. Member and vice president of the Management Board of mBank (formerly BRE Bank) from November 19, 2008 to October 25, 2017, responsible for Corporate and Investment Banking.
Responsible for day-to-day management of the Bank and work performed by the Management Board. He represents the Bank’s Management Board towards third parties. His responsibilities also comprise overall supervision over the Bank’s organizational units. He supervises the Bank Management, Strategy & Agro Markets Area, including supervising the Internal Audit Line and the Bank’s compliance with law provisions, internal regulations and market standards. His supervisory duties also cover the Compliance Line, Legal Line, Marketing, Communication, Social Involvement Line, Agro-business Line, Strategy and MARKET Analysis Line. He also supervises the HR Area.
Green Revolution: How can we save our planet without jeopardizing economic growth?
Hardly any topic today attracts as much attention as the environment. It seems that just like the peace movement in the 1970s and national emancipation in the mid-19th century, environmental protection has become the rallying cry of the younger generation in the early 21st century. Serious challenges and questions lie ahead if that social energy is to drive real change. The greatest of them seems to be the question of how to introduce solutions that will decrease the impact of the energy sector on our environment, without at the same time undermining its efficiency. In other words, how can we save our planet without jeopardizing economic growth? The Green Energy panel will seek answers to that question in the Polish and the broader European context.
Justyna has been involved in journalism since 2006. She started in Gazeta Giełdy Parkiet, where she specialized in broadly defined electro-energetics. She later published in “Rzeczpospolita”, “Bloomberg Businesweek Polska”, on the “Wysokie Napięcie” website which she co-created and recently in “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”. Between 2015 and 2018 she received four awards at the Towarowa Giełda Energii competition for the best articles on electricity and gas markets. In 2017, she was named Journalist of the Year.
Since 1994 Mirosław Proppé has been associated with KPMG, one of the largest audit and consulting companies in Poland and the world. He was a partner and head of the advisory team for public administration and infrastructure in Central and Eastern Europe. In his many years of managerial work, Proppé has carried out projects in the area of social policy (counteracting unemployment and improving the effectiveness of social policy) and environmental protection (natural hazards, including Flood Risk Management Plans). He collaborated with representatives of public administration units, provincial governments, cities and major companies. As a manager, he was responsible for the implementation of complex projects and managed numerous teams of experts. Since August 1, 2018, he is the head of the WWF Poland Foundation.
Arkadiusz Sekściński holds a PhD in social sciences (political science) from the University of Warsaw. He was the organiser of the Internal Security study programme focusing on Energy Security, and a lecturer in such subjects as “Poland’s Energy Policy”, “Energy Policies of Contemporary Countries”, “Renewable Energy Sources” and “Planning and Financing Investment Projects in the Energy Sector”. Author of research articles in Polish and English. He is now attending an MBA Energy programme at Lazarski University.
Adam Guibourge-Czetwertyński graduated from HEC Paris and the history faculties of the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne and the University of Warsaw.
In 2013, he started working at the Ministry of the Environment in a team of climate negotiators during the UN COP19 Climate Summit in Warsaw. Earlier, he gained experience in the field of finance in the private sector.
In the years 2015-2018, he managed the environmental department at the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union in Brussels, in which he negotiated draft legislation in the field of environment and climate in the Council working groups. In 2018, he was the main negotiator of the Polish Presidency of COP24 in Katowice, preparing a package of decisions implementing the Paris Agreement, the so-called Katowice Rulebook. From 2019, he again managed the environmental department in the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the EU.
Roch Baranowski is a partner based in Bain & Company’s Warsaw office. He is an expert in the firm’s Advanced Manufacturing & Services practice.
Throughout his career, Roch has advised clients across Poland, Germany and the Middle East on a wide range of topics, including industrial goods & services, private equity, healthcare, chemicals, power generation, oil & gas and aviation. His core capabilities include strategy, corporate innovation and corporate venturing, trans-border operating models, exit planning and commercial due diligence. He is also deeply versed in pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
Prior to initially joining Bain in 2012, Roch served clients through senior roles at other top consultancies. He holds a master’s degree from Freie Universität Berlin and the University of Chicago.
How can Poland ensure the alliance defends its interests?
More than two decades since Poland’s accession to NATO, the alliance enjoys record support in our society compared with other allied countries. Poland’s security is more stable than it has been for centuries and the strategic imperatives of NATO membership enjoy support from across the political spectrum.
However, as the relative lack of serious great-power rivalry during the immediate post-Cold War period gives way to greater uncertainty and tension in the international system, the alliance’s future course is far from clear. There is broad consensus only on the need to work out our strategic choices. In this ongoing debate, Poland must know its priorities and be able to influence the discussion to shape NATO’s future in accordance with its interests. As evidenced by the most recent NATO summit and the preceding NATO Engages debates, we can identify certain questions that have a fundamental impact on Poland’s strategic interests and at the same time provoke differences of opinion among the allies, leaving their resolution open to discussion and change.
Michał Kobosko (born 1968), journalist and media manager. He has been studying at the Warsaw Technical University, the American Study Center at the Warsaw University. Gained his professional journalist experience in the early 1990s while working for “Gazeta Wyborcza”. Later acted as a Deputy Editor-in-Chief of “Puls Biznesu” (Bonnier Business Press). In 2004 he joined the Axel Springer group. He worked there as a Editor-in-Chief of a newly introduced Polish edition of “Forbes”. For three years, since October 2006, he acted as Editor-in-Chief of “Newsweek Polska”. In 2009 he was responsible for an editorial merger of “Dziennik. Polska-Europa-Świat” with “Gazeta Prawna”. He became the first Editor-in-Chief of the “Dziennik Gazeta Prawna”.
In 2011 he joined Platforma Mediowa Point-Group, where he was responsible for negotiations with Bloomberg L.P. resulting with a launch of “Bloomberg Businessweek Polska”. Later he became the editor-in-chief of WPROST newsweekly, a position he held until January 2013.
Since that Kobosko has been involved in a large number of new projects, including a Polish edition of Project Syndicate, where he was an editor until late 2016. Starting October 2013 he became a Director of Poland Office at the Atlantic Council (www.acus.org), where he served as the Senior Advisor. In 2015 he has been hosting a morning on-line TV political talk-show broadcasted by Wirtualna Polska (www.wp.pl).
He is a member of the board of the Junior Achievement Foundation (www.junior.org.pl) and the Leopolis for Future Foundation (www.leopolisforfuture.pl). A commentator of the political and business issues, host and moderator of numerous business & politics conferences and events.
Between 2007 and 2009 Paweł Kowal was a member of the Polish Parliament (Sejm), in 2006-2007 serving as a Secretary of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has published numerous publications on the transformation processes in Central Europe and is a member of the editorial board of the bi-monthly New Eastern Europeand member of the board of Platform of European Memory and Conscience and the Board of the Jan Nowak-Jeziorański’s College of Eastern Europe (Kolegium Europy Wschodniej) in Wroclaw. He recently published Wojciech Jaruzelski’s biography and is preparing an edition of archival documents on Polish view of the fall of the USSR as well as on monograph on the role of the oligarchy in Ukraine.
Paweł Kowal is a postdoctoral fellow at the Chair of European History and Civilization at College of Europe (Natolin) where he co-leads, together with prof. Georges Mink, the Three Ukrainian Revolutions project. He is also assistant professor in the Institute of Political Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences. In the past he co-founded the Museum of the Warsaw Rising in Warsaw and between 2009 and 2014 served as a member of the European Parliament, Chairman of UE delegation to EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Commission and of Foreign Affairs Committee.
Born in Bydgoszcz, Poland in 1963, Sikorski graduated from the University of Oxford with a B.A. and an M.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics (PPE). He headed the students’ strike committee during the unrest in Bydgoszcz in March 1981 and was granted political asylum in Great Britain in 1982-89. He was a war correspondent in Afghanistan and Angola in 1986-89. In 1987, Sikorski won the World Press Photo award for a photograph taken in Afghanistan. As Deputy Minister of National Defense in 1992, Radosław Sikorski initiated Poland’s NATO accession campaign. In 1998-2001 he served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland and Honorary Chairman of the Foundation for Assistance to Poles in the East. From 2002 to 2005, he was resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. and executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative. He was editor of the analytical publication European Outlook and organized international conferences on topics such as UN reform and the 25th anniversary of the Solidarity movement. He appeared before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Foreign Affairs as an expert on Atlantic issues.
Radosław Sikorski was elected senator for Bydgoszcz in 2005. He served as Minister of National Defense of Poland from 2005 to 2007, Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2007 to 2014, and Marshal of the Sejm (Speaker of Poland’s Parliament) from September 2014 to June 2015. Sikorski is the author of several books, including Dust of the Saints and The Polish House: An Intimate History of Poland. In 2012 he was named one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine “for telling the truth, even when it’s not diplomatic.”
The aftershocks of a successful revolution?
The political transformation of 1989 and the resulting economic shock therapy are recognised as a historic success for Poland, making it the fastest growing country in Europe over the last 30 years, and a model for other societies aspiring to democracy and prosperity. However, voices fundamentally critical of many aspects of the transformation have recently been louder than ever before. From deep changes in the structure of the judiciary, which according to some has never come to terms with its communist past, to the redistribution of Poland’s great economic success to places that never experienced it, a second revolution claims to be giving a voice to those who were previously silenced, and breaking down the entrenched structures that plague certain sectors of the state.
This argument seems to be backed up by popular support. Last year the government that represents this approach to the history of transformation was re-elected for a second term in office.
The overarching question is to what extent, if at all, is that narrative true? Is any popular discontent truly based in the legacies of 1989, or is this a question of imposing a political narrative on economic issues whose roots lie elsewhere?
Dr. Marcin Piatkowski is a Senior Economist at the World Bank’s office in Beijing, where he works with the government of China and Mongolia to improve the business environment, promote innovation and support green development. Before moving to Beijing, he led Bank projects in the Philippines, China, Poland, Ukraine and Latvia. Prior to joining the Bank in 2008, he was Chief Economist and Managing Director of PKO BP, the largest bank in Poland, economist in the European Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Advisor to IMF’s Executive Director. He also served as Advisor to Poland’s
Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance. Since 2000, he has been Professor of Economics at Kozminski University in Warsaw, where he taught macroeconomics and global finance.
Marcin holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Kozminski University and M.A. in Finance and Banking summa cum laude from theWarsaw School of Economics. He was a visiting scholar at Harvard University, London Business School and OECD Development Centre. He is the author of an international bestseller on “Europe’s Growth Champion. Insights from the Economic Rise of Poland” published by Oxford University Press in 2018. He is the founder of the “Save on Travel to Help the Poor” initiative, which encourages international institutions to provide staff with an option to switch air travel from business to economy and use the savings to fight poverty.
Szymon Hołownia is a journalist, author and a social activist. He is a candidate in the Polish presidential elections in 2020.
In the years 1997–2000 he was the editor of the culture section of Gazeta Wyborcza, and in the years 2001–2004 a columnist and editor of the social section of Newsweek Polska. From April to July 2005 he was the deputy editor-in-chief of “Ozon”. From September 2005 to 2006 he worked for Rzeczpospolita as an editor of the Plus Minus department. He published in Kultura Popularna, Machina, Przewodnik Katolicki, Tygodnik Powszechny, and Więź. In the years 2006–2012 he was again a columnist for Newsweek Polska. From September 2012 to April 2013 he was a columnist for the Wprost. From 2015, he is a regular columnist for Tygodnik Powszechny (in 2019 he suspended writing due to his presidential campaign). He was one of the founders of the Białystok branch of the Pomoc Maltańska foundation.
In April 2013, he founded the “Kasisi” foundation running an orphanage in Zambia. In 2014, he founded the “Dobra Fabryka” foundation, organizing help for the people of Bangladesh, Mauritania, Rwanda, Burkina Faso and Senegal. In December 2019 he announced his candidacy for the Polish presidency.
Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland, Minister for European Integration, co-founder of Kongres Liberalno-Demokratyczny and Unia Wolności and Executive Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. From October 2003 to January 2010 he was the President of Bank Pekao S.A.
In November 2009, he was appointed Chairman of the Council of the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) and held this function until December 2015. In March 2010, he was appointed Chairman of the Economic Council at the Prime Minister. He held that position until January 2015, when he joined EY Polska as the chairman of the Partner Board.
Marek Matraszek was born in the UK and studied at Magdalen College, Oxford, where he graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics in 1984. Following a year in Poland teaching at the Catholic University of Lublin, he returned to Magdalen to obtain a Master’s degree in Russian and East European Studies in 1987. He then continued his studies at Oxford, reading for a doctoral dissertation.
Marek moved to Poland in 1990 as a freelance political consultant, and worked closely with both the British Conservative Party and the US Republican Party in assisting their activities in Central Europe. In 1992 he was appointed to represent the Margaret Thatcher Foundation in the region, and continued to be active in political journalism and think-tank work in Central Europe.
He co-established CEC in the early 1990s as the first Western-style public affairs boutique consultancy in the region, and since then has grown the Warsaw office of the company into the leading public affairs and political communications agency in Poland. Today he specialises in designing and implementing strategic communications and lobbying campaigns for major US, UK and European multinationals in Poland, and advising on their political strategy in the Central European region as a whole. Although his experience stretches across most industrial sectors, he has a special expertise in defence, aviation and energy, and currently advises leading Western defence companies on their strategic campaigns in Poland and the region.