The Programme on Modern Poland
The Programme on Modern Poland was established by the Noble Foundation in 2012. It is the first of its kind, an interdisciplinary project addressed to academia, implemented abroad and devoted wholly to the study of modern Poland and its transformations since 1989.
The programme is a cultural diplomacy platform for future leaders and decision-makers from around the world currently studying at Europe’s prestigious universities. It examines Poland through the lens of its successful transformation rather than its difficult pre-1989 history, as had often been the case in the past.
The project was initially implemented at Oxford’s St Antony’s College. In 2016 it changed its mode of operation and turned into a grant programme, open to all applying research institutions from Great Britain, engaged in studies on modern Poland. In the first round of the call for applications, in the Autumn 2016, five prestigious institutions were awarded with grants: Royal Holloway, University of London; London School of Economics; King’s College London; University of York and Queen’s University in Belfast. The foundation is also working with the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at UCL.
The Noble Foundation and POMP
The Noble Foundation, previously known as the Oxford Noble Foundation, was officially established in October 2012 by Dr. Leszek Czarnecki, one of Poland’s leading business entrepreneurs. Propagating knowledge about modern Poland as a dynamic and modern country, a serious player in the European economy, culture and politics has always been one of the Foundation’s main goals. Its charter activity is to support academic and research activity concerning Poland at leading universities abroad.
In the first stage, the foundation established the Programme on Modern Poland at Oxford University in 2012. Distinguished academics and highly regarded authority figures on Poland’s 20 years of freedom were involved in creating the study programme in 2013-2016. They included, from Oxford’s St Antony’s College, Prof. Timothy Garton Ash, Professor Emeritus Norman Davies, and Prof. Margaret MacMillan, the of Warden St Antony’s College. Honorary patrons include Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki (1927-2013), a figure symbolic of the success of the Polish transformation, and Emeritus Fellow Zbigniew Pełczyński, a distinguished Polish professor at Oxford University who has for years supported Poles studying there.
The Programme on Modern Poland has implemented a series of events addressed to the international community, focused on statehood, foreign policy, culture, modern security issues, as well as the challenges in political dialogue facing the EU and the region. These initiatives drew a collection of students, academics as well as representatives of NGOs. In June 2015, the Foundation partnered with the University of Cambridge in organising a conference on Polish-Ukrainian relations.
Since 2016, the project has moved to the second stage and expanded its reach through grants to include five other institutions in the UK: Royal Holloway, University of London; London School of Economics; King’s College London; University of York and Queen’s University in Belfast. The Programme is also working with the School of Slavonic and East European Studies at the University College London.
A second call for applications has been announced in 2017.
- To support research and teaching on modern Poland in the United Kingdom
- To build bridges between British and Polish universities and research institutes
- To spread the cutting-edge knowledge of modern Poland within the U.K., Europe and the world
“Today, Poland finds itself at a unique time in history. We can be proud of how much we accomplished. Today, we are a strong player in Europe, our economy is experiencing dynamic growth, and we have been coping with the crisis better than others. We’ve caught up with the peloton. We have the capacity and energy to reach higher. This is Poland’s time and we have to make the most of it. I also believe that private capital has a real debt to pay to Poland, where, thanks to the transformation, we have had a chance to build our own business ventures. That’s why I am honoured that I can finance such a unique project as the Programme on Modern Poland at Oxford,”
founder and owner of Noble Bank, 2012
Professor of European Politics and Ralf Dahrendorf Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford University. His main research interests are in the field of European Integration and Disintegration, Geography of Power in Europe, Return of Empires, European Foreign and Security Policy, Media and Democracy in Europe.
Professor Norman Davies is a Fellow at the British Academy. He is Professor Emeritus of History, University of London; Honorary Fellow, St Antony’s College, Oxford; Life Member, Clare Hall, Cambridge. Professor in Polish History School of Slavonic & East European Studies, University of London. He was UNESCO Professor at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow. He is an honorary citizen of four Polish cities. In 2012 he was granted Poland’s highest award, membership of the Order of the White Eagle.
Anna Zalewska is Professor of Finance at the School of Management, University of Bath. Her research focuses on the pension industry, and impact of pension reforms on the development of financial markets, corporate governance, corporate finance and issues of emerging markets: development, investment opportunities, integration and efficiency. She holds a PhD in Mathematics, Polish Academy of Sciences, and PhD in Economics, London Business School.
Director of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, University College London and and Pro-Vice Provost for Europe at UCL. Before coming to London, he taught at Rutgers University for almost twenty years. He is also a Recurring Visiting Professor at the Graduate School for Social Research, Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. He works on the interplay between power (politics) and culture, protest politics and social movements, post-communist transformations.
Chairman of the Management Board of the Noble Foundation. He is a Member of the Management Board at Getin Noble Bank SA. He serves on the Supervisory Board of Bank Polskich Inwestycji S.A., Noble Funds – Towarzystwo Funduszy Inwestycyjnych S.A. He graduated from the University of Warsaw.
Board Member of the Noble Foundation. Managing Director of Big Picture consultancy, with 12 years of experience in PR. She combines business, public- and NGO-sector experience with a specialization in initiatives promoting Poland. She has been responsible for the PR strategies e.g. of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews and celebrations of Poland’s 20 and 25 years of independence. She served as a civic Advisor to an Office of President of Poland (2010-2015). A graduate of the London School of Economics and Hansard Society member.
Patrick Kimunguyi is the administrator of the Programme since April 2016. He held teaching and research positions at Monash, Melbourne and Deakin Universities in Australia. He has been a research team member at the National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury, New Zealand and a visiting fellow at the Department of International Development, Oxford University. He received his PhD in Political Science and Masters in International Relations from the University of Warsaw, Poland.