Baltic-American Dialogue Program
The Baltic-American Dialogue program fosters the exchange of ideas between the Baltic States and U.S. and stimulates international collaboration.
Public organizations in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are invited to apply for funds to host speakers from the U.S. to travel to the Baltics. BAFF provides successful applicant organizations with financial support to sponsor American speakers on topics of mutual importance and interest. Funding is designed to cover expenses such as airfare, local lodging and meals, and regional transportation.
Applicant organizations are encouraged to design programs and invite speakers to address the interests of their unique constituencies. Cross-Baltic institutional cooperation and programs with opportunities for student participation are especially encouraged.
Baltic experts who have been invited to present at major U.S. conferences or to address significant U.S. audiences are invited to apply for funds to cover unreimbursed costs of attending, such as airfare, and lodging, and meals
Educational institutions such as university faculties, government entities, nongovernmental organizations such as Chambers of Commerce, social service organizations, and trade and business groups are eligible to apply for funding. Speakers should be chosen according to the interests and needs of the sponsoring group.
Since visibly strengthening U.S.-Baltic ties is a core value for the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation, the strongest proposals will provide opportunities for bilateral learning and exchange of ideas between U.S. speakers and members of Baltic sponsoring institutions. In addition, proposals that include collaboration between similar groups or institutions within the Baltics and those that contain educational components for secondary or university students will be given special consideration.
Baltic experts who have been invited to speak at major U.S. conferences or to address significant audiences on issues of special importance are invited to apply. BAFF alumni, including Professional Interns, Graduate Scholars, and Research Scholars, are eligible to apply.
Applications will be accepted and reviewed twice a year.
*Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview in person before the decision notification date
Applications will be accepted for funding of up to $10,000 USD. Funds will be disbursed as required based on the schedule provided in the application.
Funding of up to $5,000 USD is available for successful applicants. Funds will be disbursed according to the requirements and schedule specified in the application.
Since the opportunity to travel to the Baltics and meet with counterparts in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania represents a substantial benefit for potential U.S. speakers, funding does not cover speakers’ fees or honoraria. Rather, funds are intended to cover expenses such as airfare, local lodging and meals, and associated events, such as receptions.
Eligible expenses include:
Non-reimbursed expenses such as:
Proposals are evaluated by members of the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation Board of Advisors, which includes representatives of a range of educational and civic organizations across the Baltics. (Board of Advisors members affiliated with organizations submitting proposals will recuse from the process.) Proposals will also be assessed by BAFF staff members based in the Baltics and the U.S.
Special consideration will be given to proposals jointly developed by, for example, American Chambers of Commerce for programs taking place successively in all three capitals, or by university faculties cooperating across several disciplines. Consideration will also be given to proposals that include faculty symposia, discussion groups, student forums, related competitions, or other unique opportunities for involvement with a topic.
Baltic Expert applications will be evaluated based on the significance of the U.S. conference, size and importance of the audience, and opportunities for post-program collaboration. Experts must be specifically invited to participate in a conference or meeting that would not regularly be funded by the home institution. Funding is not intended to cover regular conference participation. Travel funding is intended to cover only expenses that are not reimbursed by either the applicant’s Baltic organization or the inviting organization. Travel funds will be disbursed based on submitted expenses, according to the unique requirements of applicants.
Finalists will be invited to present their proposals in person. Presentations should address:
Thank you for your organization’s interest in applying to the BAFF Baltic-American Dialogue Program.
The following checklist will help you gather documents needed to complete your application. You must complete the application in its entirety and submit all required documents by the published deadline.
Please forward your completed application and
event proposal to: email@example.com
BAFF Baltic-American Dialogue Program Application Checklist
Public Organizations: In a separate document, describe, in free format, the rationale for both the topic and the speaker. Include the speaker’s CV if available. Provide a brief explanation of the benefit to be gained by both your organization and the speaker. If this is a proposal submitted by multiple organizations working together, describe the benefits you expect to gain from your collaboration. Include a description of any associated events, such as faculty symposia or student seminars. If admission will be charged, indicate who will be responsible for selling and distributing tickets. Provide a media and publicity plan for the event describing the media opportunities for your organization and your guest speaker, e.g., interviews and event coverage. Finally describe the criteria you will use to evaluate the outcome of the event.
Baltic Experts: In a separate document, describe the conference or other event you have been invited to address. Describe the topic you have been invited to discuss and its importance to your prospective audience. Include a description of opportunities for international collaboration presented by your participation. Provide a detailed budget in USD. Finally, include your résumé or CV.
Public Organizations: Documentation of Official Legal Status or Organizational Registration (can be in local language)
Baltic Experts: Letter of invitation from U.S. conference or other event sponsor
If you have questions while you are working on your application, please contact us at info@BalticAmericanFreedomFoundation.org.
Crisis Simulation Scenario Design Workshop and International Conference on Security in the Baltic Region
Implementing Organization: Lithuanian National Defence Foundation
Speakers: COL (Ret.) Samuel Gardiner, Jamestown Foundation and Dr. Michael Carpenter, Senior Director of the Joseph R. Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement, University of Pennsylvania
Project Dates: March 2—3, 2017
Highlighting the importance of a more accessible discourse about security and defence, Lithuanian National Defence Foundation carried out this project aimed at initiating active and consistent discussions among key regional stakeholders – policy makers, NGOs, media representatives, and others. Lithuanian National Defence Foundation invited two keynote U.S. speakers: COL (Ret.) Samuel Gardiner from Jamestown Foundation and Dr. Michael Carpenter from University of Pennsylvania to present at the international conference “Strengthening Social Resilience against Hybrid Threats in the Baltic Region”, as well as to take part in the the Planning Workshop for international security experts. As the result of this project, the National Defense Foundation in Cooperation with National Security and Defense Committee (NSDC) of Lithuania and MOD will start implementing a war-gaming/crisis simulation program. The next International Security Conference will be organized in March of 2018, after the Crisis Simulation exercises.
Tour of Kimleigh Smith’s Solo Performance T-O-T-A-L-L-Y!, and Sexual Assault Awareness-Raising Campaign in Lithuania
Implementing Organization: Ethnic Kitchen
Speaker: Ms. Kimleigh Smith, American actress, activist, public speaker, and coach
Project Dates: March 7—9, 2017
The Sexual Awareness Raising Campaign in Lithuania was designed to raise awareness among Lithuanian students, educators, the general public, and the media regarding issues of sexual assault and violence against women, through public presentations, discussions, and interactive seminars by American actress, activist, public speaker, and coach, Kimleigh Smith. Kimleigh Smith is an African-American woman who, having survived a gang rape in college, shares her journey towards recovery in her transformative workshops. The project consisted of the European premier of Kimleigh Smith’s solo performance T-O-T-A-L-L-Y!, which was performed in three major cities of Lithuania – Vilnius, Kaunas and Klaipeda, followed by workshops and public presentations for university students. As the result of the project, Lithuanian media, universities, municipalities, NGOs and the general public were introduced to effective means of sexual assault prevention through the theatre.
Barry Primus Masterclasses for Getting A Great Performance
Implementing Organization: InScript
Speaker: Mr. Barry Primus, Director, Actor
Project Dates: March 7—9, 2017
By underlining the importance of professional growth among Lithuanian actors and directors, InScript company invited Mr. Barry Primus, prominent American film director and actor, to conduct masterclasses and workshops for Lithuanian actors and directors. Using techniques of Lee Strasburg, Sandy Meisner and Stella Adler, as well as his own experience with Elia Kazan, Barry Primus worked on structure, the journey to the truth of character, famous scenes, contemporary material and requested material. Barry Primus conducted two workshops for film industry professionals, and held one open lecture at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theater. Feedback for these workshops from well-trained and experienced Lithuanian actors was that Barry‘s masterclasses were eye-opening and inspiring experiences.
sTARTUp Day 2016
Implementing Organization: University of Tartu
Speaker: Mr. Ravi Belani, Fenwick & West Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at Stanford University, and Managing Director of the Alchemist Accelerator
Project Dates: December 9, 2016
sTARTUp Day 2016 took place in Tartu, and the event was mostly centered on a topical issue in the start-up world – how to earn if there’s nothing to burn? The aim was to reach as many university students, fledgling startuppers, but also more advanced entrepreneurs, in order to create an environment for people to exchange their experiences, thoughts and ideas. A truly successful turnout, with 40 percent of visitors being students, and over 3000 attendees, which made this the biggest business event in the history of Estonia. By focusing on the beginnings in a start-up environment, topics included everything from having an idea or an entrepreneurial mindset to having a business model that creates positive cash flow, a well-known product or growth-phase investments, and strategies. With the help of one of the keynote speakers, Ravi Belani, the discussion revolved around how and why startups so often burn money, and why so little of them succeed in the end.
New Approach to Learning – How it Looks In a Classroom?
Implementing Organization: Noored Kooli
Speaker: Mr. James Basham, Associate Professor in Kansas University
Project Dates: March 23, 2017
A conference “New Approach to Learning – How it Looks in a Classroom?” organized by Noored Kooli and Tallinn University, was designed for teachers with a range of experiences, with the goal to create a space for participants to discuss what student-centered learning is and what it looks like in a classroom. The featured presentation was given by James D. Basham from the University of Kansas, who is also the Cofounder and Executive Director of UDL-IRN (Universal Design for Learning Implementation and Research Network). For educators in Estonia, it was an opportunity to learn how to design a learning experience in a way that supports every child, and with practical guidelines that would allow for immediate implementation. In addition to the theoretical portion, workshops and seminars were held where participants could already put into practice what they learnt.
Festival Jazzkaar Jazztalks: “Music Critic – a Friend or a Foe of the Musician?”
Implementing Organization: MTÜ Jazzkaare Sõprade Ühing
Speaker: Mr. Andrey Henkin, Editorial Director of New York Jazz Record
Project Dates: March 27, 2017
With inception in 1990, Tallinn International Festival Jazzkaar is the biggest Jazz Festival in the Baltics. Combining an interesting and unique program with a bold solution, Jazzkaar creates one of the best jazz festivals by bringing the biggest and most interesting research from the world’s jazz scene to Tallinn and Estonia. Jazz Talks is a meeting place for the world’s Jazz Festival organizers, top foreign journalists, musicians, culture promoters, and melomaniacs. Talks took place throughout several days, with one topic titled “The Music Critic – a Friend or Foe of the Musician“. With help of the U.S. expert, Andrey Henkin, the American and Estonian experts were brought together to network and share their knowledge. In addition, local musicians had the chance to showcase their talents for future potential collaborations.
Cyber Security Summer School 2017
Implementing Organization: Hariduse Infotehnoloogia Sihtasutus
Speaker: Mr. Jeffrey Moulton, Executive Director of Stephenson’s National Center for Security Research and Training and the Transformation Technologies and Cyber Research Center at Louisiana State University (LSU)
Project Dates: July 10 – 14, 2017
The objective in creating the Cyber Security Summer School was to elevate Estonia’s reputation as a nation focused on incorporating cyber security into higher education and scientific development. In addition, the program seeks to facilitate the acquisition and sharing of skills geared towards promising security in a future information society. This time the focus was on social engineering.
Mr. Jeffrey Moulton addressed privacy issues in the cyber world. In his talks, he detailed why we should be careful with revealing personal information and why cyber hygiene is so important.
Energy and Electrical Engineering Seminars
Implementing Organization: Riga Technical University
Speaker: Dr. Aaron Grecko
Project Dates: May 23—30, 2017
The highlight event was Dr. Harold Kirkhams’s appearance at the RTU doctoral school, where he gave a speech “The Third Revolution in Measurement” which was well received by professors from Latvia (RTU) Lithuania (KTU), Estonia (TTU) and Germany (Rheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen). The doctoral school at RTU is bringing together aspired PhD students, graduate students, professors and researchers involved in many specializations, for this exceptional seminar event. The multinational audience consisted of mainly academic participants (professors, PhD students, post-grads, senior researchers and scientists totaling 43 overall participants) from five countries.
Additionally the visit to the largest Latvian distribution system operator AS “Sadales tīkls” was on the agenda. In the successful meeting with four representatives from smart grid projects and metering operations, professionals discussed the smart grid situations in both Latvia and the USA.
The Sound We See: Riga
Implementing Organization: Association “Makslas platforma”
Project Dates: July 3—25, 2017
An audiovisual project The Sound We See: Riga was produced by Association ‘Makslas platforma’ in cooperation with the art and culture website Arterritory.com, and the non-profit media arts organization Echo Park Film Center (Los Angeles, USA). During the project, participants were involved in seven masterclasses, in which they were introduced to camera mechanics, shooting, hand-processing and editing. By working together, participants learned how to shoot, process and edit 16mm film; for most participants this was a first-time experience with filmmaking. Participants were also asked to zoom in on their own cities, discussing its architecture, history, areas, and their memories of particular places. Each participant then had to photograph the area in the city they chose during one hour of the 24-hour cycle.
Professional Training for Judges and Prosecutors on Fighting Child Sex Abuse
Implementing Organization: Latvian Judicial Training Centre
Speaker: Philip Koss and Miriam Falk
Project Dates: March 27—31, 2017
Latvian Training Centre (LJTC) organized two training seminars for legal practitioners and focused on improving the interests of child victims of sex abuse. Both seminars honed in on the best interests of children who are involved in criminal proceedings. Participants were challenged to look beyond their usual roles as a judge, prosecutor or state official. Events were carried out with an interdisciplinary approach in order to tackle the problem of child sex abuse from new angles. Among the speakers were judges, prosecutors, investigators, clinical psychologists, NGO experts and the Director of State Inspectorate of Protection of Children’s Rights. Each speaker shared their professional experience, complementing each other and thus creating a holistic program.
Implementing Organization: Crisis and Counseling Center “Skalbes”
Speaker: Jeffrey T. Mitchell
Project Dates: October 6 – 7, 2016
Professor Jeffrey T. Mitchell (University of Maryland, Baltimore, and President Emeritus of the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation) presented his lecture at the University of Latvia before crisis intervention professionals (i.e. psychologists, medical professionals, social workers, police and fire rescue officials), students and faculty members.
The event was a two-day seminar and workshop for psychologists, crisis counselors, social workers, psychotherapists, psychology educators and students from Lithuania and Estonia. The seminar focused on the mechanism of providing individual and group support, not only for civilians, but also for emergency services professionals, who often suffer from secondary traumatization as a result of their assistance to others in crisis situations. This was a tremendous opportunity for professionals to draw on from the Professor’s extensive experience in the field, while learning about the most up-to-date techniques in crisis intervention methods and reflecting on their own previous cases of crisis intervention.
Implementing Organization: Nordic Reputation Hub
Project Dates: November 27 – 29, 2016
The Digital Freedom Festival (DFF), an annual international event covering topics like technology, policy, start-ups and lifestyle, brings together start-up entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors, journalists and students from across the globe to Riga for a glimpse of the newest and latest technologies. This festival becomes a platform for exploring way for collaboration between the public, policymakers and entrepreneurs, while harnessing the advantages of technology. The event also facilitates discussion amongst all stakeholders on how to make the world a better place, and how the benefits of the digital revolution can be enjoyed by every member of society. The program touched upon a range of themes, including e-governance, shared economy, smart cities, cybersecurity, and start-up development. Discussions on digital freedom, a meaningful use of technologies, and investor pitching was also part of the agenda. In addition, the festival featured several supplementary events, such as a start-up pitching competition, masterclasses and speed-dating with investors.
Implementing Organization: University of Latvia
Speaker: Dr. Aaron Greco
Project Dates: September 19 – 23, 2016
Lectures and a seminar were led by Dr. Aaron Greco within the course “Specialization Seminar on Macroscopic Phenomena II: Problems of Environmental and Technological Processes” (Master’s program in physics).
The lectures provided an introduction to physical and engineering aspects of rolling/sliding contact, offered an overview of failure modes experienced by wind turbine bearings, and included a seminar. The audience enjoyed and benefited from the lectures as well as the follow-up discussion. The workshop concluded with a discussion about contemporary views on the discussed failure mode. The event was very important for students mastering in Physics at University of Latvia, since applied mechanics are generally presented in the study program in a fragmented manner. Students were given the unique opportunity to hear a general overview of the topic from the experienced researcher and active scientist. The presentations and lecture notes were also shared with the course tutor for further use in the course.
Implementing Organization: Lithuanian Mental Health Institute
Speaker: Dr. David Hof, Dr. Daniel Hof
Project Dates: September 22-26, 2016
The one-day conference “Sexual Abuse: Problems and Solutions” was held on September 23, 2016, in Kaunas, Lithuania. The conference was jointly coordinated by the Lithuanian Mental Health Institute and Vytautas Magnus University, Department of Psychology and Psychological Clinic. 198 professionals (students, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and teachers) attended the event. The first portion of the conference consisted of a scientific discussion about sexual abuse in Lithuania. The second portion was a practical workshop featuring two US experts, Dr. David Hof and Dr. Daniel Hof, who introduced potential solutions and provided conference participants with some practical skills for working with sex offenders. On September 26, a group of 26 participants (students and faculty members of VMU) attended Dr. David Hof and Dr. Daniel Hof’s lecture “Wellness in the Helping Profession”.
Psychologists, social workers, psychotherapists and counselors were introduced to a counseling protocol which could be directly utilized in their treatment of sex offender patients or victims of sexual abuse. The conference stressed the immediate connection between sexual victimization and future sexual abuses. The conference will encourage mental health specialists to take on sex offenders as their patients, and will help to improve mental health services for patients with various sexual problems.
Implementing Organization: Lithuanian Sports University
Speaker: Prof. Monica Lounsbery
Project Dates: October 10 – 14, 2016
U.S. researcher, Prof. Dr. Monica Lounsbery, enlightened students and faculty members with her knowledge of physical activity policy for the schools, about the process of evaluating and implementing such policies, and how to establish collaboration amongst Baltic universities and institutions. Lithuanian Sports University hosted a series of meetings where Prof. Lounsbery appeared before LSU students, Physical Education teachers, LSU authorities and faculty members, and representatives of various Lithuanian governmental institutions, including the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Health. Representatives of Physical Education teachers from the University of Tartu and Latvian Academy of Sports Education were also among the attendees. Her visit spawned a research collaboration between the LSU and California State University which will focus on physical activity in children. In addition, with a collaboration involving the Ministry of Education and Science, physical activity policy in Lithuanian schools is expected to be viewed as part of the school health index, and changes in physical activity policy are on the horizon.
Implementing Organization: Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University
Speakers: Daniel Hamilton
Project dates: September 26-28, 2016
Dr. Daniel Hamilton, Executive Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations for John Hopkins University SAIS, led the week-long methodological workshop “Relevance of political science in contemporary society: bridging the gap between academia and policymaking” for PhD students and faculty members at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University (Lithuania). In addition, he gave his public lecture, “The state of transatlantic relations and possible impact of US presidential elections”, at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science at Vilnius University (Lithuania), at Riga Stockholm School of Economics (Latvia), and at Skytte Institute of Political Studies at the University of Tartu (Estonia).
There were several motivations behind this lecture event, the first being the significant and forthcoming change in U.S. foreign policy with the looming Presidential elections. Mr. Daniel Hamilton’s visit happened less than two months before the presidential elections, when the Democratic and Republican candidates had already received their party’s nominations, and both campaigns were in full swing. Thus, the theme was a hotly-debated topic among Baltic top-ranking politicians, political scientists, academics and the public. Mr. Hamilton’s lecture provided a very welcome and well-informed platform for exchanging opinions and hearing academic insights from an expert in the field for over 30 years. In the lecture, Mr. Hamilton focused on various contingencies for each candidate, and the implications of their victories for the transatlantic and European economic and security agendas.
Implementing Organization: Lithuanian Sports University
Speakers: Dr. Donald A. Neumann
Project dates: November 18-28, 2016
The Lithuanian Sports University hosted Dr. Donald A. Neumann of Marquette University for the International seminar “Kinesiology of the Hip and Shoulder: Establishing Foundations for Physical Therapy Assessment and Treatment”. LSU Physical Therapy students and professionals were also able to attend other related seminars and expert talks in the schedule of events.
The Physical Therapy seminar was geared towards practicing physical therapy clinicians, and highlighted intermediate and advanced concepts of clinical kinesiology. Example pathokinesiology case studies incited fruitful discussion on possible diagnoses and treatments. This project and the experience shared by Dr. Neumann resulted in the formation and incorporation of an Advanced Kinesiology course into LSU’s study program, as well as a discussion on acquiring laboratory equipment for kinesiology research.
Implementing Organization: Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu
Speakers: Prof. Nikhil Munshi, Dr. Rao Prabhala, Dr. Masood Shammas, post-doctoral fellow Subodh Kumar
Project dates: September 9, 2016
The goal of the symposium was to fortify the scientific collaboration between Prof. Hele Evearus’s research group from Tartu University and Prof. Nikhil Munshi’s group from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, thus, in turn, improving the likelihood of survival for myeloma patients in Estonia.
Students, PhD students and researchers who attended Prof. Munshi’s state-of-the-art lecture learned about the new diagnostic criteria for multiple myeloma, and discussed other related topics, such as the U.S. guidelines on multiple myeloma, or the latest drug treatments. A mutual agreement to continue scientific research was secured between Prof. Munshi’s and Prof. Evearus’s group: young researchers from TU will be welcomed to do scientific research in Prof. Munshi’s group, and applications to foundations like BAFF are encouraged.
Implementing Organization: University of Tartu
Speakers: Dr. Rebecca Schiff
Project dates: November 14-15, 2016
A two-day event at two venues in Tartu (the Baltic Defense College and the University of Tartu) featured Dr. Rebecca Schiff, from the U.S. Naval War College, who presented theories on civil-military relations and their political, sociological and theoretical perspectives. Participants included civil servants from the Baltic Defense College representing all three Baltic States, as well as members of Tallinn University, University of Tartu, the Estonian Ministry of Defense, the Estonian Defense Forces, the Estonian Defense League, the Women´s Voluntary Defense Organization, the Estonian War College and the University of Copenhagen.
The lectures centered around Dr. Schiff´s Concordance Theory, and concluded with interactive discussions between the students from all three Baltic countries and Denmark. Participants also brainstormed solutions to two hypothetical case studies: one in a world with NATO and another one in a world without NATO.
Implementing Organization: Junior Achievement
Speakers: Prof. John Brock
Project dates: October 24-30, 2016
Junior Achievement Estonia hosted a workshop training event for economics and entrepreneurship teachers and trainers under the guidance of Prof. John Brock from the University of Colorado. The main objective was to highlight new learning and teaching methods for Estonian teachers. John Brock demonstrated various active learning methods for teaching basic entrepreneurship concepts, and showed how education and economic knowledge can facilitate the job-hunting or start-up processes. Teachers were introduced to various methods for integrating economics and entrepreneurship into their lessons. The 40 trainers and teachers who participated in the workshop plan to incorporate their new-found knowledge and skills into their classrooms in Estonia. Many teaching materials have been translated and adapted into the Estonian language as a financial support towards achieving this goal.
Implementing Organization: Latvian Academy of Culture
Speaker: Linda Norris
Project Dates: February 8 – 21, 2016
Museums are no longer temples for scholars only: now exhibitions should provide meaningful experiences for families as well. This project was organized to explore different creativity theories, how to adapt content, and how to work with a spectrum of learners and learning styles. In addition to round-table discussions and numerous workshops (i.e. Developing family friendly exhibits; Creating a Great Tour, Visitor voices in museums), museum expert, Linda Norris, presented two significant studies about museums in the United States, and how museums can serve as bridges connecting all segments of a community. It offered an incredible experience where participants gained insight into designing guided tours that inspire visitors.
Location: Latvia and Lithuania
Implementing Organization: Latvian Academy of Culture
Speaker:Anne G. Morgan and Jen Silverman
Project Dates: May 2 – 13, 2016
The Latvian Academy of Culture, in collaboration with the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, carried out the intensive dramaturgy workshops of American dramaturge, Anne G. Morgan, and playwright, Jen Silverman, in Riga and Vilnius. During both workshops, Anne G. Morgan introduced the trends of American playwriting, American methods of new play development and production, and discussed the role of American playwrights. Mr. J. Silverman runs practical sessions on playwriting techniques, prompts, exercises, and text analysis. During the workshop, participants developed and fine-tuned their texts which were presented at the final New Drama Evening. As a segue to the workshops, a separate seminar allowed participants to share their workshop experiences with others. Several other related events took place in Riga and Vilnius, such as an open lecture on trends in American playwriting, which drew in Latvian producers, playwrights, director and actors for participation and discussion.
Implementing Organization: LCC International University
Speaker: Dr. Robert Lawson, Southern Methodist University, Dallas (Texas)
Project Dates: March 20 – 25, 2016
LCC International University organized a series of presentations by Dr. Robert Lawson, a faculty member at the O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom of the Cox School of Business, which is part of Southern Methodist University. Dr. Lawson coauthors the Economic Freedom of the World report, issued annually since 1996, as well as discussions on Economic Freedom in the Baltic States: A Look Back and a Way Forward: analysis of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia’s economic freedom rankings as 22nd, 27th, and 44th in the world.
During Dr. Robert Lawson’s visit to all three Baltic States, four events were held in Klaipeda, Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn, consisting of open lectures and subsequent roundtable discussions. All participants gained insight into the latest research, after which, were invited to ask questions. Dr. Robert Lawson met colleagues/scholars, and, during open discussions, listened to the opinions of the citizens from the countries featured in these rankings.
Implementing Organization: Kaunas University of Technology
Speaker: Dr. Thomas A. Bryer, Associate Professor, University of Central Florida (Florida)
Project Dates: March 31 – April 5, 2016
The conference “VoluntYear 2016” drew in more than 100 local and foreign participants from Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and other EU countries, all representing diverse segments of society. The key speaker of the conference, Thomas A. Bryer, presented studies and research on volunteerism in both the U.S. as well as other countries that carry deep-seated traditions in volunteering. The conference served as an effective platform for reinforcing participation and brainstorming new methods of collaboration between Baltic and American universities (Kaunas University of Technology, University of Latvia, and University of Central Florida) in concert with NGOs involved in volunteerism. The conference, initiated by KUT, encouraged the academic community to engage more actively in volunteering activities, and provided an opportunity for disseminating information about volunteering and the core values of civil society.
Implementing Organization: Transparency International Lithuania
Speaker: Mr. Frank Vogl
Project Dates: July 4 – 10, 2016
The Lithuanian chapter of Transparency International organized the 7th Annual Transparency International School on Integrity. TI Lithuania has been organizing the Transparency International Summer School on Integrity since 2010. In 2016, the School hosted more than 120 participants from 60 countries worldwide to discuss the issue of corruption in the public and private sectors, and to underline ways for active citizens to engage in grass-roots activities while pursuing change. Mr. Vogl held a session on the impact of corruption, delved into its repercussions and methods of countervailing, and provided students with individual consultations.
Implementing Organization: Tallinn University of Technology
Speakers: Erik J. Sanford – BIM Director, Dimeo Construction Company; Jeremy T. Thibodeau – VDC Manager, Skanska USA Building
Project dates: April 19 – 20, 2016
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a new and evolving product of innovation in construction management. In order to inspire and motivate Estonian construction professionals and students to adopt BIM, a 2-day training conference, BIMsummit Estonia, was held in Tallinn. This event gave industry stakeholders a detailed and practical overview of how BIM is being harnessed in other countries (particularly in the USA) and a forum for discussing BIM implementation in Estonia. A total of 201 people attended the BIMsummit event.
Speaker: Dr. Aušra Brazaityte
Home Institution: Lithuanian Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry
Presentation: “Light quality: growth and nutritional value of microgreens under indoor and greenhouse conditions” at the 8th International Symposium on Light in Horticulture, East Lansing (Michigan)
Project Dates: May 22 – 26, 2016
The 8th International Symposium on Light in Horticulture was held from May 22 – 26, 2016 at Michigan State University. This symposium was held under the auspices of the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), the world’s leading independent organization of horticultural scientists. 245 participants from 26 countries attended the symposium. Dr. Aušra Brazaityte delivered two presentations at this symposium, one titled “Light quality: growth and nutritional value of microgreens under indoor and greenhouse conditions”, which was presented in the section “Sole-source lighting of vegetable crops”. In this presentation, Aušra reviewed her study on the effects of the light spectrum on the microgreens. This study is a part of the project “The management of microgreens’ nutritional quality in light culture system” of the Lithuanian National Research Program “Healthy and Safe Food”.
Speaker: Ms. Piret Hussar, Professor (Assoc.) at the Chair of Histology and Embryology at University of Tartu
Home Institution: University of Tartu
Presentation: “Comparative Study of Hexose Transporters in Ostriches Small Intestine” at the 11th International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology in Washington, D.C., USA.
Project Dates: June 29 – July 3, 2016
Piret Hussar presented her research in a poster-presentation “A Comparative Study of Hexose Transporters in Ostriches’ Small Intestines”. Ostriches play an important role in current agricultural industries (as a low-cholesterol meat product) as well as in the medical industries (ostrich eyes are considered ideal for human corneal transplant). However, in ostrich farms, the mortality rate of ostrich chicks in their first postnatal month can reach up to 46%. The results of the study allude to a close relation between feeding and their ability to transport sugars in the gastrointestinal tract, thus providing valuable information to ostrich farmers and food producers.
Speakers: John Heinsen, CEO & Executive Producer, Bunnygraph Entertainment; Brian Yuzna, Director & Producer (Reanimator, Beyond, Society); John Von Thaden, Vice President of Acquisitions, Magnolia Pictures; Ian Hollander, Associate Programmer, Tribeca Film Festival; David Traub, Technology Visionary, Producer, Venture Capital Investor, Epiphany Film Fund
Implementing Organization: NGO Black Nights Film Festival
Project dates: November 14 – 19, 2015
The US-Estonia Film Mentorship program was a 4-day networking, training and consultation project organized by the industry office to the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival during the annual Industry@Tallinn summit. Skills and know-how were shared through mentor-oriented deliveries, panel discussions and workshops. During the program, Estonian and visiting talents from across Europe engaged in private meetings with mentors, while meaningful connections between the Baltic region and the US independent film sector were secured for future partnerships.
Speaker: Dr. Saulius Grybkauskas
Home Institution: Lithuanian Institute of History
Presentation: “Kremlin Agencies on the Soviet Periphery” at the Hoover’s Workshop on Totalitarian Regimes, Hoover Institution, Stanford University (California)
Project Dates: July 19 – 31, 2015
Every year, Hoover’s Workshop on Totalitarian Regimes invites leading scholars from the U.S., Europe and Asia who specialize in researching the history, economy and political development of Eastern Europe and China. By bringing together the scholars who study the various regimes, the workshop promotes the comparative study of modes of personal dictatorship, of institutions of coercion and repression, and of the economic and social consequences of totalitarian rule. In his presentation, Kremlin Agencies on the Soviet Periphery, Dr. Grybkauskas offered an overview of his research on soviet industrial management, KGB, nomenklatura networks, and second party secretaries of Communist parties in soviet Baltic republics. The Workshop provided a prime opportunity for presenters and attendees to share research with leading scholars of soviet history, to network with academics as well as the managers from Hoover Institution Press.
Speaker: Ms. Lina Gervinskaite-Paulaitiene
Home Institution: Vilnius University
Presentation: An Exploratory Study of Attachment Representations in Fostered Lithuanian Children at the International Attachment Conference 2015, the New School, University Center, New York (NY)
Project Dates: August 6 – 8, 2015
The 7th International Attachment Conference (IAC) was held for the first time outside of Europe. The New York City IAC brought together scholars, students, and mental health professionals advocating for current advances in developmental, clinical, and social psychology, neuroscience, nursing, psychiatry, psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and allied disciplines. All attendees shared the common belief of the fundamental importance of interpersonal relationships, the foundation being a secure and responsive caregiver helping infants to regulate their arousal and distress.
Lina Gervinskaite’s presentation focused on the degree in which attachment figures and attachment relationships are manifested in children with adverse experiences in their life, and how the possible influence of culture can be evident in attachment narratives of Lithuanian examples. The conference provided opportunities for networking, exchanges of ideas, for envisaging prospective joint research projects or publications, or for sharing research results.
Speaker: Ms. Mai Uibu, Senior Research Scientist at Tallinn University of Technology
Presentation: “Utilization of oil shale ash as a concrete constituent and carbon sink” at The Fifth International Conference on Accelerated Carbonation for Environmental and Material Engineering in New York City, USA.
Home Institution: Tallinn University of Technology
Project dates: June 21 – 24, 2015
The objective of the conference series was to communicate and discuss the latest advances in the theoretical and applied research on accelerated carbonation of various types of natural materials and industrial residues. The aim of the conference was also to promote mineral carbonation in the context of carbon capture and storage. Mai Uibu was a featured presenter in the ACEME 2015 conference, which was specifically focused on CO2 mineralization, and organized by the world’s leading scientists in the field of carbon capture, storage and utilization. She introduced Estonia`s input into these fields, and expounded her original research results in an oral presentation “Utilization of oil shale ash as a concrete constituent and carbon sink”.
Implementing Organization: The Center for Science and Mathematics Education of University of Latvia in collaboration with Faculty of Biology, Faculty of Chemistry, Faculty of Education, Psychology and Art, Faculty of Geography and Earth Sciences, Faculty of Physics and Mathematics
Speaker: Prof. Jonathan Osborne
Project Dates: November 9 – 15, 2015
The cycle of seminars “Argumentation in Science Education” led by Professor Osborne established sustainable cooperation and fostered the exchange of ideas between education experts from the U.S. and Latvia. The seminars enabled the speaker and a number of STEM teachers, teacher educators, researchers, lecturers, undergraduates, PhD students and education experts in Latvia to share their experience and good practices, to develop their understanding about argumentative competence in science education in Latvia and the United States. The Professor’s visit in Riga helped to develop the professional capacity of teacher educators, researchers and lecturers on topics concerning not only argumentation in science education, but also broader issues of continuous professional development for teachers.
Professor Osborne also led sessions on argumentation in science education, including topics such as the dialogic approach to teaching science, Next Generation Science Standards in the United States, approaches on how to improve teachers’ capacity to develop argumentative competence, methods on how to improve student understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry, and catalyzing comprehension through discussion and debate.
Implementing Organization: Association of Persons with disabilities of Lithuania
Speaker: Professor Emeritus William R. Torbert
Project Dates: September 21 – 25, 2015
International Conscious Governance Forum was organized to bring the Globally Renown and Awarded Transformational Leadership Professor William R. Torbert to Lithuania and to facilitate the workshop with his team. On the basis of the information presented at The Forum and The Secondary seminar, the first cross-sectoral social service cluster had been initiated in the district of Kaisiadorys, including 10 various stakeholders, representing social service institution, municipality, schools and other.
The initiative group of the cluster developed significant dialogue that enabled participants to see cross-sector collaboration opportunities. The cluster will be a pilot model to solve challenging problem – the implementation of the systemic Socio-economic reforms: from Institutional to community-based Care strategies.
Implementing Organization: Vilnius University
Speaker: Professor Craig Parsons
Project Dates: September 14 – 17, 2015
The visit of professor Craig Parsons (Oregon University, USA) to the Baltic States conducting methodological seminars for PhD and MA students and faculty members and a public lecture “Think the US Market Is More Unified and Liberalized than the EU? Think again!”. Prof. Parsons questioned statements that USA economy is an example of well-functioning, highly integrated and liberalized economic model and showed that both EU and USA can learn from each other to become more competitive and sophisticated economies. In the context of the negotiations between EU and USA on Transatlantic free trade agreement it was highly relevant to get a deeper and more comprehensive knowledge of both entities’ economic models and differences of regulations among various economic sectors.
In addition, this visit of professor boosted students’ interest in such study fields as: transatlantic relations, a state role in the economy, political economy, institutions and economic models of the European Union. Furthermore, students and academic staff of all 3 institutions have had an opportunity to broaden their knowledge in USA internal market regulations as well in up-to-date scientific research design. Enhanced knowledge will enable to conduct more sophisticated research and provide better recommendations for policy makers.
Implementing Organization: Institute of Energy Systems and Environment, Riga Technical University
Speaker: Professor Arunachala Nadar Mada Kannan
Project Dates: October 12 – 18, 2015
The Institute of Energy Systems and Environment at Riga Technical University organized lectures and discussions on the latest innovations in the field of energy and environmental protection, delivered by Professor A.M. Kannan from Arizona State University. The event fostered the exchange of scientific ideas and supported diffusion of innovations. Professor Kannan has an extensive experience in the field of renewable energy technologies as well as designing complex engineering systems.
The scientific classification of Professor Kannan is best outlined by the vast number of scientific publications – 73 of these are indexed in SCOPUS and 57 in ISI Web of Science databases (the largest scientific bibliography databases used in European universities). The continuity and wider geographical coverage of scientific ideas in the field of energy security and renewables carried out by conference attendees, since the methodologies developed, used and presented in the event by Professor Kannan will be applied for further case studies in Baltic States region, both by students and academic staff. This opportunity increased state-of – the – art in the modelling practices and will develop scientific excellence.
Implementing Organization: University of Latvia, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology
Speaker: Inga Kadish; Harry V. Vinters
Project Dates: April 23th-24th, 2015
The University of Latvia (UL) Faculty of Medicine Department of Pharmacology and the Latvian Society of Pharmacology organized the Baltic American Research Collaboration Meeting, devoted to neurosciences and pharmacology, which took place in the University of Latvia Great Hall and the Small Hall on April 23 and 24, 2015.
Productive collaboration in science is sustained by the opportunity to meet in person to discuss scientific achievements and future plans. The main goal of the conference was to bridge together basic and clinical scientists across the Baltic countries with scientists from the U.S. and other European countries working in the field of neurodegeneration (especially Alzheimer’s Disease; AD) and pharmacology.
Over two days the newest findings and knowledge on AD and possible treatment were exchanged through presentations and posters. New scientific projects were discussed. An additional goal of the organizers was to promote a message from the scientific community explaining and informing the public about the value of brain research via media like the University radio, the magazine “Alma Mater,” Latvia Radio 1 and elsewhere. The size of the audience was 97 people on the first day and 50 on the second day. The audience consisted mainly of scientists, doctoral students and master and bachelor program students.
Implementing Organization: Fund for Developing Latvia Agriculture
Speaker: Kirk David; Madeline David
Project Dates: May, 14-22nd, 2015
Main target of the event is to provide new knowledge and approach of forestry extension and advisory specialists and people from associations and other organizations involved in informal education of land owners in Latvia and the Baltic countries. Knowledge and “know-how” transfer is planned for various target (stakeholder) groups. Exchange of experiences among experts from the USA and Latvia, as well as other Baltic countries, is important to understand challenges and possibilities in developing private forest sector.
Speakers Kirk and Madeline David from Idaho State are extension specialists of private forest sector. Kirk has wide experience in operation of various organizations – private forest owner association, forest service, nature department, American tree farm system (certification), society of American foresters and other institutions.
Some activities of the event are organized together with the Forest Advisory and Consultancy center (FASC), the PDF (formerly WWF Latvia) and the Latvia Forest Owner Association (LFOA). Also private forest sector related representatives from Estonia and Lithuania participated in the event.
Implementing Organization: Elava Muusika Ühing MTÜ
Project Dates: March 25-28th, 2015
Tallinn Music Week is an annually held music industry conference and one of the biggest indoor festivals in the Nordic-Baltic region.
The seventh edition of TMW took place from 25th to 28th March 2015 in Tallinn, Estonia.
The mission of the festival is to provide a networking tool and platform for Nordic-Baltic music industries and to enhance the development of regional music industry.
The festival brings together around 800 music industry players, the artist line-up presents more than 200 Estonian and international acts from diverse musical genres, attracting an enthusiastic audience of nearly 20 000 music lovers from Estonia and its neighboring countries. The internationally recognized event serves both as an effective networking platform for industry professionals and a diving-board for emerging acts around the world to get noticed by international and local talent-spotters and media.
Implementing Organization: Urban Dance Theater – Low air
Speaker: Ronald K. Brown, Evidence, A Dance Company
Project Dates: August 25-September 14th, 2014
The project aimed to inspire the next generation to the art of dance. The invited choreographer, Mr. Ronald A. Williams, is considered to be one of the most influential artists in the U.S. Mr. Williams shared his knowledge and individual experience in various cultures. After the workshops, additional discussions were held with the aim to create a network among young professionals from the Baltics and the U.S. and invite young artists to participate in activities related to social matters.
Implementing Organization: LATO (Latvian Transatlantic Organization)
Project Dates: September 12-13th, 2014
The Riga Conference 2014, the 9th annual high-level meeting of local and global security policy-makers and experts in Riga, convened during the 10th anniversary of Latvia’s accession to NATO and the EU. Throughout the two conference days, participants debated a number of topics: the impact of the armed conflict in Ukraine, the widening schism between Russia and the West on European security and the post-Cold War order, the state of the North Atlantic alliance after the Wales Summit and in the wake of the draw-down in Afghanistan, and what is next for the EU Eastern Partnership countries and what progress can be expected by the Riga Eastern Partnership Summit. The Conference was significant to express regional views on current events in the global agenda and how the Baltic States are affected by regional conflicts. Regionally the Conference served as an important background to promote the regional interests and priorities in foreign and defense policy.
With the support of the Baltic-American Freedom Foundation program, the Baltic-American Dialogue organizers were able to extend co-operation and exchange ideas with U.S. experts an important factor from both sides.
Implementing Organization: Riga Technical University (RTU)
Speaker: Dr. Mumtaz Usmen, Wayne State University
Project Dates: September 20-27th, 2014
On September 21-27, 2014 Riga Technical University organized lectures on construction safety, quality and productivity. The invited speaker was Professor Mumtaz Usmen from Wayne State University in the U.S. The main audience included students, local professionals, and representatives from the Baltic region.
In addition, there was a public lecture on the topic of “Construction Failures: Causal Factors and Prevention.” During the event Professor Usmen analyzed real cases and talked about the experience U.S. specialists had gained and how such cases led to change of the law in order to prevent accidents of that nature in the future.
Implementing Organization: Astangu Vocational Rehabilitation Centre and Valakupiai Vocational Rehabilitation Centre
Speaker: Allyson McDonald
Project Dates: October 2014 and February 2015
The main aim of this project was to carry out a training program for managers of 2 vocational rehabilitation providers from Estonia and Lithuania. The training program combined theoretical information provided by Ph.D. Fred R. McFarlane with practical change initiatives proposed by the participants in the training. The above allows more effective change management in the future, as participants gained skills necessary to manage projects in a very well-analyzed manner and avoid potential problems.
The first training session was held in Tallinn on October 28-30, 2014 and the main topics were:
Speaker: Richard Reibstein
Implementing Organization: MTU TalveAkadeemia (Tallinn, Estonia)
Project Dates: February/March, 2014
Speaker: Alok R. Chaturvedi
Implementing Organization: Estonian Police and Border Guard Board (Tallinn, Estonia)
Project Dates: February, 2014
Speaker: Saneel Radia
Implementing Organization: Latvian Art Director’s Club
Project Dates: April 2014
Speaker: Peter Kohli
Implementing Organization: Lithuanian Financial Markets Institute (Vilnius, Lithuania)
Project Dates: May, 2014
Speaker: Mariusz Wirga
Implementing Organization: Institute of Oncology of Vilnius University (Vilnius, Lithuania)
Project Dates: May, 2014
Speaker: Daniel Pearl
Implementing Organization: Vilnius Film Cluster (Vilnius, Lithuania)
Project Dates: May, 2014
Speaker: Allyson McDonald
Implementing Organization: American Chamber of Commerce Estonia (Tallinn, Estonia)
Project Dates: Summer 2014
International Baltic Mantrailing Seminar
Date: October 24-27, 2013, Riga
The seminar was instructed by leading instructors of International Bloodhound Training Institute (INBTI):
Kevin Kohn Kocher – INBTI president and author of the mantrailing method
Sgt. Chris Boyd – INBTI instructor, City of Madison, WI Police Department K-9 supervisor
Lyubov Koshevaya (INBTI Instructor, K9 instructor of Nadeya Rescue Team
Fifty-six people participated in the seminar of whom 16 were accompanied by their K-9 partners. There were representatives of :
Also the representatives of Latvian Customs Office Alberts Cipustanovs and Ginta Podzina visited one of our seminar’s theoretical meetings as guests.
Journalism Today: Baltic-American Best Practice Exchange Seminar
Date: July 25-27, 2013
On July 25, Holly Kernan, News Director at San Francisco public radio station KALW, participated in a professional exchange with Latvian Radio journalists in small groups and interviews for two Latvian Radio channels and a working lunch with a Latvian Radio BOD member and a the press attache of the U.S. Embassy in Riga.
The main seminar held on July 26 was attended by 46 applicants, which exceeded original audience forecasts. Participants included media professionals vrom various radio, television, and Internet outlets, as well as journalism students from three Latvian universities. The seminar covered current trends in U.S. media, including audio stories to illustrate, and lively discussion.
The session continued on July 27 for a small group, focusing on radio journalism techniques and creative approaches.
November 25-20, 2013
The first Baltic-American Dialogue program in Lithuania was signed with the Music Academy of the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas. The Music Academy invited Julliard professor Julian Martin to participate in the project “VMU and Julliard Study Week” and to conduct an intense piano master course for the students of Lithuanian and other Baltic States students.
August 14-21, 2013
Chris Sharp’s visit was organized as an intensive program of studio visits, meetings with arts and culture institution representatives, exhibition and museum visits, as well as a research trip to Tallinn and a visit to Vilnius.
While in Riga Chris Sharp had meetings and studio visits with following artists Miks
Mitrēvics, Darja Meļņikova, Armands Zelčs, Kaspars Groševs, Ieva Kraule, Oļa Vasiļjeva, Edgars Gluhovs, Reinis Virtmanis and Laura Prikule. Chris Sharp also met with curator and art historian at The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art (LMC/LCCA) Ieva Astahovska. This visit was followed by a meeting with curator and art critic Vilnis Vējš who presented his research material of pantomime and performances art in Latvia and Lithuania during 60s‐70s. Chris Sharp was very interested in this material and following this brief encounter. Both sides are working on the possibility to develop this material further.
Continuing his research both in contemporary as well as art history in Latvia, Chris Sharp also visited numerous museums including Museum of Romands Suta and Aleksandra Belcova and Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, where he was overwhelmed by art works of graphic artist Sigismunds Vidbergs. During his visit Chris Sharp also attended new exhibition openings at kim Contemporary Art Centre, the exhibition opening of Ilmars Blumbergs, and had a meeting with the director of Totaldobze Art Centre, curator and artist Kaspars Lielgalvis.