I am constantly looking for new ways and approaches to improve my Lithuanian.
Learning any language is ultimately the best way to feel part of a community and a culture: this is why I find the Lithuanian Dream Podcast to be mesmerizing.
It was raining on a Sunday morning when I casually plugged earphones and listened to Ruta interview to the brilliant essayist and political scientist Linas Kojala. They kept talking about the Belarusian nuclear power plant and the geopolitical challenges Lithuania is currently facing: finally what I was walking into had names, faces and colors (though grey was predominant that day).
I am Italian, I am an avid podcasts consumer but most importantly I love Lithuania and I was so happy having found another way to connect with this beautiful country. I was so happy I grabbed the same phone, days later, and connected with Ruta Naujokaite, one of the founder and the main radio host.
Ruta, Vytaute (Rimkute, LDP Co-founder): how did the idea for the Lithuanian Dream Podcast come from?
Back in 2018 we created professional networking club for Lithuanian professionals living in Berlin, LEO in Berlin (https://leoinberlin.com). It is a members-only non-profit organisation. Our members are Lithuanian professionals based in Berlin working in many fields including consulting, digital health, finance, pharmaceuticals, performance marketing and manufacturing. Now, in 2020 we have 20 members and 300 professionals network in Germany, cooperate with the Embassy of Lithuania, Enterprise Lithuania, Invest Lithuania, Lithuanian Businesses and NGOs operating in Germany.
Naturally we needed a new challenge after scaling LEO in Berlin. We put a lot of thought and work in creating a business ecosystem here in Berlin. We tried many strategies while employing many sales and marketing strategies we both learned at our professional careers (I am marketing manager, while Vytaute has 6 years of sales experience and now is shifting more towards data science).
Back in 2018-2019 we organized around 30 events and started feeling that we should share all the great conversations and topics with others. I think that we can learn quite a lot through personal examples and stories of people who did incredible things. This thinking process led us into creating the Lithuanian Dream Podcast.
I think it is such a great way to give back and create something that others can get inspired by too.
What is your background? How did the two of you meet?
We both met while living in Berlin. Vytaute lives here for the last 3 years, while I moved here 2 years ago from Copenhagen.
Vytaute is really business-minded [she is working in tech sales from the age 16 and just started her new role in one of German tech giants, Zalando]. In our podcast she is responsible for data analytics, design and strategic partnerships.
While I am responsible for producing, editing and hosting. At my daily job I do very similar tasks, plus team management – I am a marketing manager at a MedTech company here in Berlin. For the last 4 years I was working with several medical device companies creating strategic content like webinars, eBooks, videos, blogs as well as creating communities around them.
Podcast is an additional activity for both of us, outside the work. It feels like a give back to our homeland- Lithuania.
Lithuania has a long emigration history: Lithuanian diaspora is still nowadays an important part in defining Lithuanian identity. What is the major contribution Lithuanians abroad can bring to this country?
Lithuanians abroad are actively engaged in sharing Lithuania’s image and Like our Foreign Minister told in one of our episodes: we all are unofficial ambassadors of Lithuania. Organizations such as Global Lithuanian Leaders are great examples of how people can contribute and stay connected to Lithuania. It is a friendly community of around 2000 global Lithuanian professionals from 49 countries and contribute to the prosperity of Lithuania.
The biggest gift we can give to Lithuania and the world is ideas and positive example. Positive change within the society doesn’t come from big investments or aid. It comes from commitment and hard work.
I think this idea of spreading the positive ideas shouldn’t be limited to one country. After starting LEO in Berlin I had a chance to mentor and help to start similar communities for Latvian , Portuguese, Romanian and Turkish expats.
Lithuania is rapidly evolving and so is Lithuanian society: what do you think will be the most challenging topic/s emerging in the next years?
Soon we will be celebrating 30 years anniversary of Lithuania regaining the independence. Our country showed a huge potential, GDP is still growing very fast in comparison with other countries that joined the EU in 2004. Our minimum wage is growing fast as well as the standards of living. More and more innovation centers, accelerators and huge international companies are investing in Lithuania. We are leading on some sectors. For instance 5% of all medical lasers in the world are made in Lithuania. Without considering the fact that after Brexit Lithuania will be the only EU country with laws allowing Fin-tech startups register without being banks.
All this change together with hard work will lead the country to the great economic heights.
However there are some challenges that are clearly known to everyone. For instance our new president Gitanas Nauseda identified his main goal to make Lithuania more equal: closing the income gap. While our institutions like Invest Lithuania and Ministry of Economy are working hard to attract more investments and innovation to Lithuania. Another major challenge is demographics – there are just 3 million Lithuanians and different institutions are working on a strategy to tackle the issue.
Your podcast started in September 2019 and recently ranked 4th in the Apple Podcasts charts dedicated to Lithuania: what will be the next move to come? Are there any plans on LDP for 2020?
Our first season just finished with 23 episodes! We are very excited about our next season where we will introducing new user friendly platform and some unexpected guests. Season 2 of Lithuanian Dream Podcast is starting at the beginning of March 2020.
I am glad if once again I contributed shouting out loud the great potential of this tiny marvelous country. It is thanks to the craft of people like Ruta and Vitaute that the world can get to know how fantastic and inspiring this country can be. If you would like to literally hear more about them, signup here to receive notifications about any new episode. If you have enjoyed the article, Follow Baol on Facebook or Linkedin.