Campus development is a cornerstone of the broader vision for the knowledge port, as laid out in the Institute’s Strategic Plan for 2020. It is the physical space where the Institute of the future – integrating scientific innovation, policy research, social initiatives, a hub for enterprise, and the education of agents of change – will be realised. Beyond this broader vision, the campus will function as a space that is both open and beneficial to its immediate environment and the wider public, doing away with the image of the ‘ivory tower’. In line with these ambitions, the campus needs its own historical and cultural identity to anchor the heterogeneity of its occupants, thereby forging an environment that can assimilate a diverse student body and faculty as well as the various resident organisations.
Therefore, the campus buildings and surrounding area should reflect a historical continuity with the legacy of Hungarian modernisation, and be located near or adjacent to open grounds or a public park that offers sporting opportunities and an atmosphere of being close to the natural environment.
The knowledge port is our concept for an institution that puts theories into practice and assembles knowledge through a global network, disseminating and actively producing it via interdisciplinary initiatives with a socio-political, economic, scientific and technological impact. In the Hungarian case, the Milestone Institute’s knowledge port would answer the specific challenges of the ‘brain drain’ and diaspora trajectory and create the foundations for the next great wave of modernisation.
Ports have historically been interconnected nodes that linked together geographically dispersed places, hubs from which people returned enriched with new experiences, knowledge and ideas that they transferred to their home societies. They have been the principal places of interchange where surplus was extracted, capital was assembled and from which modernising ideas emanated. As ideas and processes are the primary commodity of the 21st century, their vessels being the innovative individuals who produce them, the Milestone Institute’s knowledge port is the 21st century equivalent of 16th century Venice.
The knowledge port creates a conceptual and material context for nurturing such individuals, launching them on their journey, and drawing them back afterwards, where connections are established with other centres of knowledge, and where the exchange of ideas and technology supports the broader project of modernisation.
The knowledge port will nurture the most talented young scholars of the country in a micro-university setting that prepares them for leading international universities and for future leadership roles. It is this group of scholars, leaders and innovators that the knowledge port will enlist into its fellowship programme. They will be charged with organising a broader network of diaspora hubs from which know-how, innovation and opportunities will flow towards the centre.
Leading NGOs, think tanks, research labs, and start-ups hosted on the Institute’s campus, alongside a network of partner organisations, will provide a portfolio of opportunities for returning fellows. In the long run, such initiatives will form the basis for turning the inflow of surplus knowledge into capital, bringing Hungary to the forefront of innovation and enterprise and contributing towards transforming it into a society of equal opportunities.
Our Commitment to the Future
Milestone’s strategic plan for the next five years spells out our commitment to developing the concept of the knowledge port, with a focus on the following three areas.
Milestone’s success is grounded in the high calibre of its students and faculty. We will continue to strengthen this community and its diversity, enhance students’ access to the education we provide, increase the quality and breadth of our teaching, forge new partnerships and continue supporting worthwhile efforts outside of Milestone.
Programmes and Initiatives
Milestone aims to establish programmes and initiatives that promote multiplicative socio-economic, political and scientific development at local, national and regional level.
Milestone’s campus in the heart of Budapest will be the physical space where the Institute as we envisage it will be realised, an umbrella for scientific innovation, policy research and social initiatives, and a hub that combines social enterprise with the education of agents of transformation.