An annual conference with the theme 'Innovation and Entrepreneurship' had a touch of royalty about it as Prince Joachim answered questions from enthusiastic attendees. On Saturday 20 April, some 80 young international students were able to put their questions to the prince before students from DTU presented short speeches about their innovative start-up companies.
The Youth Goodwill Ambassador Corps is a volunteer programme based in Denmark that works to nurture and retain international talent. Founded in 2010, there are now over 200 youth goodwill ambassadors who either currently study or have studied in Denmark, and their role is to attract fresh talent to the Danish job market.
Having studied abroad himself, Prince Joachim told the ambassadors: “As youth goodwill ambassadors, you will reflect on your experience in Denmark, and whether at home in your own country or embarking on a new international career elsewhere in the world, you will always remember your time in Denmark and take a piece of Denmark with you.”
The conference took place at Scion DTU, which is part of a wider project to create a world-renowned university town in Lyngby. Lyngby-Taarbæk Council recently announced plans to create a ‘knowledge city’, and this was boosted earlier in April by the news of the planned relocation of Microsoft Denmark into the complex.
The conference allowed the prince to share his experiences as an entrepreneur and to speak of the pride he takes representing Denmark. “To me the duty of representing Denmark truly is a privilege,” he said. “It is very rewarding, and I love to see that the work I do can be fruitful to Danish society as a whole.”
Also speaking at the conference was the minister of climate, energy and building, Martin Lidegaard. On the topic of Denmark’s green reputation and the influence that ambassadors can have in sharing this knowledge, Lidegaard said: “Denmark is a showcase proving that going green and creating growth can be achieved simultaneously. Our youth ambassadors can help spread this message globally. At the same time, we must attract the best and most innovative minds to help us develop the energy systems of tomorrow, and the youth ambassadors can play an important role in this endeavour.”
Ani Movsisyan, who is studying for her master’s in Engineering Management at DTU, described the conference as a “once in a lifetime experience”. She explained that it is not every day you get to see royalty in the flesh. Whilst Movsisyan did not personally ask Lidegaard a question, she was impressed by his openness during the Q&A session, and so much so by the aims of the scheme, that she decided to become a goodwill ambassador herself. “When I first heard about the programme, I was amazed,” she said. “We don’t have anything like this where I come from in Armenia.”