The ELAI Story

We all have that moment, you wake up and realize that your existence is unique and this motivates you to follow your dreams. Of course, you can’t predict if your dreams are doable, if they will catch on more than the average dream and fall on fertile soil. But aiming to make your dreams a reality, submitting yourself to the whims of the creative process, was so tempting to me that attempting to make these dreams a reality couldn’t be resisted.

Half of my formative years were spent in the Czech Republic, while the other half were spent abroad, mainly in Finland and Denmark. I yearned for knowledge and perspective on the world, so I spent a longer time studying and travelling abroad. Opening my mind to the world gave me a surprising amount of freedom, a deeper understanding of myself, and at the same time gave me the opportunity to view our country critically from a foreigner’s point of view. As was said by G.K. Chesterton, “The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” I came to the realization that one cannot be indifferent to the fate of one’s land, as our daily actions are tied to its outcomes and contribute to its history. Observations on my return from abroad only strengthened my opinion that in many respects we undervalue our potential and don’t encourage ourselves or others nearly as much as we could.

All in all my dream is simple, and I dream it more and more over time. I want to motivate our society to reach for higher goals (however defined), and open our minds to the newest thinking of today’s world. Give self-confidence to those who underestimate themselves. Use skills and knowledge of those that are able to motivate us further. I want to accomplish these goals through the creation of a politically and financially independent organization that can connect all aspects of Czech society; so that we can develop a public discourse that will have a positive effect on the development of the Czech and European realms. Ultimately, creating our own projects that will support education, creativity, entrepreneurship, start-ups and innovation.

I founded the European Leadership and Academic Institute (ELAI) in 2010 with a friend during my period of study in England, Irena Kalhousova. From that time we have successfully established ourselves in the Czech market and are growing our activities outside of the Czech Republic. The dream is becoming a reality every day, and I would like to thank everyone who has been part of this dream and supports us.

My wish is that through ELAI you are inspired with new ideas, inspiring thinking, and are enabled in making new connections.



Lukáš Sedláček, cofounder and director

The ELAI Story was last modified: February 16th, 2015 by Paul Jakubicek