The most influential people of Hungary?

Péter Árvai, Gyula Fehér, Péter Halacsy – co-founders of the most successful Hungarian startups chose 10 already-successful people from five areas of life with Bridge Budapest to become “builders”. In once year, 10 people in their thirties with completely different thinking, values and background realized an important thing, said.

“We were sitting for moments and silently looked in front of us, when we realized almost half a year has passed and connects us more than what separates. This sentence was said at one of the weekends of Bridge Builders project” – Veronika Pistyur, leader of Bridge Budapest said. The professionals around their thirties have already proven their leadership skills in the fields of culture, economy, media, civil life or politics. Now, in a year, they have proven they wanted a Hungary where self-confidence is based on knowledge and performance. They became the first “bridge builders.”

We found 10 people of whom we thought “they will be among the 100 most influential people of Hungary in 10 years” Péter Árvai, head of Prezi, one of the founders of the Bridge of Budapest told We would like a Hungary which has self-confidence. To make this happen, “we have to work with all parts of society”.

The main thing was the listening to each other

The 10 chosen ones met nearly every two weeks in one year. There were two-day weekends, common dinners and there also was a four-day Stockholm trip. They were looking for what they have in common, in addition to the difference. The meetings were aimed at listening to each other.

The chosen ones

The ten-man team was composed by Barna Borbás, Gergely Böszörményi Nagy, Ádám Halmos, Stefánia Kapronczay, Anna Niszkacs, Eliza Popper, Richard Rajnai, Pál Dániel Rényi, István Száraz and Bence Tordai – Veronika Pistyur, head of Bridge Budapest said. According to, the project was financed by Bridge Budapest. Bridge Budapest is otherwise a non-profit organization, which was formed 2 years ago. It was established by entrepreneurs who lead global companies launched from Hungary like Prezi, Ustream or NNG. The founders of the companies – besides Péter Árvai, Péter Halacsy, Ádám Somlai-Fischer and Ustream-founder Gyula Fehér – were also active participants of Bridge Builder program.

Deep friendships were made

During this one year, when I met the “builders” a number of times, I have also learned from them. And we could help the then chosen people too, to be more successful – Péter Árvai said. About the subjects, the Prezi leader did not reveal any specifics, because, as he said, they were “very personal”. We tried to make a space where ideas came and went and we examined them from different perspectives. If no one liked an idea, it could be thrown out. “Not any idea was forced to anyone” – Péter Árvai told about the meetings.

We rather dissuade ourselves of the possibilities

The kind of attitude, which is needed to become Hungary competitive, is incomplete in many places. Even still, we are there that we discourage everyone, ourselves too, that it is worth starting a business – Veronika Pistyur said. According to the research of Bridge Budapest, most of the 20-35 year-old people do not start a business because they think everything is up to the connection and it is the only foundation of prosperity and prevailing. However, according to Bridge Budapest, performance and knowledge can also help someone to advance. After all, global companies launched in Budapest have shown that it can be done. The dialogue in Hungary is missing, because some of the parties, because of political or any other preferences, do not communicate with each other, and yet it is also possible they are dealing with the same thing – Veronika Pistyur said.

Péter Árvai’s Swedish basics

During the four days in Stockholm, they examined all kinds of examples from the segments of politics, economy and media. They could experience what makes the Swedish so successful and how they do it. Péter Árvai spoke to the participants of how his life began in Sweden. What challenges, frustrations and inspirations accompanied his way and how his life changed. “My most important advice to the “builders” was to “confide in them”. “I also consider it important” – Péter Árvai said – because Hungarians still have little faith with respect their abilities. You have to take the risk and do not have to foresee everything when a business is started.” According to Péter Árvai, Sweden is similar to Hungary in many ways. The population is the same and it is also surrounded by all kinds of cultures. Living in Sweden I learned “the country is living from export” and he added the children often hear that even in school. Árvai said Ericsson, H&M and IKEA as an example. These companies have very big impact on the world. And this is because Swedes believe they could produce a service or a product what other people need in – the Prezi leader said.

Something has started

According to Péter Árvai, some kind of change has already begun in Hungary. Among the startups, it is already agreed that “indeed, a company can be launched from Budapest as well, like Prezi and you can achieve world success.”

When the case is important

In Stockholm, everyone had a great realization that deputies sit not by parties, but by areas in the Parliament. Therefore, “it might happen that for a case, a right-wing politician is communicating or arguing together with a left-wing politician or a liberal or any extremists for the common area what they are responsible for” – Veronika Pistyur said. According to, Bridge Builders project is continuing and in the second year, the “builders” will propose who will be next year’s invitees. Péter Árvai, co-founder of Prezi, president of Bridge Budapest said he had longed for a long time to be a community where they can talk over the long-term challenges which must be overcome to become Hungary successful.

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