Great Poles Team
Karolina Lewandowska: Manager
My name is Karolina and I am 20 years old. I am currently living in Scotland where I study at the University of Aberdeen. I have just started my second year in Business Management and French and I must admit that living and studying abroad is an exceptional experience! Great Poles is not my first encounter with Young Talent Management. I have been cooperating with this organisation for over two years and thanks to them I got a lot of wonderful opportunities. Not only did I have a chance to create and be the President of a Public Speaking Gavel Club but also to participate in the organisation of Oxford Debates as a Manager of the Crew. Great Poles is a fantastic initiative to promote Poles around the world and I am glad I can be the part of it!
Konrad Opałko: Manager
I'm a 17 year old student from Mikołaj Rej Secondary School. I study rare and unique a classical course, where I have the opportunity to learn Latin, ancient history and Mediterranean culture. I am greatly interested in music with my favourite forms of it being classical and dodecaphony. I’ve achieved a grade one, playing on the clarinet and piano. A considerable part of my time is spent listening to pieces by great composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, Andrzej Panufnik, Wojciech Kilar and Frédéric Chopin. Weekly, I attend concerts at the National Philharmonic in Warsaw. I love seeing plays in Warsaw’s theatres after a play I tend to exchange my thoughts and opinions about it with others.
In the past, I used to take part in plays in theatres but nowadays I only perform through reciting poetry and leading ceremonies. From literature I’ve always adored Ian Fleming’s James Bond series, Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Quo Vadis, and some crime novels like Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series and stories by Agatha Christie. Recently, I also discovered the great works of Tadeusz Konwicki and Leopold Tyrmand. In my free time I also really enjoy sailing, hunting and playing bridge. I have lots of different interests but my greatest passion must be cavalry. I serve as a 'szwoleżer' at 3 Pułku Szowleżerów Mazowieckich, where I have the great privilege of wearing a Polish cavalry officer uniform from the 1930s, riding a horse, learning history through experience, attending shooting classes and understanding the customs of the Polish army before War World II.
I’ve decided to take part in the GreatPoles project to reinstate the world memory of great Polish people. This includes quite well-known Poles like Frédéric Chopin, Marie Curie, Lech Wałęsa, Mikołaj Kopernik and Pope John Paul II but also forgotten, yet equally significant Poles, such as Andrzej Panufnik, Bolesław Wieniawa-Długoszowski or Maksymilian Faktorowicz. My aim is to explore the history of Poland and Europe in a different way – not with schoolbooks, but with fascinating biographies.
Konrad Twardowski: Editing Team
I have graduated in 2012 with Bachelors degree in Tourism and Recreation with major in Hotel Industry from Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego in Kraków. After which I moved to Randers in Denmark to pursue another degree specialising strictly in the Hospitality industry. After returning to Poland following year I have worked with unfortunately nonexisting today Maestro Foundation in Warsaw. The experience of working in a team of people oriented and inspired by the spread of knowledge and values of art and education helped me to decide that I want to combine my service industry knowledge with the ambition to educate and I decide to move to Scotland to pursue a degree in Museum studies. Presently I’m living in Glasgow and finishing my MLitt degree in Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of St Andrews. I deeply believe in the value of education and introduction of the youth to art, culture, science and history. I’m 27 years old.
Juliette Bretan: Editing Team
I'm a 20 year old student at the University of Cambridge, studying English Literature. My studies have taken me across the course of literary works in the English-language, from Medieval to Postmodern, though my favourite works have been related to Poland, including Hamlet, and texts written by Thomas Campbell. I also attend Polish language lessons and lectures in the University, with the aim to study Slavonic or Polish studies after I graduate.
I’ve always loved literature, but my true passion is Polish culture and current affairs, inspired in part by my family’s Polish ancestry. My favourite period of Polish history is the interwar age; I’m an avid collector of Syrena-Electro vinyl and original music notes from the interbellum, as well as a researcher of individuals and institutions. I write up most of my findings on my blog, Visions of the Vistula. I try to stay up to date with the political situation in Poland, and often write about current developments.
I also write plays, poetry and fiction in my spare time, and I used to practice the piano, achieving a grade one. I love writing about unusual and unknown aspects of the world; I’ve written for national and local papers in the UK, as well as for Polish-based publications. I decided to take part in Great Poles because I believe there are so many inspiring Polish individuals that are not known to an English-language audience, and I want to try my best to ameliorate that!
Krystian Ignatowicz: External Relation Officer
Hello there, my name is Krystian. I am open-minded person, who likes variety and highly values loyalty. I am passionate about history, especially the XVIII century, this is why I joined GreatPoles in the first place. I enjoy watching films from the 50’s and 60’s particulary the classic ones. I also love to listen to music, mainly classic rock as well to the other genres. I am keen on sports such as football(not the american one), tennis (that I have been playing for over a decade now)and skiing. I am cultural vuture so i like to travel, visit museums or galleries and go to the theaters or operas. I joined Great Poles team hoping to share with others around the World amazing stories about splendid personalities in polish history.
Jakub Orłoś: External Relation Officer
My name is Jakub Orłoś and I am 17 years old. I live in Warsaw, Poland, where I attend 2SLO High School. I have quite vast interests, beginning with history and politics, all the way to the sports such as basketball and motorsports - which I’ve been part of for several years when I raced on gokarts. Nowadays my main interest is Formula 1 and WRC. Except those quite mainstream teenager-interests, I also love reading any philosophy/history-related books, articles or novels, as well as playing guitar (although I am not certainly good at it). I’ve also always loved painting, drawing, creating mosaic etc. and despite that nowadays I don’t have time for that, I constantly think about returning to my old hobby. I consider myself as a (It might sound a little old fashioned), romantic soul, and I am sure, that by now, you can say why.
Barbara Kargul: International Development Team
My name is Barbara and I’m 16 years old and a cosmopolitan. I was born in Moscow, then lived 7 years in Vilnius, Lithuania and 4 in Ankara, Turkey. In 2016 my family moved back to Poland and I along with them. The adjustment was challenging, but I can’t say I regret it. Due to the fact that I’ve lived all around the world, I possess a great passion for learning languages. I can speak Polish, English and Spanish fluently and Russian, Turkish and French on a basic level. My second passion is music, I feel like it can put you in a good mood no matter what has happened. I play the clarinet, guitar and love to sing. My favorite genre of music is old classic hard rock, with favorite bands being AC/DC, Queen and The Doors. In the future I want to become a surgeon, because there is nothing better in the world than the feeling you get after you’ve helped another human being and also because I love challenges. In the Great Poles initiative I am responsible for our monthly segment in POLcast, as well as externalizing the project to other countries.
Mateusz Giraudo: International Development Team
Currently I am a student of International Baccalaureate in Copernicus Bilingual High School in Warsaw. I love public speaking, sharing my thoughts and arguing. I always fight until the final satisfying agreement is reached, but the most pleasant feeling for me is when I manage to open someone’s eyes at what they have never appreciated before – basically inspiring. Apart from that I have a rich debating experience such as debating clubs, WLD, MUNs and a two year-long scholarship at Bronisław Geremek Foundation which made my person more vulnerable to social issues and taught me a lot about global problems and different cultures. Foreign languages have always been my passion as well. The fact that I have been raised in an international family motivated me to learn them and made me an open-minded curious person who loves to travel and explore the world. I delivered TED talk, titled “Travel4Local” in which I shared my philosophy of traveling which is against mass tourism, helps to sustain local environments and makes an individual more open to the places they visit. That was definitely one of my greatest achievements in which I could combine all my interests together. In my free time I enjoy listening to music, especially classical, reading books and doing sports. My recent passion has been surfing.
Maksymilian Graczyk: IT
My name is Maksymilian (in short: Maks) and I am one of the main administrators of the Great Poles page. Using my skills to help others has always been a priority in my life and this is how I have become involved in this project as an IT specialist. I am really passionate about Computer Science and I hope to study it in more detail at a reputable university.
I had studied at Liceum Akademickie in Toruń before I was awarded a scholarship at Ellesmere College, Shropshire, England, thanks to the British Alumni Society of Poland (BAS) scholarship scheme. My main dream is revolutionizing the world in a way beneficial for humans. Besides that, I am keen on travelling (I have visited several European countries and the U.S. so far) and I like swimming and fitness.
I am proud to be a part of the project as I think it has great importance in making people aware of the Poles who achieved much but are not necessarily well-known as someone coming from our country.
Maksymilian Dromlewski: IT
I am Maksymilian Dromlewski and I am 18 years old High School student. The prospect of being part of something big has always fascinated me. I love helping out others, often in technical ways, as I'm interested in Computer Science. I hope to study at Oxford University.
I contribute to this project in hope that we will create something really useful for people interested in Polish history and I will also learn something myself.
My name is Maria and my personality is a mix of everything. In August I will be 16 years old. It seems to be not much, but I can tell that I experienced a lot. For example I lived in Australia for three years.
I'm attending a school named Z.S. Nr 2 im. Stefana Zeromskiego in Konstancin-Jeziorna. My plan is to start high school in Taiwan. I think a lot about my future. And I always stop at the point where I realize that it's really hard to choose one thing when you still don't know who exactly you want to be in ten years. Of course I have ideas but not a single one is perfect, there's acting, singing, painting, styling, playing piano. I'm really into all these, but still struggling with choosing...
Hopefully I'll find my ideal job soon.
When I was younger, I decided that I will actually achieve something important in my life, and I think that being a part of that kind of project is a pretty good start.
This whole “thing” is created not only to show how many Polish genius individuals are unknown. But also to prove the world that young people – like us – are strong enough to create such a big thing as this site.