XVI World Lithuanian Symposium on Arts and Sciences

The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania has announced 2019 as the year of the World Lithuanians. As a result, Vytautas Magnus University together with the Lithuanian World Community, Ministry of Education, Science and Sports and Lithuanian Foundation are inviting everyone to the XVI World Lithuanian Symposium on Arts and Sciences which will take place on 14–16 November in Vytautas Magnus University.

This will be a celebratory event, as it continues the tradition that has started 50 years ago (in 1969, Chicago, USA). Organisers invite to participate consolidating the collective wisdom for Lithuania and Lithuanians. After gathering the lithuanian academic and creative community from Lithuania and the world, we strive to contribute to the cultivation of productive and positive imagination of Lithuania.

We invite you to register and participate in the event in person or online –
by watching the plenary sessions on the Internet.




Among the most important priorities this year – discussing the questions that are most relevant in Lithuania today, together with the academic and intellectual community of Lithuania and the World Lithuanians. The symposium will encourage to look at the works of the world Lithuanians: fine art, literature, music, etc., as very valuable things worth learning about. The event aims at connecting differed generations of the World Lithuanians, encourage networking among the young researchers or creators and diaspora members of other generations.

XVI World Lithuanian Symposium on Arts and Sciences emphasises the importance of the collective wisdom of the World Lithuanian academic community – discussing questions of science, culture, economy and demography of Lithuania and its nation.

The programme of the symposium includes four consecutive plenary sessions and discussions following them, designed to elaborate on the topics discussed in them:

  • Missions of universities and science people;
  • What do we think we are? What do we want to be?
  • Geopolitical challenges and sciences in Lithuania;
  • Media, intellect, creativity.
New format of the Symposium

Back then, Lithuanians were trapped behind the iron curtain, but the academics and leaders of the World Lithuanians tried to harness the creative, academic and intellectual potential of World Lithuanian. The aim was to show that the greatest preparation to come back to freedom and Lithuania is related to consolidating this potential.

Lithuania today has achieved so many important goals (including EU, NATO and ESBO memberships), yet we must define guidelines for the future as well. It takes a general consensus what we want, what kind of Lithuania we imagine and what are our strategic goals. This consensus needs the entire Lithuania: both here and beyond its geographical borders: discussions, gathering all Lithuanian mind potential for the shared wisdom, connecting the experiences of research, creativity and business.

This year’s symposium will differ from the previous ones, because its aim will focus not only on the scientific discussions, but topics relevant to Lithuania and Lithuanians, taking advantage of the wisdom of World Lithuanian science and creatives, their professional knowledge and experiences.

Symposium’s agenda includes not only useful science-related ideas and expert insights for the Lithuanian Society and Lithuanian communities in the world, but also recommendations for the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and the Seimas. It is also expected that the event will encourage the communities of Lithuania and its diaspora to continue its active collaboration. The outcomes of the Symposium will be disseminated in Lithuania and beyond.

Organisation committee

A. Avižienis, E. Aleksandravičius (VDU), D. Henke (PLB), V. Bandis (PLB), D. Kuolys (VU), A. Pemkus, D. Udrys, R. Čuplinskas, A. Alkauskas (KTU), G. Karoblis (NTNU Norvegijos mokslo ir technologijos universitetas), R. Čičelis (VDU), Ingrida Celešiūtė (VDU), Aušra Gribauskienė (ŠMSM), Milda Davis (LF), Vytas Narutis (LF).

  • Vytautas Magnus University
  • Lithuanian World Community
  • Ministry of Education, Science and Sports
  • Liethuanian Foundation
  • Kaunas City Municipality
The history of symposiums

World Lithuanian Symposium on Arts and Sciences was born half a century ago as an initiative of active scientists and creative people. It later attracted hundreds of like-minded scientists and creators. An important role in it was played by Algirdas Avižienis, Arvydas Kliorė, Bronius Nainys – initiators and organisers of the first symposium.

It is only fitting that the first members of the symposium have been mostly the representatives of the second wave of emigrants from Lithuania, young and highly accomplished people who cared not only about their narrow artistic and scientific aspirations, but also a wider context of humanities, politics, social and natural sciences, naturally, related to the liberation processes in Lithuania.

The VI World Lithuanian Symposium on Arts and Sciences that took place on 22–26 November 1989 in Chicago, USA was special because it gathered close to 100 scientists and creators from Lithuania, and the final speech was delivered by Vytautas Landsbergis. After the plenary session dedicated to the re-establishment of Vytautas Magnus University, 41 members of the Re-establishment Senate of VMU from Lithuania and abroad were elected. The other Symposium took place in the independent Lithuania already, 1991. After it, symposiums were hosted every 2–3 years in Chicago or Lithuania.

The last Symposium took place in Lithuania in 2011.



XVI World Lithuanian Symposium on Arts and Sciences is organised by



We kindly wellcome you to participate!