“Konrad was a kind of ‘periodic’ free mentor. I could tell he was betting on me.”

Pedro Tarak, AVINA Representative, Inter-Regional Bridge Building and Networking

While I lived in Germany, Konrad was a kind of “periodic” free mentor. I could tell he was betting on me. But not for a “predictable return” in a planned strategy. Just for the sake of it. Perhaps, he joined me in my deep desire to contribute to my region. In that regard, Konrad became a partner in my professional life. Many times at a distance, yet always, always, there....

He was available for whenever I needed him in the Southern Cone. But also, whenever he thought I could contribute to a larger-scale vision, he included me in his own opportunities—always respecting my own opinions and wishes.

He coached me, he shared his opportunities and his affections, he shared personal concerns and political worries. With freedom and sincerity, I learned a lot from Konrad. One time, we were visiting the Governor’s Office in a northern province of Argentina with his children. I still remember when he “sensed” the atmosphere of the waiting room. His diagnosis was simple: here all interpersonal structural relations are feudal. And they will condition the evolution of democracy in the area. Indeed, more than 20 years later, democracy in many parts of that region is still as feudal as always; mostly because the interpersonal relations stay feudal. It was the first time I realized the long path that remained ahead and that would challenge me forever. Law and policy would not suffice without changes in cultural and personal behavioural patterns.

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