Armenia hosted a group of students from ESMT Berlin within the project implemented in Gyumri by the Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation.
In 2018, IDeA announced the start of a partnership with ESMT within which students of the school’s Master’s in Management (MIM) programme will be involved in the Friendship Park restoration and redevelopment project implemented by IDeA in Gyumri.
The Friendship Park reflects the idea of cohesion, friendship and devotion to all countries and nations that helped Armenia during the earthquake of 1988. The project aims at redeveloping the former Friendship Park located next to Charles Aznavour Square in Gyumri by transforming it into a unique public recreation area. It is a unique project with a blend of commercial, social and philanthropic components and building on Public-Private Partnerships.
Within the IDeA-ESMT partnership, the students conducted a week of field research in Gyumri, visited the city sights, museums, observed the park area and the central market, met with Gyumri youth, architects, craftsmen, entrepreneurs and promising startups. Following the field research, the students will develop and propose business ideas and solutions to IDeA for the concept of the Friendship Park redevelopment.
“We are looking forward to the promising ideas of the students after their Gyumri visit, which will contribute to the activities and work already implemented by our foundation and will finalise the concept of the park restoration”, IDeA’s Gyumri Development Project Manager Yelena Muradyan notes.
Sayeed Ahmad Nameer, ESMT student from Pakistan, is in Armenia for the first time. He is impressed by the hospitality of the Gyumri people. “I was impressed by people’s sense of humour and hospitality. They are very kind and open to tourists. After our meetings with the locals we found out that they wanted to take part in the transformation of the city. I hope that the study conducted following our visit will be useful for shaping the business model of the park”, says Nameer.
Mujahid Abdullahi, an ESMT student from Nigeria, mentions that he and his friends will try to find solutions to help combine Gyumri art, history, technologies, innovation, social entrepreneurship and small and medium businesses in the concept for Friendship Park.
“The park should become a venue to represent the whole palette and identity of Gyumri. With our ideas we need to show that the city has a vibrant youth who believes in the rebirth and future of the city”, says Mujahed Abdullahi.