,000 presentations and 10,000 pages of information [across all regional GPD  
events] to date is a long way,” says Vitkala. “It’s good, too, to remember that the  
start of the GPD took place before the age of the internet. Information flow was a  
different issue before that.”  
From 30 participants all the way to a total of 14,000 attendees, 1,000 speakers,  
continued from page 51  
GPD has seen tremendous growth, and continues to evolve. What can you ex-  
pect to see this year? USGlass magazine got the scoop from Vitkala about the past,  
present and future of GPD.  
What are some of your  
in special parts of the world—China,  
Brazil, India, Turkey, Azerbaijan and  
USG: favorite memories of  
GPD--favorite sessions,speakers,etc.? most recently Cuba—have all been  
memorable openings addressing spe-  
Each GPD has been memorable cial regional issues with international  
JV: in itself because it has always dimensions. These conferences have  
reflected the top priorities in its time: been central for the spreading of in-  
technology, processing, solar applica- formation in their region and have  
tions, design, energy-efficiency, etc. attracted participants who might not  
Some speakers have launched very have an opportunity to attend the main  
special statements about our busi- conference in Finland.  
ness such as, why is the clock-speed  
of change in the glass industry so  
Did you ever think the  
slow? Speeding that up became an im- USG: event would grow the  
portant priority. One of our speakers way it has?  
once rejected the phrase “sustainable  
development,” which is so popular in  
I was such a strong believer in  
environmental discussions. He ex- JV: the value of information ex-  
plained, we don´t want to just be change as a driver of progress that  
sustainable; it sounds too stag- I never doubted that growth would  
nant. We want dynamic change! follow. We worked hard to market the  
He went on to say:“Why do we GPD spirit along the lines that knowl-  
talk about green values? Since edge grows when shared. The validity  
the sky is the limit,should we of this statement is traced back to the  
not talk about another color, Indian poet and grammarian Bhartri-  
i.e. blue?” Moments like hari AD 450-510. We have a strong re-  
these often become trigger sponse to that in this very day.  
points for development.  
The spin-off conferences  
How does the event com-  
USG: pare to when it was started?  
The biggest difference is how  
JV: truly global and efficient the in-  
formation flow is today.Local priorities  
used to dominate the industry,but now  
everything is global. Modern technol-  
For Vitkala, every GPD has been  
memorable; this year, its 25th  
anniversary, will be no exception.  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | May 2017  

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