,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