Who we are
Hungarian Advisory Board (CFSP’s Ambassadors)
I am founder and chief editor of the group of websites called Ittlakunk.hu. I also assisted at the birth of a Sunday magazine by the Swiss Ringier group. Starting in 1988, I worked for the HVG weekly for more than two decades as a foreign policy journalist and editor of the Trend and Interview columns. I have been chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Göbölyös Soma Foundation, which supports investigative journalism, since 2001, a member of the Board of Trustees of the anti-corruption organization Transparency International Hungary since 2006, and its chairman since 2012. In my free time I go hiking with my dog and listen to jazz and classical music.
I have become an ambassador for the Community Foundation Support Programme largely because I was so charmingly invited to do so! Joking aside, I am really happy to see local communities act to improve their lives, show more solidarity, and develop their abilities to make positive decisions – and, of course, being able to contribute to this process is an honour and a delight.
I am a physicist by education, but over the past 20 years I have worked at banks as an investment securities fund manager, pension fund director, and business unit manager. Led by curiosity, I have also digressed into other areas for periods of time: I managed the A38 concert boat, dealt with international renewable energy projects, and even worked for a mobile technology startup. Currently, I am heading up an alternative investment fund and deal with international alternative investments. I am always looking for new ways and solutions, and that is probably the reason why I was recently awarded the title “Most Creative Fund Manager of the Past 20 Years” by the members of my profession. I live in Érd with my wife and three daughters.
I have previously supported civil society organizations and community causes, but the Community Foundation Support Programme (together with the community foundations involved) is of particular importance to me because:
- I believe that a healthy and connected society can only be created where there are strong and independent communities
- in Hungary there few independent communities, and they are generally week or dependent on others for their economic foundations
- assuming it fulfils its goals, a national program building on the logic of “not giving a fish but teaching how to fish” can achieve the greatest impact in this regard.
I decided to get involved in the program because I am ready to devote my wide-ranging experience to following my values of supporting independent community activities.
My name is Balázs Szabados, and I am a 40-year-old Tahitótfalu resident. I live with my wife and two sons on Szentendrei Island, away from the noise of the city, in a small, transparent, and friendly small community. In my childhood and youth I regularly listened to Radio Free Europe and read Weekly World Economy or Interpress Magazine, courtesy of my father, and that is probably the reason why I went on to develop such a deep relationship with the media. However, I have found that online media are a better fit for my generation, and so I first worked for the online news portal Origo, and then more recently for FigyelőNet. At present, I work for ittlakunk.hu, an online news portal with columns for each of the 23 Budapest districts. The enterprise provides meaningful local content for the residents of the districts, while also allowing a couple of us to make a living from work that we find fascinating and worthwhile.
Although I graduated as an engineer, I soon switched to the development of IT-related businesses and have spent the last 15 years doing so. As an entrepreneur, I often had a chance to experience what surprising results and changes can be achieved by a small company that has a good team of workers, ideas that are not suppressed, and a way of working that is both persistent and consistent.
As an ambassador for the Community Foundation Support Programme, I hope to put these experiences to use in the civil sector as well. While obviously there are differences, I am confident that with a good team, good ideas, and the inevitable hard work, changes can be started within communities that make the effort worthwhile.
Since I live with 3 little girls, as well as cats and dogs, I do not think it is necessary to describe my free time activities in any more detail. I would only note that, besides our life in Budapest, the village of Zebegény and Lake Balaton are important parts of our life too and, whenever we can, we also travel a lot in Europe.