Golden Oldie: When and where were you born?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Tychy, Poland.

Golden Oldie: Where and what did you study?

Krzysztof Lipiec: University of Silesia, Political science and European Studies

Golden Oldie: When did you join AEGEE and how?

Krzysztof Lipiec: In 1999 I found info about AEGEE on the official website of my faculty.

Golden Oldie: Are you still member?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Not anymore.

Golden Oldie: You are best known for being Quo Vadis coordinator and CD member. What where the biggest challenges and rewards of these tasks?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Rewards were many and similar to other AEGEE activities – that is friendships and experience in team work. Probably most useful in professional work were a better understanding of interpersonal dynamics and my personal driving forces. The latter has been also the biggest challenge, to understand the difference between self-motivation and self-constrain, to discover my own priorities. The roles of a Year Plan project coordinator or CD member require a quick and sometimes difficult process of growing up.

Golden Oldie: How did you feel when you finished your big tasks?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Surprise that it was over so soon, with sad recognition that probably my ties with other CD members would loosen drastically and with determination to look for similar level of excitement and emotional involvement in my future career.

Golden Oldie: Did people appreciate the work you did for AEGEE?

Krzysztof Lipiec: You never get everyone satisfied and the person hardest to satisfy is myself. Things like honorary membership of two antenna or simple talks with fellow AEGEEans who expressed their appreciation are some of the nicest memories though.

Golden Oldie: Tell us a funny story of your AEGEE time.

Krzysztof Lipiec: When I think about it now, there’s a funny aspect in everything. Imagine faces of people when they meet the “Brussels guys” for the first time and find out that they keep chickens in the garden of their office. Or try to imagine the following situation: organisers of a local event decided to provide lodging in local student flats with non-AEGEE members. So a guy and a girl see each other for the first time in their life and find out that they would sleep in the same room, in the same bed, about 80 cm wide. They agree and the local student is confident that she’s hosting a couple. Or imagine a very ambitious AEGEE member who wants to impress the audience of the conference with a presentation about breaking borders. So he takes two eggs and smashes them against each other at the beginning of his speech and then has to continue his presentation with the leftovers all over his hands. Such stories are many and all seem funny now.

Golden Oldie: What was your favourite AEGEE event?

Krzysztof Lipiec: If I really had to mention only one, the European School Praha in 2000 would be my choice.

Golden Oldie: What was your best moment in AEGEE?

Krzysztof Lipiec: The best moment was I guess the Regional Meeting in Hamburg, where I became involved in the Quo Vadis Europe project and had a chance for the first time to participate in the work on such a big project on European level. I remember exactly the whole day, which started at 5 a.m. with being threatened with a knife by a junkie in an underground crossing, culminated with excitement about the project during the meeting and exploded with joy in the evening, which I spent in nice company in the local amusement park.

Golden Oldie: And your worst moment?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Talking about worst moments I must mention two. First was very personal, when during one CD meeting I had a casting vote and had to decide reason against heart and intuition. Not getting into details I failed with this decision and even though it didn’t have much influence on AEGEE, it influenced my friends and it was a very hard lesson for me. The other moment was the Agora in Amsterdam, where my CD received such a strong negative feedback from the network, that the whole CD stepped down. Even being elected again at the same Agora with a very high percentage of votes, what I considered a vote of confidence for myself in this crisis situation, I remember it as one of the worst moments.

Golden Oldie: Which AEGEE members impressed you a lot?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Matina Magkou and Grzegorz Stanisz. Great friends who gave me a lot of inspiration.

Golden Oldie: Any things you regret that you haven’t done them in AEGEE?

Krzysztof Lipiec: I skipped the Caucasus Case Study Trip, I still don’t understand why I gave other obligations a higher priority. I regret that Stefan Hauk’s proposal of establishing the Policy Commission didn’t go through. I believe I could have done more to support it.

Golden Oldie: Did AEGEE influence your career decision?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Yes, but more through learning about myself than otherwise.

Golden Oldie: How would your life be if you hadn’t known AEGEE?

Krzysztof Lipiec: That would be someone else’s life.

Golden Oldie: As a child, what did you dream to be your future job after growing up?

Krzysztof Lipiec: I wanted to write novels.

Golden Oldie: What are you doing now as main occupation?

Krzysztof Lipiec: I coordinate research projects that includes writing reports, which sometimes resemble science-fiction novels…

Golden Oldie: Are you single/married/married with 5 children?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Married with Monika from AEGEE-Katowice.

Golden Oldie: Which languages do you speak?

Krzysztof Lipiec: English and of course Polish, I can communicate in French and Russian if necessary, on basic level.

Golden Oldie: Where do you live now? What do you like/dislike about your city?

Krzysztof Lipiec: I live in Warsaw. I’ve got my friends and favourite places here. I wish it was closer to any kind of mountains though.

Golden Oldie: What are your best and least liked cities?

Krzysztof Lipiec: I liked Sydney, New Delhi, Marrakesh, Saigon, Damascus and Prague, but Paris is still my favourite I guess. I can’t recall a place I didn’t like enough to remember it.

Golden Oldie: What is the furthest place you ever went to?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Good question. Where should I measure the kilometres from? If we’re talking about the feeling of being far away, I look forward to experience it. Tell me where I should go.

Golden Oldie: Which country would you like to visit in the near future?

Krzysztof Lipiec: There are about 200 such countries, but my plans include USA and Italy.

Golden Oldie: What are your hobbies?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Any kind of outdoor activity – trekking, biking, sailing, cross-country skiing, rock climbing and 100 things I haven’t tried yet, moreover yoga, photography and travel.

Golden Oldie: What are you most afraid of?

Krzysztof Lipiec: I am afraid to tell.

Golden Oldie: What’s never missing in your fridge?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Kodak trix 400.

Golden Oldie: How would you describe yourself in five keywords?

Krzysztof Lipiec: Conscious, curious, sincere, open-minded, (domesticated) nomad.