Nikola Tesla – a pure genius and ultimate humanitarian

Famous NYC Columbia University Professor Dr Gordana Vunjak Novaković, recipient of many science awards, is a Member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies in USA.
She is our friend and colleague on our recent book “The essential Nikola Tesla: peacebuilding endeavor” which we together released at Harvard University on 11th February 2015. 

Gordana Vunjak Novakovic
“Nikola Tesla has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. He was born to a Serbian family in Lika, the Military Frontier where Serbs have lived for many centuries, the very same area my father’s family comes from; the two families are even distantly related. Every day, I would look at one of the most beautiful monuments to Nikola Tesla, in front of the School of Engineering in Belgrade, where I studied and later worked. Another bust of Tesla is due to be erected in front of the Saint Sava Church in downtown Belgrade, the largest Orthodox church in the world. Now in New York, I often see the Nikola Tesla Corner, at his last residence at Bryant Park. Needless to say, I have many books about him and his legacy. And most recently I was delighted to join the “Tesla Village”, a virtual town of 33,000 people from all around the world who joined forces to save Tesla’s last laboratory and build the Tesla museum.  Shortly after I came to Columbia University, there was a symposium celebrating his contributions to our civilization, on the 150th anniversary of his birth.

 Tesla book

His bust is also in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering where I now work. Columbia University is the place where Tesla presented, in May 1888, one of the most significant lectures in the history of science, describing the rotating magnetic field that is at the heart of alternating current motors and today’s use of electrical energy. The impact of this discovery was transformative – through harnessing the power of the Great Falls of Niagara and into the era of light and power. Within just two years, Tesla developed the first neon and fluorescent illumination – fifty years before these came to use, took the first x-ray photographs, and illuminated a vacuum tube wirelessly – marking the beginning of his lifelong obsession – the wireless transmission of energy. 

As Charles F Scott said: “The evolution of electrical power from the discovery of Faraday to the initial great installation of the Tesla polyphase system in 1896 is undoubtedly the most tremendous event in all engineering history.” LaGuardia said it in just a few words: “Should Tesla’s work be suddenly withdrawn, we would slump into darkness”.  We know that Tesla – the patron saint of electricity – was very tall (6’6”), handsome and well dressed, and ascetic. He was grateful for his creativeness to both his parents – his mother Djuka (“able to make three knots on an eyelash”) and his Serbian priest father. He was imaginative without being bound to what existed or seemed to be possible, passionate about discovery, and fanatic about work. He had many unusual talents: spoke 8 languages, could memorize an entire book, and visualize complete devices in his head and build them without making a drawing. A story says that he drew a diagram of the AC motor in the sand with a stick, while reciting Goethe’s Faust. He was a pure and natural genius and a true humanitarian – at the level of greatness that goes beyond caring for money or recognition. He generously allowed Westinghouse to renegotiate a patent deal that enabled the financially strapped company to establish the electricity standard we have today.   I was recently asked to speak for the Harlem Biospace, a technology incubator in New York City, about what an entrepreneur can learn from Tesla’s legacy. This was quite a challenge, as Tesla was the principal architect of the modern age without being an entrepreneur like Edison or Westinghouse who commercialized his timeless discoveries.
  Harvard poster 1
 Going back to the topic of the Harlem Biospace lecture, I thought of the following lessons we could learn from Tesla.   Dreaming big and never giving up. Tesla was destined to become a priest, but found a way to become an engineer and focus on discovery. He survived cholera, bankruptcy, the loss of two of his laboratories and a lot of hardship without ever abandoning his dream. Inventing a better world. He spent life working tirelessly and making big leaps in science and engineering towards a new and better world, without any material gain for himself.  Learning what is special about yourself. Early on, Tesla observed that he could visualize with the greatest ease even the most complex things. He could build new machines without models, drawings or experiments, just from the pictures in his mind.  Working for the humankind. Tesla said: “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through a human heart like that felt by inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success… Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything…”.  Tesla showed that being a great entrepreneur — one who commercialized a critical standard that powers innovation 125 years later — isn’t necessarily about the money. He acted as a quintessential engineer and humanist, by finding ways to utilize the resources of the planet to the benefit of humankind.”
Article from our book: “The essential Nikola Tesla: peacebuilding endeavor”

AEFE, celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of UNESCO

Tesla Memory Project had participated at this year’s edition of the Asia-Europe Forum on Education (AEFE), dedicated to an important historical landmark:

the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of UNESCO.

The Third Edition of the AEFE was the first one to be hosted on European soil, namely in Bucharest, Romania from October 7-11, 2015.

The main pillar for discussion regards current challenges to education. AEFE UNESCO 2015 was dedicated entirely to the themes regarding Sustainable Development in Education.

Europe Asia Edu Forum

The forum was organized in a manner which promotes a high level of interaction among the participants. In addition to the official forum related activities, the participants went on several tours, a field trip, visits to relevant institutions and attend several official ceremonies.

The activities were scheduled to be as educational and as dynamic as possible, in order to encourage the participants to share ideas, experiences and good practices regarding current educational methods. Participants were encouraged to present a paper during the forum meetings in order to fuel a relevant debate regarding the forum’s theme on sustainable development in education.

Europe Asia Education Forum

It is paramount that relevant personalities who are active in the educational field come together and discuss from a global perspective the contemporary dilemmas regarding educational ethics. Constant, well-organized and efficacious dialogue is the only solution to the obstacles in education determined by issues such as economic globalization, computerization and ever-increasing cultural diversity. The Asia-Europe Forum on Education was established in 2013 as an international gathering where such problems are specifically targeted.

The first edition of the forum was hosted by the Huijia School in Beijing, China in 2013. The forum was a success, bringing together a vast number of participants. The first edition was themed Ethics Education and was centered on professors’ responsibility, efficient approaches and effects. The forum launched the Passport for Global Ethics, a ground breaking document aimed at promoting ethical education on a global scale.

The second edition of the forum, themed The Multicultural Challenge, was hosted by the Jilin HuaQiao Foreign Languages University in China. The participants discussed the importance of promoting multicultural education and concrete ways of improving international communication regarding educational issues.

Main Organizers and Partners:

Ministry of Education and Scientific Research

Romanian National Commission for UNESCO

United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Romania

Romanian Government Interethnic Relations Department

Alumnus Club for UNESCO

University of Agronomic Science and Veterinary Medicine

Chinese National Commission for UNESCO

World Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

European Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

Asia-Pacific Federations of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

Romanian Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

Chinese National Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations

International Bureau of Education

Chinese Association of Non-Governmental Education

Foundation for Education Development

Cultural Center of Bucharest Municipality  …

TESLA MUSIC by Branco Stoysin

Branco Stoysin, London-based guitarist, composer and tutor, had created the music dedicated to Nikola Tesla and marking  70th anniversary since passing of Tesla:



Click here to see the biography of Branco Stoysin


Artist have released two albums of music dedicated to Tesla, the debut, Something between the Sea and The Sky, the 4th album Lily of the Valley  (the same title music book carry text on Tesla), and the latest album ALONE with a special composition for Tesla, and the new music book of the music from ALONE album, with Tesla’s picture on the cover will be published next year to mark 160 years since Tesla’s birth.



Tesla Memory Project, together with the French Federation for UNESCO,, UNESCO University Club and Socia, celebrated Nikola Tesla’s birthday at the Palace of Belgrade, on July 9th 2015 in the evening (Tesla was born on midnight between 9th and 10th July 1856).

The event was formally opened by the President of the French Federation for UNESCO, Yves Lopez and Director of the Tesla Memory Project, Aleksandar Protic, who both talked about Tesla’s important role in UNESCO Memory of the World register.

Tesla talk was followed by Future Leadership masterclass organized by The key speaker was Alex Cameron of Socia, a London-based expert in collaborative leadership. Alex has extensive experience in the oil and gas sector and in other contexts where people know they must collaborate to arrive at a better result. Their motivation to collaborate is not just about ‘doing the right thing’ – it delivers better business in terms of profit, employment and sustainability of ventures.  This dialogue-based, interdisciplinary and intensive event was attended by a diverse cross-section of local young people and mid-career professionals. director Natasha Cica was delighted to ‘co-create’ this event with entrepreneurial young Serbs – including Nataša Gligorijević who founded the New Diplomacy Centre here in Belgrade, and Kosta Živanović who is President of the University Club for UNESCO.

More information at: