This year the conference was live-streamed and well-known speakers such as Emmy award-winning composer Lolita Ritmanis, journalist Jānis Domburs, Head Director of the Dailes Theatre Juris Žagars, and film critic and film historian Dita Rietuma shared their experiences on how to succeed and transform good ideas into commercially successful products.

Dr Sauka’s speech addressed the currently hot topic of how to enable science to be more applicable in real life and develop cooperation with those who can use science for solving practical problems. The presentation was titled: “Data-based decisions. Who needs it and is applied science needed?” and conclusions were based on his own experience doing research on the shadow economy and on other topics for more than 10 years now.

Dr Sauka stressed the significance of collaboration with industries and entrepreneurs and also noted that scientists should create platforms to support communication and should not expect anything to happen quickly and easily as analytics is not always desirable, especially for politically motivated decisions. He also emphasized the importance of acquiring knowledge on how to attract funding for research work and practical experience on how to work with journalists who can promote research findings. "Eventually, become the media yourself!" said Arnis Sauka.

Recently Arnis Sauka, Professor and Director of the Centre for Sustainable Business at SSE Riga, has been re-elected to the Board of Foreign Investors’ Council in Latvia (FICIL) for another term. This is another example of how to build cooperation among academia, the government, and the public sector and a great opportunity to communicate applied science.