Kazakhstan Open World

Five young, enterprising entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan spent a very full week September 25 - October 3, 2015 in Northern California hosted by Nevada City Rotary.  The Kazakh delegates included small business owners, directors of private and public entrepreneur service agencies, a cultural facilitator and an interpreter.

Kazakhstan delegation and hosts

The Nevada City delegation was the first ever Open World delegation from Kazakhstan to be hosted by Rotary. View a video highlight on Animoto.com of their visit by clicking the video image.

During their visit the delegation met with local businesses leaders, state and local government officials, and entrepreneur service providers.  Nevada County executive staff hosted a business roundtable with County Supervisors, department heads and business leaders exploring many facets of starting and operating successful businesses in Nevada County.  The delegation toured a variety of businesses from high tech television broadcast to emerging food services. VIsits included Grass Valley - A Belden Brand, Ensemble Designs, Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, 3 Forks Brewery and Bakery, Valentina's Organic Bistro and Bakery, and Sierra Commons. The group also visited Pride Industries to explore a special interest in employment opportunities for people with disabilities. 

Michael Young and Steve Baker interviewed Rotary Club of Nevada City's Open World Kazakhstan Delegation on Thursday Oct 1, 2015. Enjoy their engaging discussion of life and culture from the perspective of 5 young entrepreneurs from Kazakhstan along with their cultural facilitator and interpreter on KVMR Kazakhstan Team Interview clyp.it

Side trips included a visit to the State Capitol in Sacramento plus sightseeing in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe.  Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world so for most of the group seeing the Pacific was their first time ever in an ocean. Their open hearted, infectious enthusiasm captured the hearts of Rotarians and our community.  At our farewell dinner, the delegates referred to their Rotary hosts as “adopted parents.” 

Nevada City Rotarians Carolyn Feuille, pP Nancy Kemp and P Dave Bunje were project coordinators. 

Read more about our delegation and the Open World Leadership Program in Open World Kazakhstan Special Edition Rotario.

The program is administered by the Open World Leadership Center, the only international exchange agency in the U.S. legislative branch (Congress).  Through this program, more than 23,000 leaders from Central Asia, mostly from the former Soviet satellite countries, have participated since 1999. 

Rotary and hundreds of other service organizations, colleges and civic groups act as host agencies.  Over 6,700 American families have hosted participants in 2000 communities in our country. It’s been a mutually beneficial program for all participating countries.

Open World helps promote U.S. diplomatic, trade, political, and cultural interests and provides opportunities for delegates to take part in tailored, in-depth exchanges within such themes as environmental protection, education, business, democratic form of government - including rule of law and accountable governance - and entrepreneurship. 

The Culture of Kazakhstan

The Embassy of the Republic of Kazakstan posts a segment on Kazakh Culture on its website under Discover Kazakhstan. Als



Bloomberg Business of August 21, 2015 reports Six Facts to Know About Kazakhstan After the Tenge's Spectacular Crash.  Among the points made is the fact that Kazakhstan is not a poor nation.  Their GDP over the last decade has risen higher than that of Brazil and Russia. The country is rich in nature resources including oil, uranium, copper and the world's largest known zinc deposits. Kazakhstan's debt as a percentage to GDP stands at 12 percent, one of the lowest in the world.  Unfortunately, corruption is widespread. On the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, Kazakhstan ranked 126th out of the 177 countries. It fares worse than many of its emerging-market peers but not as badly as its immediate neighbors of Russia and Tajikistan.

Printable reference materials (PDF) provided by Open World Leadership - Kazakhstan:

Also read, Open World Kazakhstan Special Edition of our Rotario.

Central Asia in a Reconnecting Eurasia, Kazakhstan's Evolving Foreign Economic and Security Interests was released in June 2015 by the Center for Strategic International Studies.  The report is available as a free downloadable PDF by clicking the cover image  or for purchase at http://csis.org/publication/central-asia-reconnecting-eurasia-kazakhstan.

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Kazakhstan:

  1. Kazakhstan is the ___th largest country in the world: 12th, 9th, 15th 
  2. It is also the largest landlocked country in:  the world / Asia.
  3. What are its primary industries? 
  4. Name 3 of the ethnic groups in Kazakhstan.
  5. The country became independent from Russia in what year?
  6. Nursultan Nazarbayev is the current: president / Minister of Foreign Affairs /  head of state.
  7. There is / isn’t freedom of the press in Kazakhstan.
  8. The capital city is _ _ _ _ _ _.
  9. Baikonur Cosmodrome is the site of the world’s first and largest operational  ____________________ facility and is managed by which country?
  10. Much of the land is flat, semi-arid and barren, also referred to as the _________________