With a lifelong passion for design, and interests in cultural and intellectual development and human rights, he founded in 2007 the Zdenek Bakala Foundation, which provides scholarships at prestigious universities around the world to talented Czech students. He also supports the Václav Havel Library, a centre for the documentation and research of modern Czech history, with an emphasis on promoting the ideas and works of former Czech president Václav Havel.
He is a partner of DOX – the Centre for Contemporary Art, Architecture and Design, Prague – and he initiated the opening of the CEE affiliate of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies non-profit organisation. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
He started his business career in 1989 at Drexel Burnham Lambert investment bank in New York, and then moved to Bank of America. In 1994, Bakala founded Patria Finance, the Czech Republic’s very first private investment banking group. In 2004, he was one of the founders of the group Bakala Crossroads – BXR (formerly RPG). In the same year, this group acquired OKD – a major Czech hard coal mining company, now part of New World Resources. He earned his MBA degree at the Tuck School of Business.
About the Design Museum
The Design Museum is the world’s leading museum devoted to architecture and design. The museum opened in 1989 and its work encompasses all elements of design, including fashion, product and graphic design. The museum has hosted exhibitions showcasing some of the most important pioneers of design including, Paul Smith, Zaha Hadid, Jonathan Ive, and Dieter Rams. The Design Museum plans to relocate from its current home at Shad Thames to the former Commonwealth Institute building in Kensington, West London. The project is expected to be completed by 2015. Leading designer John Pawson will convert the interior of the Commonwealth Institute building to create a new home for the Design Museum giving it three times more space in which to show a wider range of exhibitions, showcase its world class collection and extend its learning programme.
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