Barna Baráth, Founder, REAL School Budapest

  • 20 Jan 2020 10:38 AM
Barna Baráth, Founder, REAL School Budapest
Barna is a climate change and education entrepreneur. He is the founder of REAL School Budapest, a new international primary school that educates for sustainability through real life entrepreneurial learning.

Previously Barna spent four years as head of strategy, board member and parent at Green School Bali, a unique community of changemakers educating for a sustainable world.

Earlier he was the co-founder & CEO for 10+ years of Vertis Environmental Finance, an award-winning climate change finance company.

Barna serves on the boards of Climate-KIC, the EU’s leading climate innovation initiative, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, and Vertis. Barna’s main interest currently is around the role of education in the context of our environmental, social and economic challenges.

Barna graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles with a degree in Economics, and studied corporate finance at the London Business School. He has lived in Hungary, US, UK, Slovenia and Indonesia.

1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Budapest and after high school went to study in Los Angeles.

2. If you could be an expat anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I’ve been an expat in London and Los Angeles in parallel before, and quite enjoyed it.

3. What would you miss most if you moved away from Hungary?
When we lived in Asia, I missed winter, sailing and theatre. And Szabó Balázs Bandája concerts.

4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
There are not many cities left where nature and culture are equally dominant. Budapest is such a wonder place. My top list would include a run at Óbuda Island or Normafa, visiting the Castle and the cave hospital, climbing the Basilica, brunch at Mazel Tov, vegan pizza at Vegazzi in Anker’t, dinner at Macesz Huszár, Szimpla market on Sunday, and a concert at the Palace of Arts. I think this is just about right for a weekend.

5. What is your favourite food?
Apple pie (the Hungarian grandma version), pizza from our wood-fired oven in the garden, and of course anything my wife makes, which is usually plant based.

6. What is your favourite sport / form of exercise?
I run two or three times a week and practice yoga whenever I can. But the favourite is skiing.

7. What is your favourite place in Hungary?
The middle of Lake Balaton.

8. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
I already changed carriers three or four times, but I could imagine opening a café in my wife’s bookshop in Italy somewhere.

9. What’s a job you would definitely never want?
Anything that is not intending to solve a serious social or environmental issue.

10. Where did you spend your last vacation?
We’ve just visited Israel for the first time.

11. Where do you hope to spend your next one?
Skiing in Slovakia, then Bhutan. No, not for skiing.

12. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?

13. Apart from temptation what can't you resist?
An invitation to a cosy board-game Sunday afternoon with my family by the fireplace.

14. Red wine or white?

15. Book or movie?
Both, plus Netflix or HBO series. If I didn’t have 3 jobs.

16. Morning person or night person?
Definitely a night person.

17. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
Climate change. It’s perceived to be an environmental issue, but it’s actually a major social issue.

18. Buda or Pest side?
Buda for nature, Pest for culture.

19. Which achievement in your life are you most pleased about?
Opening my school is the most complex project I’ve done recently, I’m quite pleased we got it off the ground.

20. What would you say is your personal motto?
“Good enough isn’t”

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