Tom Bílý

photo: Tom Bílý’s archive

What is your profession?

For many years I’ve been working as a financial director in the non-profit organization Fairtrade Czech Republic and Slovakia. I originally graduated from the Faculty of Law at Charles University, but ever since my studies I’ve always been more drawn to the non-profit sector and the field of development cooperation and global education. At Fairtrade, we strive to ensure that people around the world can earn a decent living from their own work and that international trade in coffee, cocoa and other commodities is at least a little more sustainable. It’s always been important to me to do work that has an impact and is meaningful, and I’ve been lucky enough to make it come true.

How did you start working with OHP?

Prague is in my blood and I love it. My mom is a professional Prague guide, so even as a kid I was seeing Prague through different lenses. It was no wonder that I started helping my mom while I was still in high school and very soon I got a license not only for Prague but also for the Jewish Museum. I had the advantage of having graduated from the Austrian Gymnasium in Prague, so German is almost a second mother tongue for me and I feel safe in it. I then began to guide tourists in English as well and I enjoyed focusing on American VIP clients, who often came to Prague specifically to see Jewish sites.

How long have you been working with Open House Prague and what do you like about it?

I had been following OHP from a bit of a distance for a long time. Of course, I regularly attended the festival, but I also knew a few people at OHP, mainly because of my involvement in another cultural festival, Prague Pride. We also collaborated a few times. And today I’m here arranging my first guided tours for OHP.

Which building/part of Prague or architectural style is your favorite?

There are certainly a few. I love Josefov and the Jewish Museum in Prague, I love architecture from the turn of the 19th and 20th century, but also modern styles. So my favourite building could easily be the Old New Synagogue, but so could the shopping arcade Koruna. Favourite neighborhood? That would be the area of Vinohrady and Nové Město.

What are your hobbies?

I love travelling – my husband and I like to go to more distant and exotic places, but our favourite destination is still Italy, which we have a special relationship with. When I’m not working or traveling, you’ll probably find me at the gym, on my bike or in the pool. I can’t imagine my life without sports and physical movement is what provides me with both necessary energy and relaxation.

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