Commencing the start of the Facebook livestream forum (find the link here) for innovative cooperation was Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK)’s Executive Director Uranik Begu who welcomed every panelist to the discussion and expressed earnest delight at coming to a communal collaboration with self-driven initiative as opposed to mandatory participation.

“We have come a long way,” comments Director Begu, “and in that journey we have struck a balance that allows us today to discuss ways we can make each other the best version of ourselves; especially since there are pressing issues to talk about”.

Photo: Innovation Centre Kosovo

The first panel, namely the “Ecosystem’s Overview and Building Regional Cooperation” set out with a cocktail of esteemed individuals present to give insight to the aforementioned topic. These individuals include Driton Hapciu; ICK Boardmember and Serial Entrepreneur, Kosta Andric from ICT Hub Belgrade, Tamara Dundjerovic from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Sanja Ivanic from the French-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Arian Zeka from the American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo and Marko Rakic from Innovation Centre Mitrovica North.

Photo: Innovation Centre Kosovo

All of these participants had gathered from different facets of service for the common goal of improving current events with a strengthened ecosystem strategy and imparting views of contemporary progress in relation to how it can become bigger and better.

As brought up, one of the primary issues is freedom of movement and collaboration on an economical level from taking into account the fact that there have been scarce situations when any company of either countries have established partnerships in good faith. By finding a method to incorporate innovative centres into projects and activities in a diverse distribution, both parties can share expertise and build bridges.

Thus, there can be a less clogged flow in the access to finance, key to a proper developing ecosystem. Panelist Miss Sanja Ivanic of Commerce comments “With access to finance as a tool of movement, it unleashes opportunities to work, capacities to deliver training, potential guidance in mentoring opportunities, provide loans and gives a boost of moral support”.

Photo: Innovation Centre Kosovo

The second panel then tackled the issue titled “Entrepreneurial Challenges and Opportunities” which was graced with the presence of Dusan Jovcic from Kerber Games, Xheneta Sopjani from Deinde, Mergim Cahani from Gjirafa, Arianit Fazliu from Kutia, Nikola Cvetkovic from Emitto.io and Miodrag Milisevic from NGO Aktiv.

It is always a reliable formula to read through all the challenges and opportunities of a field to then carve out the best resolutions for a step forward into the most productive direction. In entrepreneurship, there’s a series of hindrances that can greatly affect the quality of cooperation and work put into a business. Prejudices have to be broken, there needs to be an increase in integration hussle as well as access to talent.

Photo: Innovation Centre Kosovo

“Because this region is considerably smaller, so is the pool of choices for talent. The more competing strengths rallied and the more the surface area is limited to those talents, the brighter they shine, so to speak, and become detectable. The more we detect, the more we can integrate into opportunities that increase the likeliness to resources, access to finance and learn to catch up globally instead of growing complacent” points out panelist Mr Mergim Canhasi.

Photo: Innovation Centre Kosovo

The third and final panel was packed with one of the most loaded topics possible, one that makes the difference between excellence and missed opportunity. “Skills and Jobs for the Future” was hosted with input by panelists Arta Shehu Zaimi from JCoders Academy and Lab Box, John Jovanovic from ICT Hub Venture, Astrit Leti from Cacttus, Shpend Lila from ICK and Marko Savkovic from Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence (BFPE).

The current global situation has made it rather apparent how imperative digital tech is; both to constantly improve and to become accessible. By amping skillsets in the form of training sessions, informative resources, practical experiences for first-hand engagement in problem-solving and critical thinking, it helps boost the amount and quality of education that enables the progression of skillsets.

Photo: Innovation Centre Kosovo

And with the addition of a range of skills that can be applicable in many fields, it aids in job creation and slots to become implemented in entrepreneurial and general industries, offering laborious sustenance to the ecosystems.

The more education-inclined panelist Miss Arta Shehu Zajmi says “We have to find ways to utilize methods after developing them, to make the most out of education and its methods as its job is to teach people about the world around them, how to behave and present many skills that form a person ready to achieve excellence. Challenges can be overwhelming and here kids learn more out than in school because they’re provided with different experiences that craft their personalities of people that know what they want and pursue it”.

Fellow panelist Mr John Jovanovic adds to it “We don’t know to the most certain extent what the future holds no matter how much we invest today to predict the outcome of our hard-working efforts. But what we know is the level of impact our actions currently have on the present and how tools in our arsenal such as decision-making, commitment and proper educational dedication can give us a more positive and hopeful estimate of the future we’d crave to predict.”

Photo: Innovation Centre Kosovo

In a finale of excellent points and comments, the panel wrapped up with the definitive input of BFPE President Miss Sonja Licht, citing “What would be done to really shake the educational system in times of pandemic other than the incapacitation of marginalized minorities with no access to tech or internet would be a shift in approach. We need youngsters to be able to think for themselves and make them understand why they should learn and how to learn in the best way possible. To not be given tailor-made skins that are boring, be as involved as possible in the debate that will shape a new approach to education and make the new generation an active part of that discussion, not just an audience”.

The Changing Minds Forum was organized by the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence, Innovation Centre Kosovo, Democracy for Development, NGO Aktiv and TransConfilt and supported by the European Commission.

The post was originally published by Innovation Centre Kosovo