Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
Dreamer: Nikola Vrdoljak, CEO of the 404 Agency and program director of Weekend Media Festival
On my way to the train station I was thinking how this region has changed so profoundly. I knew art would be crucial. It all started with great works of regional co-productions, that made the region think and move forward. The theatre and film were the carriers of change this time, and they bravely challenged the dogmas we were filled with.
I was waiting for a train with a colleague from work. He is one of the migrants from major European cities, who came to this region in search of a more enjoyable life. Over time, this region has become suburbs of London, Istanbul, Paris and Berlin. After all, we’re just an hour away from those places, and flights are plentiful. As the big cities grew, more and more people wanted a different lifestyle.
We were travelling to Belgrade to meet with the team working on AI for one of our projects. Belgrade has the best AI programming scene, so our team is there as well. The client is a large multinational company that deals with circular economy. They have a strong presence in the region that has profoundly changed exactly because of the focus on the green economy. Zagreb has a fantastic research centre for eco technology that actually brought us into this business.
The train ride to Belgrade lasts two hours – exactly the time we need to prepare our presentation. And I still have time to take a vote on the local referendum through the Moj kvart app (My Neighbourhood). This week we had three issues on the agenda, regarding the arrangement of a local park. The app is actually developed by studio from Sarajevo. Sarajevo political scientists have created innovative political models that have enabled political progress, as well as the development of the software industry based on the creation of direct democracy tools. Their products are sold all over the world.
After the meeting in Belgrade, we went to Novi Sad for the big Pride, which has become a top tourist attraction. This was my opportunity to visit the design studio that deals with urban micro-design, in which Novi Sad is a world leader. It all started with several cycling enthusiasts, and today it has become a key export industry. Designers of Novi Sad, along with those from Ljubljana, are the best in the world in designing cities for a more enjoyable life. In this regard, Belgrade made a great connection and developed an entire fashion around cycling and electric transport in general.
I actually visit Novi Sad often, because I have to go through here when I go to Mokrin. Just ten days ago, all chief design officers of big world cities were there, showing examples of the transformation of cities after the disappearance of private cars. I’ll be back in Mokrin next month, for the discussion on multi-identities that dominate today, which we will compare with the functioning of identity in the 20th and early 21st centuries and their consequences. I look forward to that debate.
We travel by train through Slavonia and Vojvodina, which have undergone great transformations since the arrival of people from all over the world who came to work on organic farming. This in turn enabled the development of the restaurant scene in Belgrade and Osijek, attracting tourists from all over the world. Actually the Mayor of Osijek, who is responsible for all these smart moves, was born in Syria, from where he had to escape as a kid. So much has changed since then, and it seemed impossible.