Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
To besedilo lahko preberete tudi v slovenskem jeziku
By: Ladeja Godina Košir – initiator of the platform Circular Change / Giacomelli media
“You have the Germanic precision. He has the Balkan resourcefulness. She has that Mediterranean charm.” We humans are social beings. We strive to connect, belong, cooperate. History has proven (and Darwin put it in writing) that only those who are able to adapt survive. We like to belong. We unite or fight a war on the basis of the values in which we believe. We are prisoners of stereotypes. That in itself – the fact that we are aware of it – is a good companion in trying to overcome entrenched models.
On 27 and 28 May in Sarajevo, at Summit 100 – Business leaders of South East Europe, with the title “A new deal for a new age”, we immersed ourselves in the common future that should bring benefits for all countries once associated in Yugoslavia and Albania. Before that, from 24 to 26 May at the other end of the world in Montreal, a completely different event was held – the C2 Conference under the slogan “A business conference, only different”. The columns by my good friend Bane Brkljač, full of creative inspiration, perfectly sum up the energy of this extraordinary event. Therefore, I dare to look for a basis for investigating the parallels between these two very different parts of our planet in these two events.
Let’s stop discussing digitalization
We want to live well, not struggle for mere survival day in and day out. Digitization, consumerism, enrichment, development, success, all these are terms that can produce moralizing and division into camps of the proponents and opponents of everything listed above. In the approach, applied for the fifth consecutive year, in Montreal we can play with them, reinterpret them and creatively shape their meaning for the time in which we live. And not only the meaning, but also the approach of how to expand the possibilities of business choice on the basis of redefined notions. Some of the sparks and inventiveness also crept into the round table discussions at the Summit 100 through The Boston Consulting Group.
For example – digitalization is like electricity. It’s so strongly entangled in our everyday lives, both personal and business, it’s no longer a question of whether we recognize it or not, but how wisely we turn it on and use it on the path to solutions that will improve quality and competitiveness. On the panel – which I moderated together with Markus Laubscher, who leads the transition of the 150-year old Philips company into the new, circular business model – we looked for ways to take advantage of opportunities brought by the transition from a linear to a circular economy in our region. Here’s one piece of data for a better understanding of the necessity of such research – Europe loses 95% of its sources in the linear processes: we produce, consume, throw away. The value that we have created is lost. The circular economy is based on keeping the value of the source in the use cycle for as long as possible. To preserve value and monetize it – that’s economizing.
From product to services, from ownership to communal use, from long-term to circular
The opportunity brought by the digital revolution and IoT (Internet of Things) should become the basis for better connecting various sources and optimizing their use on the basis of available data. For example, this may help us in the development of projects in the field of green mobility, smart cities, tourism, energy efficiency, food production, knowledge transfer. We are stopping to sell light bulbs and starting to search for light (Philips). We are becoming the biggest provider of rooms, but we don’t rent a single one (Airbnb). We operate an automotive network without a single rented car (Uber).
In our region the principles of a circular economy have already been implemented in all respects, for a simple reason – crises of this or that kind have necessitated cooperation between people – for frugality, self-catering, re-use of products. Why not turn it now into our competitive advantage?
With a strategic approach and the right measure of common sense, we could position ourselves as a region that knows how to optimize the use of resources (natural, human and financial), mobilize creative and inventive potential and create long-term, and above all internationally competitive, business models. As Slavenka Drakulić wrote a couple of years ago in her provocative book: “How we survived communism, and even laughed.”
Presidents are the best sponsors
We have a lot of ideas. Always. And in the last hour of the Summit 100 we confidently presented them to the presidents of all the participating countries. The challenge before us is to translate these ideas into projects, and projects into reality. I personally, on behalf of the working group Smart SEE’s Tech to Enable Boost of Circular Economy Model, which I moderated, made a commitment that by the next event, Summit 100 2017, we will implement the Circular Economy Regional Roadshow, by engaging the Circular Change platform. With the clear aim of recognizing at least one project that already implements the principles of the circular economy in each country, within the framework of workshops for various stakeholders. And from then on, we will adequately highlight, communicate and connect such projects, and with them compete for the funds that are available under various competitions, funds, foundations … In the EU, in fact, it has become a mantra that there is more money than good projects. So – action!
“As heads of states we are at the service of citizens. We are paid with the money that they generate in the context of economic activity,” said the Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov in his speech – in my subjective assessment the most astute and the most charismatic among the leaders in Sarajevo. It turns out that in the region we still have enough key sources for survival – food, water and energy. But we don’t know how to build our competitive advantage on these and reduce our dependence on the superpowers. This means that for our projects we can’t have better (moral) sponsors than the presidents.
I finished my presentation by calling on them to support us in our “regional circular tour”, and after reading the articles from Montreal I realized that the messages of the participants there and in Sarajevo overlap in many respects. We want to leave a better world behind than the one we inherited from our ancestors. The road begins with personal responsibility towards the decisions we make – and with the faith that we are in fact the very people whom we were waiting for all this time.