by C:F Team on 2nd February, 2015 at 9:37 AM CEST
C:F elected the new Board for 2015. Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva was elected for President position and will lead C:F together with Vice Presidents Metka Ule Novak and Olga Veligurska as well as with two new VP Stefan Alijevikj, CF Alumnus and CF Chapters Board member and dr. Metka Tekavcic, CF Educators Board member and Dean of Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana, who are replacing Andreja Kodrin and Violeta Bulc.
Bellow, follow through our interview with Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva
Nadya as lecturer at the C:F Summit in 2013
CF Team: Dear Nadya, you have been with Challenge:Future since its foundations in 2009. You have acted as Vice President within the C:F board and have been one of the most remarkable summit speakers to each of the C:F Summit editions, where you were also deeply involved in program design. How would you sum up all of these experiences, how have they affected you and shaped your personality? And how do you feel as the new president of the Challenge:Future?
Nadya: "It’s been a real honor to be part of Challenge:Future birth, to take part of its emergence as a force for a new kind of world. I often tell the story of my very first meeting with Andreja Kodrin, C:F Founder and Inaugural President. We scheduled to meet after a conference both of us planned to attend and sat down on a small bench in a hallway amidst noise and commotion. We have never met in person before and have barely exchanged a few emails. Yet, her first question was not about generalities or politeness. She asked me simply and powerfully: “do you have any hope?”
Much of our C:F work can be traced back to that powerful and very honest conversation. So, for me, these five years of life and joy can be summed up simply: today I have more hope for the world than I ever had thanks to thousands of young minds around the Planet fighting for its future."
CF Team: Aside your engagement with C:F, you are also a business owner, educator, and writer. In 2014, you published the “Overfished Ocean Strategy: Powering up Innovation for a Resource-Deprived World”. How is your book tied to the idea and vision of the Challenge:Future? What are the crossing points?
Nadya: "Overfished Ocean Strategy is my attempt to fight the global sustainability fatigue – the lack of energy and action around this topic. It is about turning this humanitarian issue into a global business opportunity – and bringing excitement and innovation to the challenge of resource depletion. Challenge:Future from its very beginning connected these two aspirations: innovation and sustainability. So, my work is directly related to the vision of our think-DO-tank and I will do my best to help sharing the concepts and tools developed within the framework of Overfished Ocean Strategy with all C:F members and chapters so that they can be used to bring tangible impact in their communities and the world at large."
CF Team: You come from Kazakhstan, you have studied, lived and worked in the US, and you are now based in Slovenia. You make truly a global tracker and change-maker, doing business and travelling around the world. How is life on the road?
Nadya: Travelling is a beautiful thing, even though it has its pluses and minuses. My deepest appreciation goes to the opportunity to celebrate diversity – to understand that we are all unique, that there are truly different points of views, which can be useful and meaningful.
And, at the same time, my travels confirm our basic unity, our deepest interdependence and oneness with one another, the planet, and the world at large. We often think of unity as “sameness” – we are one with what looks and feels just like us. It is a powerful gift and a special challenge: to celebrate diversity and unity without demanding sameness. That is what my travel offered me so far.
CF Team: As the new President of the Challenge:Future, what is your vision and plans for 2015 and for the forthcoming years?
Nadya: Vision is the powerful word – and it is exactly where I want our global change making community to focus its energy in 2015. I believe the time has come to reflect deeply and practically on the world we want to see – and develop together the vision of the world for the year 2050 and beyond. There are plenty of initiatives that have already attempted that, but most of them were organized in a spirit of technical checkmark or as badly negotiated compromise, rather than true and honest reflection. I would like us to develop Challenge:Future vision of the future. What do we envision – if anything was possible – in the world ahead of us?
CF Team: Finally, to C:F and Growr community you have advised at the end of 2014: “Fail often, Reinvent. Love a lot. Don’t forget to say your thanks. And stay alive”. Given the opportunity, what else would you advise the community? What is your vision for the world they need to nurture and how can they grow into individuals who are able to continually move that world forward?
Nadya: The thing that is on my mind this winter is the victim mentality – the approach to life where nothing is dependent on us, where we are not to take responsibility for our life. So, here is the best advice I can give to myself and others: be the one taking full responsibility for your life. And use it for something amazing.