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C:F Summit 2013

Hosted in 3 different cities of Slovenia (Maribor, Ljubljana and Bled), Challenge:Future Summit 2013 gathered 93 young people from 35 different countries. An intense 7 day program with 5 different events, served as a touch point for young change-makers, business, education, political, and non-profit leaders who connect, learn, and inspire each other. It all started with C:F Academy, where the Summit participants had the chance to Discover, Skill Up, Develop and Deliver concrete solutions to local case studies, coming from Maribor companies, start-ups and social business.

Having all participants gathered together at the University of Maribor, the most awaited event of the year started with opening words from C:F President, Andreja Kodrin and Daniel Rebolj, Rector of University of Maribor. The venue was soon filled with excitement coming from the inspiring speech of Lai Hock, president of GroundUp Initiative Singapore, who described his journey of getting to know himself by backpacking for 4 years and visiting 5 continents. “In order to make sustainability work, we need: the coordination of ants, the scientific vision of Galileo and the conviction and compassion of Gandhi,“ he said.

A set of inspiring and challenging speakers like Violeta Bulc, Nadya Zhexembayeva, Igor Vrecko, Niko Klansek, and Urban Lapajne made sure the next few days were spent on real work and solutions for Maribor local cases. Using teamwork and diverse skills and experiences, 18 teams of young people designed innovative solutions for 11 Maribor businesses, social businesses and start-ups. And not only that! Selected youth got the spotlight to deliver 5-min keynote addresses highlighting some of their life experiences. On 23rd September, C:F’s Youth Organizing Committee hosted the Youth Leadership Bootcamp, including Hayley Lapalme’s “How to provide outstanding leadership & facilitation within and across cultures?”
The floor also belonged to the youth participants and their presentations at the C:F Youth Forum, where the team working on the case of Living Courtyards won the C:F Youth Forum Award for best solution! Here is a short video of what happened there:



On the 24th September, the Summit moved to the capital Ljubljana to host the C:F Business Forum 2013 under the slogan Big ideas for Boosting Growth and Creating Jobs. The event was opened by 5X5 presentations, leading to a presentation on The Quest for CEE competitiveness by Melanie Seier Larsen, Principal, A.T. Kearney, and Branko Žibret, Head of A.T. SEE and EMEA Public Sector practice with top C:F Competitors. Soon after, the event developed in an offline crowdsourcing action by the whole audience, working in groups of 5-7 on what they can do with 1 billion EUR to create the most positive impact in Slovenia in less then 5 years. Introducing the concept of key listeners (Stanko Stepišnik, Minister of Economy and Technology, Boštjan Skalar Director of SPIRIT, Maria Anselmi, Development and Strategy director Central Europe, Bisnode, Jure Knez , CTO Dewesoft d.o.o.) 10 groups were selected to give 90 seconds pitch to these eminent experts, professionals and officials, on stage. Moderated by Matej Golob, President of TEDxLjubljana, Chief Listening Officer, 30Lean with Nadya Zhexembayeva, C:F Vice President, the ideas presented ranged from positioning Slovenia as an incubator for green economy to developing Slovenia as a Space Tourism Hub, building on the reputation of Slovenia’s rocket engineer Herman Potočnik.

In the final two days, the Summit participants traveled to Bled, only to join the UN PRME Summit 2013 and 21st CEEMAN Annual Conference for discussing New Ways of Developing Leaders for the Future We Want. The CEEMAN’s PRME summit hosted a themed plenary on innovation altogether with Iztok Seljak, Hidria Board president, prof. Thierry Grange, AACSB, president Grenoble Ecole de Management France and future challengers Chourouk Haisni, student from Morocco and Maris Slezins, Chairman of the World Street Workout & Calisthenics Federation, Latvia. One of the highlights of the evening was also the speech of Dr. Ichak Adizes (Adizes Institute, USA) who shared his experience with all the PRME Summit attendees. “You have to change really fast, otherwise you die slowly, your organization dies, your country dies,” was one of the many messages he addressed to the audience. "Rely on your creative power,” was another strong message addressed by Dr. Jernej Pikalo, Minister of Education and Science, Slovenia who also was guest at the event.

The program as a whole was an amazing blend of lectures, workshops, peer-to-peer consulting, team/group work, working on practical local cases, innovation jam, 3 public events and a lot of awards. Yes! The annual competitions “Make.It.Work”, “Future of Work” and “My Dream Job” (in partnership with Youth in Action, CEEMAN, University of Maribor, AT Kearney and RAZ:UM) awarded the Grand Award Winners and celebrated their success.

Grand Winners

Make.It.Work Grand Winners, winning EUR 3.000 Prize for idea development + C:F Summit Scholarship + 2 Scholarships for IEDC Young Managers Program are:

Michael Iyanro and Abigail Alabi from team

Michael Iyanro Cycle for Youth Innovation Hub Project

AT Kearney Grand Winners, winning 3-months paid internship in AT Kearney Ljubljana, Slovenia office or AT Kearney Warsaw, Poland office + C:F Summit Scholarship is:

Gergely Balazs, from team HOW Consulting Group

My Dream Job Winners, winning the C:F Summit Scholarships and speaking opportunities at the C:F OBS Youth Forum were:

Aimee Riedel, Australia

Anida Cmanjcanin, Good Riddance team

Siddharth Rajgopalan, Melanie Tan and Muhammad Amrullah Bin Zainal Abidin from team I.G.N.I.T.E

The event served as an important intersection point for youth and political, governmental and business leaders such as: representatives of Maribor Mayor office, representatives of President of Slovenia, Director of National Agency for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investments SPIRIT, office of Slovenian PM Alenka Bratusek, Minister of Economy and Technology, Stanko Stepišnik and the Minister of Education, Science and Sport Jernej Pikalo.

We wish to officially thank everyone who took part and supported this unique celebration of innovation for life. Your positive energy and commitment to a better world made another Challenge:Future Summit 2013 an amazing life-changing experience for all of us!





C:F Academy "Global Jumpstart meets Start:up Maribor"

C:F participants will discover, skill-up, develop and deliver in the most intense and innovative way ever. We will spend 4 exciting days in Maribor to boost our personal and professional development, find the way for true empowerment and jump-start 15 selected companies, start-ups and social projects.

Out of The Box C:F Youth Forum

From winning ideas for the education in 21st century to projects that create jobs, business growth and social prosperity in Maribor. The event with dozens of speaking opportunities for youth. Energy for Maribor, discovery for the world.

C:F Business forum – BIG ideas for Igniting Growth

This next-generation event is all about true collaboration among top political leaders, managers, youth and innovators to lead the way towards GROWTH. Slovenia as part of CEE is trapped into the gap between more productive and innovative West and less expensive labour in East. What are competitive advantages and growth opportunities? Come and join us on 24th September when these ideas will be created, explored and presented to Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, Mrs. Alenka Bratušek.

C:F Educators Forum

How to make the bridge between students and educators and how to inspire the education for the world that will work for all? We will try to find the concrete answers in special round table conversation with interesting guests. Challenge:Future will also join and contribute its energy to UN PRME Summit on 25th September 2013 in Bled.

C:F Gala and Award Ceremony

The cherry on the cake is C:F Award Ceremony. The moment of memories and impact created, the time to celebrate winners and encourage all who dared, the promise for the future. The place where happiness meets tears of farewell. The energy that keeps C:F community to stay connected for years to come. If you will not be there, we will miss you for sure.

Global Jumpstart meets Start-up Maribor projects

C:F Summit is taking a step further: from talking to taking action, from global to local impact. It is exclusive opportunity to work for real companies, start:ups and social entrepreneurs, to gain real skills, experiences and network. All cases presented come from Maribor, a Central European city with glorious days in 19th and 20th century, well-known for industry, sport, ski resort and wine. What a combination!

C:F Summit participants

The C:F Summit will gather the most talented youth who have created the most impact through social and business solutions and will provide them a life-time experience in developing their personal and professional skills. The magic start for C:F Summit 2013 participants. Meet your peers who will join five events in three cities of Slovenia - Maribor, Ljubljana and Bled.





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global youth think tank & student competition