Youth co-managers talks #5
So nice to have you here.
Yeah. Nice to be here in your podcast.
So you’re coming from Novi Sad City of Learning. So what do you like about living in Novi Sad?
Well, cause I moved in Novi Sad like after my elementary school. I was living in a smaller town in Serbia. What I like is that the city is quiet. Isn’t like too much of a traffic and it’s kind of an easy, it’s enough big it has all of necessary happenings and opportunities for a young person to experience. And it’s very easy, like to catch up with friends, like for a coffee for going somewhere. So you don’t need so many times to plan in advance. The cities for young people. There is a university in Novi Sad, like a campus. And I think that it’s roughly like 50,000 students, young people actually living they’re not only from Novi Sad, but like from also Serbia, from Bosnia, from Montenegro. So you can meet other people from different countries. It’s a bit of diversity and it’s actually the capital of the province of Vojvodina which is autonomous province in Serbia. And in Vojvodina there are I think 22 different ethnicities living. So it’s very multicultural town.
And now it’s the capital of culture?
Yeah. This year is capital of culture. In 2019, it was European youth capital. And yeah, my organisation was part of the, let’s say this committee together with five more organisation that was advocating together with the city of Novi Sad to get this title.
So tell us about the story of how you advocated for Novi Sad to be a City of learning?
Well for Novi Sad, because it’s organisation that is partner of the network of Cities and Regions of Learning. It was important for us. When you talk with the people and saying just the title, like Novi Sad City of learning with all these titles we had and we currently have you know, it sounds like one more title that is on European level, but it is in some way, because it’s a network.
So what has changed since Novi Sad became a part of this network?
We are rather new, in the whole initiative and we are still finding our way to inform not just like stakeholders, but also young people. I must say that we are in the beginning, still trying to make this well known and well recognised in the city. So like it’s a still long way to go.
How do the organisations locally react when you propose – ‘Hey guys, put your activities online and make it visible for the youngsters?’
Yeah. So that’s the part we are doing it currently and planning still to do it. But from couple of experience we had that the organisations found it useful. I mean, in a way that is interesting to them that it’s kind of added value to also their programs. They have free platform where they can use it for their promotion, which is not the main purpose of the platform, but they see this possibility. They see that it’s beneficial for also their young people. Mostly that it’s like added value to their work. I found it that mostly grassroots organisation actually find it very useful because like grassroots organisations are lacking some capacities.
We also want to know more about you as Zoran. So you are the youth co-manager of Novi Sad City of Learning. So what does it mean for you to take such a responsibility?
I must say that I’m manager. Not exactly co-manager. There are now young people actually that became active from the very beginning of the project. And when we first made the call for the leadership training since then they’re still on board and we are trying is to involve them more in the project, but also through the project in the organisation. But for me personally it’s the first time I am involved in such a big project, such a big partnership, so it brought me a lot of experience in financial managing, working with young people also – so like that really needs to be like consistent work and every day pay attention. So it kind of made me more professional.
How can young people join Novi Sad City of learning? You say many of them are already interested in being a part of it, but what are the opportunities that Novi Sad City of Learning is giving and how to do it for a young person?
For now it’s to make more and more young people aware whom they can contact if they want to engage more into content creation and really like young people making and creating Cities of Learning. First, first step is just to ask. The issue actually with Novi Sad is also that civil organisations in the city, we have to also make this a first step in informing them. What my colleagues there noticed is the issue of like a bit closed bubble of all young people, the same people going around the activities and using opportunities and what we have to ensure is to approach to those that are out of these bubbles. Now we have to have a critical mass to do it.
And you mentioned that you’re a part of this big initiative of Cities and Regions of Learning. If you could say something to them, wish something to them, what would that be?
I would say to young people – keep with raising your voice. Don’t let adults to like tell you, oh, you are not capable of doing this, or you’re not competent enough because just you are young. Have confidence and believe in yourself that it’s possible to make a change in your local community or region.
Thank you very much.
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