Nova Iskra and GIZ (the German organization for international cooperation), were initiating and developing a special program dedicated to the subject of green economy as part of the ACCESS project, through a series of lectures, workshops, gatherings of local activists, NGOs and representatives of governmental bodies, as well as the presentation of good practice examples from Serbia and the region.
The program titled Understanding Green Economy aimed to bring closer the concept of green economy to the general public, and through an exceptional educational program show the outlines of this broad field that is connected to a number of economic, social, technological, ecological and other segments of the society.
Green economy is a concept developed by the UN in response to the current global financial and economic crisis. Green economy is based on the use of new, green technologies and the inclusion of external environmental costs into the economy in order to reduce the consumption of natural resources and at the same time encourage economic growth and employment. The concept divided the environmental movement, because even though it contains a number of opportunities for a change of unsustainable socio-economic system, it also opens numerous traps.
The program was intended for creatives, activists, entrepreneurs, companies, managers, advocates, representatives of the public sector or students interested to expand their knowledge in this field, as well as to connect with relevant colleagues and stakeholders in the field of green economy.
The focus was on the use of green economy methodologies in order to encourage positive developments regarding local communities, existing initiatives, economic indicators as well as development of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises through the implementation of sustainable solutions in business. A special focus was put on areas such as design and architecture, (organic) agriculture, technological innovation, renewable energy, waste management or entrepreneurship – seen through the specific prism of green economy, a concept which is still relatively unknown to our professional and the general public.
The presentations, lectures and workshops were organized across five program modules.
After the introductory lecture by Tomislav Tomašević, next two lectures were delivered by Aleksandra Vladisavljević (Bizz/Social Innovation Laboratory) and Dragana Todorović (Guarantee Fund of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina). The next session of this program was dedicated to sustainable principles in the fields of design and architecture. The final lectures were Ebank – the first ethical bank in Croatia by Goran Jeras (the Cooperative for Ethical Finance from Zagreb) and Green and Circular economy – closer to EU standards and increase competitiveness by Jasminka Oliverić Young (Res Foundation).
The project also grouped all the key players from the field active in Serbia into an expert focus group, and delivered a report to GIZ based on the findings and discussions in those moderated sessions.
What is the next step?
The project has been completed in May 2014, while similar programs by Nova Iskra are being presented as part of the Green Lab continuous program.