A unique forum at LSE: Partnership for Youth in UK

On Monday 8th June, 2015, at the Wolfson Theatre of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), one of the leading academic institutions in the world, the Organization of Serbian Students Abroad (OSSI) organized an elite forum which brought together overachievers from the area of business, academia, culture and international organizations. The goal was to share their vast knowledge, experience and know-how with Serbian students and young professionals living, studying and working in the UK. The whole event lasted from 6 to 9 pm. The positive atmosphere between the overachievers and the young brought the event into an extra hour.

Firstly, the Ambassador of Republic of Serbia, H.E. Mr. Ognjen Pribicevi? gave an opening speech in which he reminisced on his days at Oxford and about the importance of Pexim and OSSI work. He left the floor to the president of the OSSA, Mr. Aleksandar Jakovljevic, to address the participants through a video call. The president underlined the importance of the project implemented and of the work of OSSA in the UK, stressing that the OSSA must be more active in the country that is the center of the world for academy and business.The event had two parts: the academic forum which was moderated by Mr. Misa Živi? (OSSI, Said Business School, Oxford University), and the business panel led by Mr. Stefan Periši? (OSSI, LSE). In charge of protocol was Mr. Borisav Radojkovi? (OSSI UK). In the academic forum students have had the pleasure of listening and speaking to prof. Dr. Ivanka Višnji?, professor of the ESADE Business School, London Business School and Cambridge project associate, a specialist on business model innovation.

The participants then listened and participated in an interactive speech by Prof. Dr. Ivana Drobnjak, Oxford MPhil and PhD, and a lecturer at the UCL in London. In their speeches they underlined what is essential for a bright career and how to prevail on that road. Afterwards, the UNESCO Club Sorbonne Honorary President, Mr. Aleksandar Proti? (who previously organized educational lectures at Cambridge and Oxford universities) talked about the famous leading overachievers and inspired not only the students but also the other guest speakers. The academic forum was closed by the professor Dr. Milivoje Pani?, Cambridge professor emeritus, former economic adviser of the British Government and the Bank of England, and former vice-chairmen of the UN Committee for Development Policy in New York. Professor Pani? inspired the young that great academic and non-academic careers are possible now in the UK, as it was possible in the earlier days when the system was much more closed to foreigners.

Dr. Pani? participated also in the business panel that followed. Beside him the panelists were Aleksandar Kruni?, a long-year JP Morgan Executive director, and a member of the International Client Consulting (ICC) committee of the National Settlement Depository (Russian CSD), and today the CEO of Aliquantum Energy Plc. The third panelist was Ms. Dana Novakovi?, Managing director of the LBC Energy Advisory Limited, an Oil & Gas M&A and advisory house. The fourth panelist was Ms. Jadranka Derviševi? Kitari?, Business development executive with 15 years of experience, and part of the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce Executive team. The final panelist was Mr. Terry Martin, Director of Research of the International Centre for the Study of Occupational and Mental Health (Den Haag). As a HRM consultant, writer, a pragmatic L&D professional and a psychologist with over fifteen years of international experience in the areas of Quality Management, IT, Global Learning, Organizational Development and Change Management, and with very close ties to the Serbian community and culture, his role was to advise the young and to comment on the topics from his perspective. The business panel was under the auspices of the BSCC.

All of the speakers presented their life stories through which they have advised the young about the importance of professional dedication, determination and luck along the way. Through a very interactive panel that was moderated by Mr. Periši?, the panelists have supported the work of the OSSI. Ms. Derviševi? Kitari? explained the important role of the BSCC and the possibilities for the talented young people. The final word was given by Mr. Marko Pavlovi?, project coordinator and an LSE Alumni, who brought everyone back to the broad context of the event within the project “Partnership for youth in Great Britain”. He pointed out to all of the participants and the guest speakers that it is not important how old they are and in which phase and line of work they are in, but how much they want to cooperate professionally and realize themselves and at the same time help the young in UK and Serbia.

On June 9th 2015, from 6 pm, as the culmination of the second phase of the project, OSSI and British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce organized a networking cocktail at the premises of the Serbian Embassy in London, in presence of the Serbian Ambassador and Sir Paul Judge, the Alderman of the City of London and the Chairman of the BSCC. The project “Partnership for youth in Great Britain”, implemented under the auspices of the Sector for cooperation with the diaspora and Serbs in the region of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, formally started at the cocktail organized in the residence of the British ambassador in Serbia, regarding the extended cooperation between the Pexim Foundation and the Cambridge Trust. It was followed by an annual dinner at the Trinity College, at the Cambridge University.