The day I found out about the Social Innovation Camp Kosovo (SI Camp Kosovo) I was very happy about it, I found myself in an environment to develop an idea that I was thinking about for quite some time. I was excited for the weekend to begin as the format of the event seemed very interesting. On Friday night (the first night of SI Camp Kosovo), I would pitch my idea to other participants and create my team. Thus, SI Camp Kosovo not only gives one the opportunity to make a difference in one’s community through developing an idea into a project, but it enhances one’s public speaking skills, and also gives you the opportunity to socialize and expand your professional network.
I am someone who always seeks new challenges and SI Camp Kosovo was just what I was looking for. The intensity of the event requires the development of the idea into a working prototype over one weekend. At first, this might sound like a daunting task but while you are there, mentors will make it clear to you that not all innovations are created perfectly or complete, rather most of them start with the basic function as to show that it works, while later the developing team can add new features. In this regard, I believe that the greatest takeaway for me was the interaction with the mentors at the SI Camp Kosovo. They all have inspirational personalities in the sense of their experience and life accomplishments, but even more importantly was their ability to merge and contribute to our teams as they were participants who are taking part in the competition just like us. So, at a certain point I was not even thinking of them as mentors but teammates.
Another important aspect of the experience is that I felt at home. Our team had our corner to work, brainstorm, and take a break from the work. The friendly staff of the Innovation Lab Kosovo will not let you miss out on anything. Throughout the event it will seem to you that the work will never end, but when the final moment arrives and you have to present the work done over the weekend to the judging panel and open audience, you hope for the best.
Our team with the youth digital mapping idea came out first from the 3rd edition of the SI Camp Kosovo. Ever since that, our lives changed significantly for the better as our team embarked the journey of turning the prototype developed at the SI Camp into reality. We also benefited greatly from our award as we received the opportunity to attend a professional online course on Social Intrapreneurship at the TechChange Institute for Technology and Social Change. Throughout the last four weeks our team was able to learn about and to hear directly through guest lectures from some of the most prominent individuals in the field of social entrepreneurship and innovators within institutions and organizations that are leading and promoting these relatively new concepts to the global frontier. As this experience is drawing to an end, it was a great experience to having had the chance to represent the perspective from Kosovo in this illuminating environment where we also promoted our project and received great feedback.
Today we continue to grow our team, work on the technical side of our innovation, and expand our circle of partner institutions and organizations that will benefit from the collaboration and the use of our platform. Over the next few months we are going to deploy small groups of activists in the neighborhoods of Prishtina and will launch a media campaign to generate awareness about our initiative with the aim of welcoming more people to our movement. Additionally, we are looking for opportunities to integrate new fields that can be addressed with our innovation and we’re looking for funding to secure the sustainability of our project.
Lokalizo Project Lead