“My mission is to bring together authorities and economy with sustainable mobility, physical and mental health, and sports through re-opening cross-border inter-regional railway connections and at the same time propose long-distance bicycling paths along these connections. Thinking big, but starting small!”
Professor of Physical Education with two decades of managerial experience in economy turned into cross-border infrastructure and sustainable mobility projects developer at Mura’s institute for infrastructure development. Senior Lecturer in Design Management at the University of Primorska Faculty of Design who is currently a PhD Student of the Environmental Protection at the University of Ljubljana. Conference Manager at the Alps Adria Conference on Dementia and Sustainable Mobility.
In 2019 Project Manager at CZR Murska Sobota for system solutions for preschool children and youth physical activity and nutrition. Independent Researcher with experience of paper presentations at the international conferences. Internationally awarded Presentations Coach. Habilitated Senior Lecturer in Design Management.
Solver of complex problems and initiator of the cross-country regional sustainable infrastructure initiative along the Mura river. From 2009 years working in research, including funding of the research projects – Horizon 2020, Interreg SI-AT, Danube Transnational Programme (DTP) and others.
After graduating at the Faculty of Sport, I completed two Master’s of Sciences (MSc) studies while pursuing a career, at the Alma Mater Europaea – Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis, Ljubljana and at the University of Ljubljana School of Economics and Business. Former in Anthropology of Everyday Life / Media Studies and latter in Business Administration / General Management. In autumn 2018 I enrolled in the University of Ljubljana interdisciplinary doctoral programme (PhD) in Environmental Protection.
With experience in Business and Project Development since the turn of the century I’m a specialist in Business Model Innovation and Design Thinking, that together with Design Leadership form my book (in Slovene), published in 2014. I was a founder of the research institute dŠola Ljutomer and am co-founder and pro-bono Hub’s Director at the Cona.center, beach volleyball development hub, Murska Sobota.
BEST PRESENTATION AWARD
Norwegian Design Council
At the International Citizen Focused Design Challenge 2014 during Oslo Innovation Week I was a Team Leader and a Coach of the interdisciplinary team (of designers, architects, urban planners, students, business representatives, and one citizen as the lead user) that won the prize for the best presentation (Oslo, Norwegian Design Council).
The purpose of the challenge held in 2014 was to demonstrate to a wider audience and workshops delegates the impact of involving a diversity of citizens in the process when developing new products, services or environments that include the needs of the widest possible range of people.
One of my responsibilities as a team leader at the Challenge in Oslo was Presentation Coaching. Read more about it, from Aisling Joyce testimonial >
Team Leader at the Citizen Focused Design Challenge 2014: Winners of Best Presentation
Photo: Johnny Syversen. Presentation video (5:37 min) => vimeo.com/110117574
GOLDEN NETKO AWARD FOR THE LJUBLJANSKE MLEKARNE WEBSITE
Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia – Netko award
The Internet is an extremely cost-effective medium or communication path. This requires good development of documentation for design and planning, excellent design, precise execution and optimisation of websites. Success comes always in the long run. Or not?
In the case of the most known dairy in Slovenia and beyond with leading brands such as Mu in the yogurts category, Alpsko Mleko for the milk range, and Jošt on the cheeses market, the external confirmation came shortly after the release in 2007 as the Golden Netko for the 2007.
My responsibilities were business development and project management.
Consultancy: Vizuarna. Design Director: Matjaž Tomažič.
Senior Lecturer in Design Management: Faculty of Design. An associated member of the University of Primorska. Prevale 10, Trzin, Slovenia. From October 2016. Sector: academia.
Acting Director: Mura’s institute for infrastructure development. Plese 9a, Murska Sobota, Slovenia. From August 2018. Sector: NGO, regional development.
Project Manager: Centre for Health and Development, Murska Sobota. Ul. arhitekta Novaka 2b, Murska Sobota, Slovenia. From November 2018. Sector: research. (0.5 FTE)
Independent Researcher: dŠola Ljutomer. Research Institute. Glavni trg 6, Ljutomer, Slovenia. From January 2013 till Aug. 2018. Sector: research.
Head Volleyball Coach: VBK Wörther-See-Löwen. Figarogasse 6, Klagenfurt, Austria. September 2016. Sector: sport. Contact: Mag. Karin Frühbauer, +43 676 5833925.
Managing Director: Vizuarna. Strategic Design Consultancy. Görlitzer Straße 52, c/o Nest (Coworking), Berlin. Dec. 2010 to Dec. 2012. Sector: design.
Managing Director: Vizuarna. Strategic Design Consultancy. Grablovičeva ulica 1, Ljubljana. From May 2006 till Nov. 2010. Sector: design.
Deputy Manager: Tam-Tam. Outdoor advertising. Slovenčeva ulica 153, Ljubljana. Nov. 2001 to May 2006. Sector: advertising. Contact: Tomaž Drozg, Managing Director, t: +386 1 51 56 596.
Project Manager & Desk Officer: Slovenian Sports Office. Celovška cesta 25, SI-1000 Ljubljana, May 2001 to Dec. 2001 & Jan. 2000 to Jan. 2001. Sector: public. Contact: Marjeta Kovač, Full Professor, PhD; t: +386 1 520 78 36.
Public Relations & Promotions: Volleyball Federation of Slovenia. Celovška cesta 25, Ljubljana, May 2000 to Aug. 2000. Sector: sport. Contact: Branko Maček, Competition Secretary; t: +386 1 43 85 372.
Head Volleyball Coach: Volleyball Club Ljutomer. Mota 11, Ljutomer, Aug. 1998 to May 1999. Sector: civic/sport. Contact: Jože Šumak, MD, t: +386 2 584 11 86.
My first professional experience was when I was a coach of the men’s volleyball team Ljutomer (Slovenia). I was very demanding as a Coach during training and if I needed to be, also very loud! I really enjoyed leading the matches. And I’m still proud that I succeeded to keep the rejuvenated Ljutomer team in Division B of the Slovenian national league in the 1998/1999 season.
My second significant professional experience was when I worked as Desk Officer and later as Project Manager at the Slovenian Sports Office. This time, I was more involved in managing the business than the people. I am still grateful to the then director of the Institute, Ms. Marjeta Kovač, PhD, who believed in me and some other fresh graduates from the Faculty of Sport and offered us jobs.
I remember my move into the private sector very clearly. It was in November 2001 when I started working for the outdoor advertising company Tam-Tam. Taking care of clients was the first rule for companies competing in that market – an invaluable lesson for me. And my proudest achievement, which came out of my own idea, was setting up a whole new organisational structure within the company. I was lucky the company’s director trusted me to go for it.
One of my biggest tasks was to manage the advertising campaign for the ‘Month of Recreation’ that we later renamed ‘Recreation 2000 – We live healthy for fun’. I had the chance to work with several external partners on the project not only for advertising campaign and public relations but also for interaction design. For the first time, I found myself in the shoes of a client, when I had to run public tenders on behalf of Slovenia’s Ministry of Education and Sport.
We consolidated ‘marketing and sales’ and optimised ‘business and administration’. I also helped change Tam-Tam’s entire pricing policy in the middle of the year, a brave decision I must say. We managed to communicate it well with clients and they accepted it. Importantly, it also increased the company’s profits. Tam-Tam’s website and their intranet, designed for managing media plans at various advertising locations, were also projects that came about under my direction. And I’m still not ashamed of them today.
Having the courage to implement those changes in organisational structure and revenue model, I think was a direct consequence of my one-year international MBA at the ICPE & Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana. It was a very interesting and challenging year. In that year, I combined my work and studies, and it really enriched my theoretical view of economics and business. I successfully defended my thesis called ‘Corporate design strategy and branding: the role of design management in developing the corporate identity’ in September 2012.
I also enjoyed interactive annual reports, which, according to my colleagues, I can sometimes get a bit too involved in, when I move out of the strictly design remit and start making suggestions about structure and content. It’s all part of doing a good job in my opinion, so I hope my clients didn’t mind my meddling! As for Vizuarna, my biggest challenge was building a team that would allow us to survive and thrive in the market. I failed in finding markets and developing the product abroad for the company while spending two years in Berlin.
Vizuarna, a strategic design consultancy was a good excuse for putting my thesis on hold for several years. I helped set up and fund the company in May 2006. I never would have imagined I’d find myself so at ease in the design business. To eventually become a business designer. But in a relatively short period of time, I’ve worked on a huge variety of projects. I was probably most attracted by interaction design work. With my colleagues, we have successfully developed several company brand architectures.
I like spending my free time doing sport, whenever possible. My favourite is volleyball, beach-volley in the summer. Recently I started social dancing. Nevertheless, books are still my greatest passion. And yes, I need a cup of tea at least three times a day. I’m not bad at making boiling it for you, so if you’d like to join me for a cup of tea, next time you’re around Ljubljana, you’d be more than welcome.
In 2013, I founded a research Institute and a Business Design School to be in the future—dŠola Ljutomer where I serve as the Independent Researcher. I also returned to my event management routes and organized a series of the events in recent years. And in the meantime, I try to follow my mission of connecting business model innovation with design thinking. That’s why I wrote the book on the business model innovation (in Slovene: Oblikovanje poslovnih modelov). As part of my mission, I’m also a Senior Lecturer of Design Management at the Faculty of Design in Ljubljana.
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS & CERTIFICATIONS
- Certificate of qualification for a member of the Supervisory Board and a non-executive member of the Board at the Slovenian Directors’ Association, February 2013;
- Member of the Designers Society of Slovenia;
- Member of the Volleyball Federation of Slovenia.