The Balkans region is full of creative people! Young people, designers, creatives and trend-setters are prospering in those countries. They are hungry, they are looking for an adventure, for new challenges, knowledge and innovation. Every country in the region tries to feed those “native digital animals”, which is not really easy. That task is big and dangerous.
But there are few of them, courageous and brave people who are willing to do it. These people who are ahead of their time, visionary minds, working for the future. They know how to feed those who need it. They know how to give the strength and power, knowledge and inspiration, innovation and imagination to those who want to grab it right. I met them, I know they exist, I know who they are, and I’m one lucky bastard. 🙂
It was all happening from May 31 – June 1 on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro. Sun was shining and the brightness of so many bright minds was blinding me. The Digitalizuj.me and Domain.me “gang” were there, everyone of them knowing exactly what they got to do, when they got to do it, and how to do it right. They where everywhere, with an astonishing power to “beam up” when needed. The team was awesome, playing a game, with their hearts and with their minds. Organizing every “fucking” (thanks, Steli!) little thing. Vulić brothers were leading the way, Nataša and Peđa were watching like some kind of guardian angels and the others were playing in the orchestra to put every single note in the right place.
Nope, you got it wrong! It was not a concert, it was an amazing event, it was a Spark.Me conference. It was by far the best conference in the region I ever attended. A conference that can proudly stand side by side with some of biggest European creative conferences like “Lift”(Geneva) and “OFFF”(Barcelona), or some of the biggest world creative conferences like “99U” and “AdobeMax”. People of Montenegro and the whole Balkans can be really proud to have among themselves the members of these 2 great teams – Digitalizuj.Me and Domain.Me. They are the feeders and the guarantee that the “native digital animals” and all of the creatives will not stay hungry and that they will always have a Spark that they need to feed constantly to boost their imagination.
In those few days on a sunny Adriatic coast of Bečići and Budva, you could hear so many intelligent, creative, innovative stuff, that you couldn’t probably hear in the rest of your lives if you weren’t there. It was a great experience having a “Yoda” moment with master and professor J.B.M. Kassarjian. His kindness and clear vision were so refreshing. You could drink coffee and talk with creative “guru” Dave Birss, eat pizza with Ramon De Leon, better known as #RamonWow (a social media visionary), have lunch with one of the brightest minds in the globalization area, Professor Pankaj Ghemawat, speak about freedom of living with the PirateBay co-founder, hacker and artist – Peter Sunde. You could enjoy a story about fabulous science fiction crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, sequences of a Nazi moon invasion with a brilliant film director from Finland – Timo Vuorensola. If you were there, you could also pick some “how to succeed” tips and tricks from 2 young wolfs coming straight ahead from the Silicon Valley: Steli Efti and Marvin Liao.
You could learn some interesting things from Christopher Fabian, co-creator of UNICEF’s Innovation Unit, about children preoccupations in Africa, and their way to apprehend the technological future. You could have had some more creative sparks and stories from other speakers like: Hjörtur Smárason, Paul Papadimitriou (and his golden shoes), Amy Guttman, Tine Thygesen, Jennifer and Jeffrey Buxton (“Beauty and the beast”). You could’ve drank, laughed, swam, enjoyed sunny Montenegro beach with some kind, creative and beautiful people…
You could’ve… you should’ve… if you’ve been there…
And if you haven’t been there, if you’ve missed it – you can only cry your eyes out!
…or you can stop crying and start preparing yourself for the next Spark.me conference! 🙂
Because, next year, I hope and I believe that the Spark.Me conference will stand out again as one of a leading world creative conferences. So note the date in your agenda and start saving money, because that conference is worth every single dime of yours.
Cheers guys, and see you there at Spark.me!
Blog post author: Vladan Filipović