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August 2016

Karina Barnholt Klepper, Senior Adviser, Nordic Energy Research, and MK2025 Summit Speaker

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Dr. Klepper is a senior adviser at Nordic Energy Research. She works with administration of research programmes within renewable energy in the Nordic countries and in the EU. She also works with dissemination of the research from these programs. Previously, she worked as a researcher at the Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (SMN) at the University of Oslo. She developed processes for and characterized novel silicon containing materials for energy technology using atomic layer deposition (ALD). She has worked with thin films using ALD since 2001. An important part of the research has been to analyze and characterize the deposited materials using several analytical techniques, including investigation of thin film properties.

Dr. Klepper will share the vision and strategy that the Nordic region is undertaking in implementing renewable energies and the economic benefits of introducing clean technologies.



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The organization has received $15,000 from its donors, members and supporters as additional assistance to the region in Skopje that was affected by the floods that took place on August 6. Macedonia2025 staff members spent countless hours in identifying the most affected families together with a few active volunteering groups. The organization was determined to deliver the aid directly to those who need it the most. We did our best to maximize the effect of the donation and to make sure that every donor cent was spent for the affected people.

On Saturday, August 26, 120 families have personally received vouchers that they can use to purchase different products necessary to rebuild their homes. The financial contribution is small compared to the entire damage, but we certainly hope that it will give these families additional relief in coping with the situation. The recipients of the vouchers were extremely grateful and have stated that any help that they receive in these difficult times means a lot to them.

Additionally, the staff members have also distributed clothes, blankets and shoes which our organization has received as donor aid from our board member Mitre Kutanovski from Indiana, USA.

Macedonia2025 is grateful to all who donated to our flood relief fund. We are also sincerely thankful to the volunteers from the group entitled “Humanitarna pomos za poplavenite” who helped us distribute the donations.

Andrej Babache, Director, Mid Europa, London, and MK2025 Summit Speaker: Appealing sectors to investors in South Eastern Europe

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It is our pleasure to announce Andrej Babache as a speaker at the MK20205 Summit. Mr Babache is a Director of Mid Europa, London. Mid Europa is a private-equity fund focused on Central and South Eastern Europe with approximately 4.3 billion euros in funds raised since inception. Mr Babache will speak on Central and South Eastern Europe’s prospects, perspectives, and challenges. Regarding Macedonia Mr Babache will reflect on how Macedonia fits into the global and regional contexts, and what Macedonian sectors can compete within Europe.

Prior to joining Mid Europa Mr Babache was an investment banker with Citigroup in London focusing on Central Eastern Europe and Turkey (2003-2006).

Mr Babache has a Masters in Economics and Business from the University of Edinburgh.

Leading the Future through Entrepreneurship and Innovation – Professor Mile Terziovski addresses the participants of the School for Young Leaders

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Professor Mile Terziovski, Dean of the Curtin School of Business in Australia and Member of the Macedonia2025 Education Board, on August 22, was a guest speaker at the School for Young Leaders founded by the President of the Republic of Macedonia, H.E. Dr. Gjorgje Ivanov. This year the school was attended by 44 young professionals of Macedonian origin.

Professor Terziovski had two separate presentations on entrepreneurship and innovation and on managing the different career phases that a person goes through.

Taking into consideration his vast industrial and academic experience he was able to explain in exact terms the rather broad concepts of entrepreneurship and innovation and their role in how our world is going to develop in the future. Mr. Terziovski introduced the concept of ambidextrous organization, according to which an organization is be prone to making mistakes and learning from them from one end, while at the same time, trying to create a product or service that is right from the beginning.

The first part of the presentation also included an interactive discussion with the participants on what the opportunities and threats are for the global economy. The discussion resulted with very interesting suggestions and thoughts on how the world should handle all the challenges of the modern era.

During the second address the various career stages of a professional were presented and discussed. The participants had the chance to obtain career advice from Mr. Terziovski in a open-ended, dynamic discussion. The difference between leaders and managers, as well as concrete challenges with managers were discussed.

Professor Terziovski concluded his addresses by reminding all of the future leaders of the importance family-work balance has on building a happy and healthy life.

Mk2025 staff members were also grateful for having had the opportunity to listen to his addresses and take away memorable advice from a great professional and individual

Dr. Guruduth Banavar, PhD, Chief Science Officer and Vice President, IBM Research, USA, and Keynote Speaker at the Macedonia2025 Summit

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Dr Guruduth Banavar is the Keynote speaker at the Macedonia2025 Summit in Skopje and will be speaking on changing the world with technology innovation. He is currently Chief Science Officer and Vice President, IBM Research, USA. As a lifelong innovator, Guru has invented dozens of technologies and turned them into practical solutions that benefit business and society around the world, from India to Brazil to the USA. In this talk, he will reflect on how technology’s transformative power has changed every industry and community, and project into a future where technology will help us solve the world’s biggest problems including food, health, and the environment. Dr Banavar has a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Utah.

Last year Guru Banavar spoke at the Nobel Week Dialogue series in Goteborg, dedicated to the future of Artificial Intelligence. His presentation covered the future of human-robot (AI) interaction and cooperation in resolving some of humanity’s most daunting challenges such as curing cancer or reversing climate change.

Dr Guruduth Banavar is the Chief Science Officer and Vice President at IBM Research. Dr Banavar leads a worldwide team that co-innovates with clients, by applying advanced technologies to solve tough business problems. His current areas of focus are: healthcare, life sciences, financial services, energy and natural resources, and Smarter Cities. Dr Banavar is an elected member of the IBM Academy of Technology, and serves on the board of IBM’s Industry Academy.

Dr Banavar previous position at IBM was the Chief Technology Officer of IBM’s Global Public Sector business with a focus on the Smarter Cities initiative. An example of his work is the City Operations Center in Rio de Janeiro, which coordinates day-to-day as well as emergency operations in support of planning and service management across thirty agencies within that city. Dr Banavar also served on NY Governor Cuomo’s commission for improving New York State’s resilience to natural disasters after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy.

Dr Banavar’s work has been featured in The New York Times, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, and other international media. He has also published over t40 research papers, (co-)invented more than 25 patents, chaired major technical conferences and workshops in the field, served on 3 PhD committees, and sits on the advisory boards of international research and educational organizations.

Michael Mizrahi – Serial entrepreneur on a mission to bring Jersusalem to the top of the entrepreneurial world

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Michael Mizrahi is the Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Development at Azrieli College of Engineering – Jerusalem.

Mr Mizrahi is a serial entrepreneur and a visionary whose goal is to transform Jerusalem into one of the leading 20 cities in the world for startups and entrepreneurs. He helps fulfil this goal as a member of the board of the nonprofit organization MadeInJLM and Director of the Startup accelerator AtoBe, which operates as part of the Azrieli College of Engineering. MadeInJLM identifies future innovators and provides them the platform to contribute, connect, mentor and create. What is unique about AtoBe is that its main and only focus is engineering and technology. It provides innovators with state of the art equipment that enables them to work wonders.

Mr Mizrahi is also one of the driving forces behind three programs that are funded by the EU Tempus and Erasmus Plus programs. One of those projects is MMATENG, whose objective is to improve BA and MA programs in Material Engineering in cooperation with universities in Israel, Russia and Ukraine. It is also supported by a number of Israeli universities and universities in Germany, France and Poland.

The participants at the Macedonia2025 Summit will have the chance to hear Mr Mizrahi talk about an Israeli startup in the GeoEnergy field and about the influence of AtoBe Startup accelerator on youth employment in Jerusalem.

Macedonia2025 Summer Internship for Diaspora Professionals creating ground for future cooperation

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Zhivko Mukaetov, CEO and President of the Board of the leading Macedonian pharmaceutical company Alkaloid AD Skopje and Board Member of Macedonia2025, on August 8 opened the program – Summer internship for young professionals from the Macedonian diaspora.

Macedonia2025 organized this program for the first time and it enrolled young professionals of Macedonian origins who come from the United States, Australia, Germany and France, who had the possibility to add to the development of their careers, become better acquainted to the country and explore the opportunities for doing business. Three of the participants attended an internship with Alkaloid, two in the cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Investments Mr. Jerry Naumoff and one in Project Hope.

Macedonia2025 organized few extra events which complemented the participants’ experience in Macedonia. On August 10, we hosted a networking event attended by Macedonia2025 Board Members Zhivko Mukaetov, Zoran Martinovski and Nevenka Dimitrova, as well as the Keynote speaker of the Macedonia2025 Summit, the Vice President of Cognitive Computing at IBM’s Watson Center Mr. Guruduth Banavar. The participants of the summer internship program addressed the audience and shared their impressions from the first few days of the program, as well as their experience in Macedonia.
The Chairman of the summer internship program, Mr. Mukaetov stated: “The summer internship program for young professionals from the diaspora is an example how Macedonia2025, Macedonian companies and institutions can provide the young with space and conditions for professional and personal development. I am especially happy that these young people expressed their interest and are dedicating their time and resources to develop their professional profiles through companies in Macedonia. I hope that based on their experience in the country they will create long-term contacts and friendships in Macedonia, which will provide a solid ground for some future cooperation involving professionals and companies here.

Samantha Mangovski, a participant at the program said “I always had deep connection to my culture, and I loved coming here and seeing how the country is progressing.  As part of the Macedonia2025 program I was an intern at project Hope as I have interest in humanitarian efforts and really enjoyed it.”

To conclude the program, Macedonia2025 organized a visit to the archaeological site Stobi where the program participants saw the remains of a very important Roman city in Macedonia. Following the visit of Stobi, the group enjoyed several Macedonian vintages and food specialties at the beautiful cellars of Tikvesh Winery, which proudly sponsors Macedonia2025 events such as last year’s Summit. The visit to Stobi and Tikvesh was also made possible by our Leaders Club member Allan Castillo who provided the shuttle bus service, courtesy of Indbus Macedonia.

Macedonia2025 representatives are extremely pleased of the outcome from this program and sincerely hope to be able to increase the number of participants significantly in the years to follow.