Interview with Branislav Jakabovič
This post originally appeared on blog.up.co
Who are you? What do you do? What’s your background?
An optimistic enthusiast excited to connect professional business world and various projects with high aspirations to improve our society. After spending nearly 15 years in consulting and corporations, I co-founded and co-lead LEAF, a Slovak NGO with an aspiration to help develop the future generation of Slovak & CEE leaders.
This particular Startup Weekend is focused on innovation in the field of education. Where do you see the biggest opportunities?
I am sure that education plays a critical role in the long-term prosperity of our region as well as in the ability of each young person to live a fulfilling and satisfactory life.
On one hand, it continues to struggle with monetization, in part, especially in the CEE region with a tradition of a free school system. Still, I see an increasing number of young people, their parents, or even business entities investing into innovative educational solutions. Besides application development, I see significant opportunities in personality/talent assessment and different online mentoring models.
How difficult was it for you to start LEAF? What has been the biggest lesson?
It has been a challenging, but a very enriching journey. The biggest challenge is to build an organization with strong entrepreneurial drive, yet aligned with LEAF mission and values. I consider particularly inspiring to connect people that come from corporations, start-ups, NGOs, state organizations and education sector and help them develop their strengths.
Diversity can kill all your efforts - but if you find the way to uncover its potential, it moves the entire organization to a new impact level.
In your opinion, how will education change in 10 years?
Despite the fast-changing world, 10 years is not a long period of time for education. I believe that the majority of young people will continue to attend similar schools as we know now, maybe with slightly better technology. However, increasing number of young people will actively search for alternative models (both offline and online) to satisfy their need to grow. Knowledge becomes less important than skills or abilities. At the same time, I expect that a higher number of older people will look for ways to learn (e.g. in digital skills). For me, a big question mark is genetic engineering and its impact on learning attitude.
What is your approach to mentorship? What can participants of Startup Weekend Prague expect from you?
I prefer to ask questions and challenge team's assumptions in their projects.
I am not the one to indoctrinate what the right solution is, instead, I expect participants to own the mentoring process.
Why do you think that people should join Startup Weekend Prague EDU?
- To get inspired (by new innovations in education)
- To connect (with potential future mates, partners, or mentors)
- To engage (in specific projects that can help them explore their own potential)
If you became a high-school teacher for one day, what would you teach, and why?
Being married to an inspiring teacher, I have deep respect for the teaching profession - and still, do not think I deserve to be one. Building on the focus of our LEAF Academy, one day I would like to find time to help young people grow in areas of ethics and entrepreneurial leadership.