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Comp al Talent etit Index iveness Slove 2018: nia #2 8

The Slovenia Times Slovenian Magazine in English Language Summer Edition 2018, Volume 15, EUR 4.90

Marjan Batagelj: "We cannot talk Sir Julian King, EC: "Security is about boutique tourism in Slovenia a global issue and requires as long as we offer low value" international cooperation"

Dr Paul Evans, INSEAD: "Slovenia has slightly neglected its expertise over the years"

Damjan Kralj, BTC: From BTC City Ljubljana to the first Bitcoin City in the world

Event Guide & Ljubljana Festival – at the heart of your experience

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Aperçu Summer Edition 2018

Published quarterly by Domus, založba in trgovina d.o.o. Bregarjeva 37, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia

Editorial office Bregarjeva 37, 1000 Ljubljana

CEO and Publisher Brane Krajnik

Editor in Chief Tina Drolc, M. Sc., MBA

Editorial Consultant Louise Chatwood

Marketing & Advertising +386 (0)41 51 62 65

Contributors Marion Amiot, Jean-Michel Six, Boštjan Lajovic, Lucija Mulej Mlakar, Saša Fajmut, Silvija Fister, Tonja Blatnik, Gamze Ekmekcioglu

AD & D Marko Pentek,

Cover Photo French Park at Volčji Potok Arboretum, photo by Jure Korber

Printed by Schwarz Print d.o.o. Circulation: 5.000 copies The Slovenia Times is listed in the Media Register of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia under number 491. All content - texts or pictures - with no author specified are exclusively created by contributors to The Slovenia Times or published in accordance with owner’s instruction. All uncredited materials printed in the Slovenia Times are either created by the Slovenia Times journalists/photographers or acquired from the author/owner in accordance with the legal terms. ©DOMUS d.o.o., 2003. All rights reserved.

Specialist in Business English for when you need to ‘talk-the-talk’ Contact: Louise Chatwood,, +386 (0)40 424 850

Starting in the spring, the flurry of political euphoria seems to be continuing, while the Summer 2018 issue of The Slovenia Times magazine – relaxed and yet with a set of wide-ranging stories, offers an insight on the results of the recent parliamentary elections and the day after. Indeed, Slovenia is in very good economic shape according to estimates from the Institute of Macroeconomic Analyses and Development in its yearly Economic Mirror report. Economic growth in the euro area will continue this year, although at a slower pace than in previous quarters; the EC expects that GDP growth in 2018 will remain similar to last year. In an interview for this magazine, Sir Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union, highlights that "Security is not something Member States can face alone. We are all in it together and we can succeed only if we work together too." The Commissioner will visit Slovenia for the 13th International Conference, the Bled Strategic Forum, 'Bridging the divide', which will be held in Bled on 10 – 11 September 2018. Diversity can be a national resource for competitiveness, is the imperative of the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) 2018 to show that the level of talent management awareness across countries is still very unequal. With Slovenia 28th on the GTCI, Co-founder and Academic Director of GTCI, Dr Paul Evans, points out that if Slovenia will not collaborate on talent management then the issue will remain theoretical and will never happen! With the long summer evenings ahead, The Slovenia Times hears from Dr Darko Brlek, Director of the Ljubljana Festival, one of the biggest festivals in Europe. On 28 June, the 66th Ljubljana Festival will open with the world premiere of Sfera Mundi – Voyage around the world, performed by the acclaimed Catalan theatrical group, La Fura dels Baus, founded in Barcelona in 1979. One of Slovenia’s tourist gems will mark a special milestone in 2018. This year is the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Postojna Cave. It will be a busy year for Mr Batagelj, CEO of Postojnska jama d.d., as they will complement their tourism portfolio with the opening of a boutique hotel in Jezersko. Mr Batagelj says that understanding a guest and the sustainable orientation of the tourist offer is the only way for Slovenian tourism in the future, pointing out that "Only where civilization ends, does paradise begin!" As the sun shines and lazy days approach, I would like to wish you a wonderful summer season, wherever you find your paradise. Yours, Tina Drolc, M.Sc., MBA Editor in Chief

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Contents Page 4


4 Interview: Sir Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union

6 Interview: Marjan Batagelj, CEO of Postojnska jama d. d.

Page 6

REGIONAL INSIGHT IN ASSOCIATION WITH S&P GLOBAL RATINGS 9 Economic Research: What can the ECB Take from the Fed’s Policy Playbook?

ECONOMY 12 Economy Overview: Management reshuffle at Gorenje; Mercator shareholders appoint three

new supervisors; Banks urged to prepare for bad times 13 Slovenian Economic Mirror: A slowdown in export-oriented sectors of the economy;

further growth in construction and private consumption 14 Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018: Slovenia #28 16 Interview: Dr Paul Evans, Academic Director, Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), INSEAD 18 Interview: Mojca Kunšek, M.Sc., Director of the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for

Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES) 20 Interview: Igo Gruden, Director of Credit Management and Workout, Bank Asset Management Page 16

Company - DUTB d. d. 21 Interview: Mihael Leskovar, CEO, Maribor Development Agency

POLITICS 22 Political Overview: US Ambassador Hartley leaving Ljubljana in July; Ambassador: Slovenia can

afford to raise defence spending; Slovenia again protests over LB court rulings with Croatia 24 The Alpine Tiger has cast its vote 25 Final results of general election 2018: SDS won all electoral units, Ljubljana leans to the left 26 Comments: What will you improve so that Slovenia becomes more attractive to foreign talent? Page 25

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PARTNERS 28 TOPIC: How attractive is Slovenia for foreign talent?


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

American Chamber of Commerce – AmCham Slovenia, British – Slovenian Chamber of Commerce – BSCC, The German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce and Industry – AHK Slowenien, Advantage Austria, Luxembourg-Slovenian Business Club (LSBC), Italian Trade Agency (ICE)

Contents Page 38

GLOBAL PITCH 32 Interview: Damjan Kralj, M.Sc., Member of the Management Board, Director of Sales and

Marketing, BTC, d. d.

LEADERSHIP CORNER 36 Professor Lucija Mulej Mlakar: Reign of depth and content – toward holacracy 38 Saša Fajmut, M.Sc.: People don’t want to change. Page 48

EDUCATION PERSPECTIVE 39 Making Management Education Relevant for the 21st Century 40 Interview: Aleš Popovič, PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics,

University of Ljubljana (FELU) 42 Interview: Dr Aleksander Zadel, PhD, Director of the Institute for Personal Development Corpus,

Anima, Ratio 43 IEDC Summer Schools 44 East Asian Resource Library for knowledge without borders

Page 52

EXPERIENCE & LIFESTYLE SLOVENIA 46 Interview: Petra Stušek, M.Sc, Managing Director, Visit Ljubljana – Ljubljana Tourism 48 Vibrant summer in Ljubljana 49 New permanent exhibition on the millennia of Ljubljana’s history 52 Interview: Darko Brlek, Director, Ljubljana Festival 54 Interview: Jernej Hudolin, Architect, Director General, Institute for the Protection of

Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (IPCHS) 56 WCYCLE, waste treatment in the circular economy for the City of Maribor

Page 54

57 Slovenian bees circle the world 58 EVENT GUIDE

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


In the Spotlight Q Many of today’s security concerns originate from instability in the European Union’s immediate neighbourhood and changing forms of radicalisation, violence and terrorism. Threats are becoming more varied and more international, as well as increasingly cross-border and cross-sectorial in nature. What are the priorities of the European Agenda on Security for the next five years? A Security is one of the biggest concerns for Europeans. The threats we face are constantly evolving, and are becoming increasingly crossborder and multi-faceted in nature. Our re-

Sir Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union

Interview: Sir Julian King, European Commissioner for the Security Union

Security is a global issue and requires international cooperation By Tina Drolc, M.Sc., MBA

"Security is not something Member States can face alone. We are all in it together and we can succeed only if we work together too" says the European Commissioner for the Security Union, who will visit Slovenia for the 13th International Conference Bled Strategic Forum, 'Bridging the divide', which will take place in Bled on 10 – 11 September 2018. Sir Julian King explains that the EU Passenger Name Record Directive is an essential instrument to strengthen the EU’s common response to terrorism and serious crime, and highlights that in order for the Directive to deliver maximum benefit there needs to be full implementation among all of the Member States, including those that have not yet done so, which includes Slovenia. 4

The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

We are fighting terrorism by closing down the space in which terrorists operate by making it harder for them to travel, to finance themselves and to acquire weapons and explosives.

sponse needs to be equally comprehensive and dynamic. While security is a national competence, the EU provides real added value for Member States. Our work at the European level is based on three main pillars – countering terrorism and the radicalisation which lies at its root, fighting serious and organised crime, and strengthening cybersecurity. These issues are not going to disappear any time soon and our work towards an effective and genuine Security Union will need to be built upon in the future. And so we will continue to focus on our priorities over the next few years. We are fighting terrorism by closing down the space in which terrorists operate by making it harder for them to travel, to finance themselves and to acquire weapons and explosives. We are protecting our public spaces from terror attacks. We are fighting the root cause of terrorism by preventing the radicalisation of our young people. We are improving how we collect and share information to support national authorities in countering terrorism and serious crime. And we are increasing preparedness and strengthening resilience in the face of cyber and hybrid threats, including malicious interference in our elections and the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) threat.

Q On 25 May, the EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive came into force, a key

In the Spotlight There is no other tool which enables law enforcement authorities to identify 'unknown suspects' in the same way as the analysis of PNR data.

piece of EU security legislation to better identify travelling terrorists and criminals and trace criminal networks. How will these rules reflect improvements in practice?

A The EU PNR Directive is an essential instrument to strengthen the EU’s common response to terrorism and serious crime. It enables Member State authorities to identify suspicious travel patterns and potential criminals and terrorists. It fills an important information gap, allowing us to better monitor who is crossing our borders and whether they pose a potential security threat to our citizens. It is an important tool for preventing, detecting and investigating offenses such as drugs and human trafficking and child sexual exploitation. There is no other tool which enables law enforcement authorities to identify 'unknown suspects' in the same way as the analysis of PNR data. We recognise that implementing the PNR Directive is not an easy task – it requires legislative work and the significant investment of time and resources. So, in order for the Directive to deliver maximum benefit through its full implementation, we will continue to provide the necessary support to those Member States who have not yet done so, including Slovenia. Security is not something Member States can face alone. We are all in it together and we can succeed only if we work together too.

Q With regard to the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU, how do you see postBrexit security cooperation with the EU?

A Both the UK and the EU have made it clear that security cooperation should continue after Brexit. But just because something is desirable does not mean it will be straightforward. When the UK leaves the EU, security cooperation will not cease. But with the UK as a third country, the cooperation will need to be on a different basis. I believe that ensuring cooperation on security issues is in our mutual shared selfinterest. The challenge for the work on both sides over the coming months is to find a way of delivering that in a mutually beneficial and workable way.

Q The EU and the world continued to face multiple evolving cyber-threats. It is estimated that every day, more than five million data records are lost or stolen and more than 4,000 ransomware attacks are launched. What are the main highlights of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that are effectively dealing with cybersecurity challenges? A The cyber threat facing us is multi-faceted and cross-border, and we need to work together at the European level to counter it – cyber-criminals do not care what country their victims are in. GDPR will help to strengthen this cooperation. It enhances data and cybersecurity at a fundamental level, preventing data breaches before they occur – whether it’s through hacking, phishing or malware attacks. It does this by imposing greater accountability on any entity – a company or a person, say – which processes data to ensure the security of that data. They need to consider the likelihood and severity of the risk of a breach and where appropriate, take action such as the 'pseudonymisation' and encryption of data. There are also strengthened reporting requirements in the event of a cyber attack related data breach, including in the framework of the Directive on the security of network and information systems (the NIS Directive). In addition, GDPR provides for clear remedies for the owners of data, including the right to compensation, in the event of a breach. Equally important, GDPR establishes the principle of data protection by design and by default, meaning that the security of data needs to be taken into account during the whole process. The new rules also reinforce the role of the national data protection authorities; the enforcers of the EU data protection rules. It enables better cross-border cooperation and harmonises their enforcement powers. Beyond GDPR, our work to strengthen cybersecurity includes a package of measures brought forward last September designed to build our cyber resilience, to reinforce our cyber deterrence and to support Member States in cyber

defence. It included a proposal for a Cybersecurity Act which will see the mandate of the existing EU Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) strengthened to transform it into a genuine Cybersecurity Agency, as well as the creation of a certification framework to ensure that products and services meet the highest standards of cybersecurity. Plans for the Act are well advanced and the Commission is working with the European Parliament and Council with the aim of reaching an agreement by the end of the year. In addition, in April we published proposals to combat the growing threat posed by disinformation and Fake News online, including through a Code of Practice on Disinformation for internet platforms, support for an independent network of fact-checkers, and a series of actions to stimulate quality journalism and promote media literacy.

Q What can you share from your recent visit of the Middle East where you were discussing issues related to cybersecurity and counter-terrorism?

A Security is a global issue and requires international cooperation, both within the EU and beyond its borders. We work closely together with our partners in the Middle East and on my recent visit to the region I met with Israeli and Palestinian security and government representatives to discuss these issues.

In April we published proposals to combat the growing threat posed by disinformation and Fake News online, including through a Code of Practice on Disinformation for internet platforms, support for an independent network of factcheckers, and a series of actions to stimulate quality journalism and promote media literacy.

When the UK leaves the EU, security cooperation will not cease. But with the UK as a third country, the cooperation will need to be on a different basis. Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


In the Spotlight Q What would you highlight as the key to your success in the management of Postojna Cave which today hosts visitors from 156 countries?

Marjan Batagelj, CEO of Postojnska jama d. d.

Interview: Marjan Batagelj, CEO of Postojnska jama d. d.

Only where civilization ends,

does paradise begin! By Tina Drolc, M.Sc., MBA

"We cannot talk about boutique tourism in Slovenia as long as we offer low value," says Marjan Batagelj, CEO of Postojnska jama d.d. With his 2010 takeover, the underground pearl of Slovenian natural heritage now impacts the global tourism map, resulting in a record year in 2017. Batagelj believes the reason for the growth that exceeds both the Slovenian and global average, is that they market to the world. "We always look at the parts of the world where there is prosperity and economic growth and so our market is really big and especially dynamic". Understanding a guest and the sustainable orientation of the tourist offer is the only way for Slovenian tourism in the future, according to Marjan Batagelj, who will soon be opening a boutique hotel in Jezersko. "Our country is too small and beautiful to build it mindlessly."

A Upon taking over in 2010, we got a company in a very poor state and it was important to set the development strategy for the next 10 to 20 years. At the same time, public expectations were very high and most of them thought that we would not succeed because we were new entrants in the tourism industry which I had not yet dealt with. At the centre of our strategy and vision is the principle that we will do only what is good for the cave – its natural value - and for the guest we set the goal of turning him into an "admirer." This was a solid development foundation as we began to interpret the natural and cultural heritage in a very sincere and understandable way, while being very respectful to the value i​​ tself. At Postojna Cave Park we are committed to sustainable development, to retaining the natural environment as much as possible. This is also probably a reason for the success because setting exclusive economic goals for natural and cultural heritage is an impenetrable path. The key is also our business model, we invest everything we earn and we are not financially indebted. This is how we achieve financial stability and security, and for the past five years we have been the most successful tourist company in Slovenia. Q For Postojna Cave, 2018 is a special milestone as it marks the 200th anniversary of the discovery and the beginning of modern tourism. How will you celebrate this significant anniversary? A This is a very important anniversary for one of the most important tourist destinations in Southeast Europe. 200 years of tourism, 38 million visitors, five different countries and still today Postojna Cave is very well preserved. We have labelled the celebration as the "Tribute to Postojna Cave". The cave has driven tourism development in this part of Europe, it is the axis between Vienna and Venice! The cave has so many attributes and we were really surprised that everyone knew that this year is the 200th anniversary however, at the same time, the attitude of those who should take care of this celebration is very lukewarm. Since there was no interest in celebrating this important turning point at the national level, we decided to make a great celebration in November and finance it. We want it to be a great event!

Q What is the change in visitor numbers since you have been managing Postojna Cave?

A Total visitor numbers prior to our management were around 490,000; last year all visits


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

In the Spotlight were in sight of 1.2 million, of which 94% were foreign guests and only 6% were domestic. This certainly confirms our important role in the development of Slovenian tourism, we are an icon of Slovenian tourism. At the same time, a global guest no longer looks at the country, he looks for something that attracts him to a certain part of Europe and then goes there. It is important to highlight our depth of understanding and management of the tourist visits so that there are not too many guests at any time. For good tourism, it is vital that you feel good. Every tourist to Postojna Cave can have the experience they want - either live-guided or in their mother tongue with an audio guide available in 18 languages, which I think is the highest in Europe. The language in which a person meets natural or cultural heritage is very important. In addition, we meet the needs of tourists, we create a need for beauty. When a tourist observes something beautiful then he begins to discover and therefore we say that a satisfied customer is the best and the cheapest marketing because he talks about his experience and encourages his friends to visit.

Q How much have you invested in the Postojna Cave project?

A We invested EUR 8m in the Jama hotel and EUR 7m in other facilities in the surrounding area. The investment in new trains will cost EUR 3m with EUR 2m for the accompanying facilities. The total amount is about EUR 20m. Our investments are not limited to Postojna Cave, we also invest in the Jezersko and Cerkno ski resorts with the hotel and thermal spas. We invest everything we earn which is why our development is significantly faster than any other in Slovenia. Slovenian tourism had and still has the problem of overindebtedness. Tourist infrastructure has become old when today the global guest is looking for freshness, order and cleanliness. This is also the reason why brownfield investments in tourism are indispensable, otherwise things quickly become outdated and you do not even know when your destination is off the tourist map.

Q Batagel & Co. has recently invested quite intensively in tourism projects, what is your investment philosophy? A It needs to be said that the owner of all of the companies that we are talking about is mine and my wife’s company, Batagel & Co., which also bought the Postojnska jama company. It is true that by investments, we are by far the best in times of crisis. In fact, people and businesses do not distinguish between the price and value. Today, there is a lot of talk about price but nobody is asking whether the price also reflects the acceptable value. I do not

When we move guests off the main roads, the journey to the destination becomes an experience. decide on investments on the basis of in-depth analyses, which of course are necessary, but there is no calculation that endorses or discourages you, it is only instinct and I have been following instinct for 30 years! When I feel that something needs to be done, no mathematics convinces me, it’s only what I believe. I believe in Postojna Cave, in Jezersko, in Cerkno, and if I start to believe in something I will do it tomorrow. But if I do not feel or I am not attracted to invest in Ljubljana, Bled or Portorož, I will not do it. Otherwise, this can be done by anyone who reviews the excel tour tables and tourism growth in these destinations. Generally, I do what nobody else does.

Q An important milestone in the past year has been the investment in Certa Holding, part of which is Hotel Cerkno with a ski resort and thermal spas. What is your investment criteria?

A The first criterion is the unspoilt nature that we can offer to the guest. In Slovenia it is often mentioned that there are "undeveloped" corners which, in fact, is their biggest attribute! Not their "underdevelopment," but the preservation of their authenticity. The second criterion is remoteness/distance where the goal is not mass tourism, but exclusivity and boutique, with an exceptionally high level of service. And the third reason is distinctly business since Postojna Cave has an extremely strong summer season and low winter. By purchasing Cerkno we compensate for seasonal fluctuations and so we have one summer and one winter destination in operation. Cerkno is also interesting as it is one of the most western thermal spas that Italian guests like very much. We will develop the destination as a thermal centre with a lot of unspoilt nature. Q You mention "remoteness" among the investment criteria - what about accessibility? A This is a completely missed Slovenian perception! Slovenians create problems with distance, with one hour defined as difficult access. I will illustrate the perception of the global guest through my own experience - when I landed in Patagonia after three hours in South America and asked the driver how long it was to the hotel, he answered six hours - it did not seem far to me because the ride itself was an experience! It is necessary to understand that when we move guests off the main roads, the journey to the destination becomes an experience. For this reason, we can’t talk to a global

guest about the 'large' distances in Slovenia, which attributes everything on a "small piece of land". The valley of the Soča River is so far away only for Slovenes, for visitors who come to Slovenia it is very close. Only where civilization ends, does paradise begin! In addition, for us airports are important, Ljubljana a little but foremost Venice, Zagreb and Vienna. A modern guest views all these airports as flying within Europe - he does not want a border, he is free but at the same time responds to the information he receives during his trip. That’s why our advertising is global.

Q In Jezersko you are soon going to open the Planika Hotel with the vision of pricing rooms at EUR 500 per night. What is the basis for this price and what is the value of the investment in this project? A Jezersko is an example of a boutique destination: prices are higher, the service is comprehensive and personalised. It is a fact that, in the future, tourism will be increasingly personalised and boutique; the guest’s name and surname will be important and you know more about the tourist before his arrival. It is only in this way that you will be able to prepare a program that will appeal to the guest. In today’s society we are overwhelmed, therefore planning our free time needs to be more and more accurate and we want this to be taken over by professionals. These guests have money, they want superior service regardless of how much it costs. They are looking for small, boutique hotels with the highest level of service. There are many people in the world who are ready to pay EUR 500 or more for a room, but if you do not offer this then you will not even have them. Comprehensive service means that when the guest pays for a room you take care from the morning to evening, including visits that are tailored to the individual wishes of the guest. At the entrance to Planinka Hotel I want the guest to feel as if they have entered a living room. In the hotel it will not be clearly indicated where the reception or bar is... at home it is not - and it will not be clearly seen who is a waitress, receptionist or concierge - but we will clearly define and communicate the quality of the hotel. The value of the investment will be around two or three million euros. We have not restricted it financially as, for us, the most important is the quality of implementation. The materials and the offer are from the local environment and we will make a boutique hotel that will have only 23 rooms, extremely sustainable and ecologically oriented. Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Š 2018 Bled Strategic Forum | Ilustration and design: David Fartek

Regional Insight in Association with S&P Global Ratings The Fed’s Blueprint for Sequencing

Economic Research:

What can the ECB Take from the Fed’s Policy Playbook? By Marion Amiot, Senior Economist, EMEA, S&P Global and Jean-Michel Six, Chief Economist, EMEA, S&P Global

The eurozone is now in a new era of monetary policy normalisation. So far, the European Central Bank (ECB) has scaled down its asset purchase program to EUR 30bn per month until September. It also says it will keep interest rates low "well past the horizon of our net asset purchases," but hasn’t yet outlined further actions. In terms of sequencing, we think the ECB will find it helpful to look at the U.S. Federal Reserve: taper first, raise interest rates later, and reduce the balance sheet when rates are in comfortable territory.

Key Takeaways • We believe the ECB will follow the Fed’s sequence of policy normalisation: taper first, raise rates later, and reduce the balance sheet last.

Tapering before raising rates makes sense, based on the interactions between quantitative easing (QE) and rates. Asset purchases not only ease financial conditions by compressing bond yields, but show a commitment to keeping rates low for longer, absent a zero lower bound in the eurozone. By first ending the asset purchase program, the ECB can break this link and signal future rate rises. The next step will be to raise interest rates while operating with a stable balance sheet. The key reason why the Fed proceeded in this order also applies to the eurozone. While setting interest rate policy is straightforward, there is much uncertainty regarding the impact of unconventional monetary policy measures on financial conditions. Bringing interest rates higher allows the central bank some leeway to cut them if financial conditions tighten too much when it starts shedding assets (see Bernanke on "Shrinking the Fed’s Balance Sheet" Brooking, 26 Jan 2017). As a third step, the ECB will start reducing its balance sheet. We think it is important to do this in a passive manner to facilitate monetary policy communication. Therefore, like the Fed, the ECB will likely stop reinvesting maturing securities holdings, but not actively sell assets. In this way, balance sheet reduction is predictable. Markets can estimate the degree of policy tightening implied by the balance sheet reduction and draw conclusions on interest rate setting. From what we’ve observed in the U.S., this approach has helped prevent sudden tightening of financial conditions, in contrast to the "taper tantrum" of 2013.

The ECB Satarted Tapering When The Fed's Balance Sheet Was Already Shrinking

• But the timing will be different since the ECB’s mandate focuses more on inflation, and the eurozone economic expansion is still in its infancy. • The ECB will look at the output gap, inflation expectations, and the resilience of the eurozone economy before raising rates. • We expect the first rate hike in Q3, 2019. • The eurozone’s greater dependence on bank financing and the longer lasting stock effect of the ECB’s QE policy are likely to lead to a slow pace of rate hikes and balance sheet tightening.

Chart 1: APP–Asset purchase program. Sources: Bloomberg, Eurostat, BEA, S&P economists' calculations. Copyright © 2018 by Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. All rights reserved.

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Regional Insight in Association with S&P Global Ratings Our Timeline For he ECB's Exit

Source: S&P Global Ratings. Copyright © 2018 by Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. All rights reserved.

The ECB’s Timing Will Differ Due to the Inflation Target and the Economy We don’t believe the ECB’s timeline for exiting expansionary policy will be the same as the Fed’s. First, the Fed and the ECB have different mandates, the former targeting inflation and unemployment, the latter focusing more on inflation. The Fed had an explicit unemployment rate target to tighten policy, whereas the ECB is looking for a "self-sustained upward trend in inflation." Second, the ECB is dealing with an economic cycle that is in a very different phase. The U.S. economy is entering its 106th month of economic expansion, the third longest expansion since 1854. By contrast, the eurozone has only just recovered from the sovereign debt crisis. We think that, as per its three criteria for normalisation: convergence, confidence and resilience, the ECB will focus on three variables to assess inflation dynamics and define the right time to raise rates.

Hysteresis: The ongoing slack in eurozone labour markets has been a hot topic in the ECB’s governing council meetings. Because the region is recovering from a long crisis, there is considerable uncertainty regarding the output gap. During the protracted period of weak demand, firms delayed investment decisions, while labour market reforms have made it difficult to gauge structural unemployment. It’s unclear, at least from models, whether this has translated into a permanent negative impact on the economy’s growth potential (meaning, hysteresis) or whether we can expect stronger growth (see chart 2). For monetary policy setting, less slack means inflation is more likely to accelerate (see "The Eurozone Has Reached Cruising Altitude," published 28 March 2018, on RatingsDirect). In the ECB’s case, this relationship is even more relevant than for the Fed, since the ECB does not use the concept of full employment as a second compass for setting rates.

It's Unclear Whether Potential Growth Could Return To Its Pre-Crisis Trend

Chart 2: Source: Eurostat, Oxford Economics, S&P author's calculations. Copyright © 2018 by Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. All rights reserved.


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Inflation expectations: A key finding in last year’s Philip’s curve debate is not only that it is alive and well, but also that inflation expectations are key determinants of inflation dynamics in the eurozone. They’ve been moving in the right direction over the past year but, at 1.7%, are still some way away from the ECB’s inflation target (see chart 3). Since expectations are conditional on support from the current monetary policy, the ECB needs to be confident about the inflation outlook before changing its monetary policy stance. In this respect, we see that the Fed raised rates relatively slowly until 2017, when inflation expectations moved above its 2% target. A broad-based economic recovery: Adding to the complexity is that the ECB sets monetary policy for 19 countries. Thus, even if the output gap has closed for the eurozone as a whole, the ECB will still seek to secure the region’s overall resilience, such that no single country or external shock can derail the recovery. Apart from a soft patch at the start of this year, the eurozone’s economic expansion appears solid. External risks exist, such as the possibility of trade tariffs, faster than expected tightening of financial conditions in the U.S., and the strong euro. But for now, we don’t think those risks will cause the ECB to change its course. We think that, by 2019, there will be enough evidence showing the eurozone output gap has closed. Inflationary pressures should then give way to higher inflation expectations, and we expect rate hikes will follow in the first half of 2019.

The Eurozone’s Bank-Based Economy has Different Needs The ECB will also need to consider differences in policy transmission before taking the Fed’s way of normalising monetary policy. If the ECB started its QE program later than the Fed, it is because of the euro area’s more bank-based financing structure (see chart 4) compared with that in the U.S. The ECB’s first use of Targeted LongTerm Refinancing Operations were aimed at restoring the bank lending channel, allowing banks to borrow as much money as they needed. However, banks first had to repair their balance sheets, still largely affected by the sovereign crisis, before lending to the private sector or even to each other. In the end, this situation led the ECB to engage in active balance sheet management through QE. Looking ahead, the predominance of bank financing in the eurozone means that funding conditions are likely to become tighter after rate hikes than after balance sheet reduction. Wary of not repeating its 2011 policy mistake,

Regional Insight in Association with S&P Global Ratings

Eurozone Inflation Expectations Still Lag The ECB's Target Five-year, breakeven inflation swap rate

Chart 3: Source: Bloomberg. Copyright © 2018 by Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. All rights reserved.

Financing In The Eurozone Relies More On Banks Than Capital Markets Nonfinancial corporates' funding in the eurozone

Chart 4: Source: ECB, S&P economists' calculations. Copyright © 2018 by Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC. All rights reserved.

and with high leverage in the region, the ECB will increase rates only gradually, in our view. Aside from starting QE later than the Fed, the ECB also reduced rates further than the Fed, pushing them into negative territory. Estimates of the neutral rate suggest it is still negative or close to zero in the eurozone. This is another reason why it will likely take more time for the ECB to raise rates sufficiently to allow it to start reducing the size of its balance sheet. Furthermore, QE is likely to have a more lasting effect on bond yields in the eurozone than in the U.S. The ECB’s asset purchase program came at a time of fiscal consolidation in the eurozone, when debt issuance was lower than the ECB’s purchases. This has significantly reduced the supply of long-term sovereign debt on the market, compressing yields relatively more than was the case in the U.S. We expect this stock effect will continue to weigh on yields when the ECB reinvests maturing securities, thus continuing to constrain the supply of European safe assets. This could favour a more gradual balance sheet reduction, since the ECB will want to void a strong rise in yield spreads. That said, we think this will be a secondary concern for the ECB because eurozone sovereigns are largely shielded from sudden rises in yields (see "Sovereign Debt 2018: Eurozone Sovereigns to Decrease Commercial Borrowing by 9% to EUR 850 billion In 2018," published 22 Feb 2018). The ECB’s QE has helped governments reduce their debt-servicing costs and they’ve used the period of low interest rates to lengthen their debt-maturity profiles. For example, according to Deutsche Bank’s estimates, the German sovereign saved about €260 billion (equivalent to 8% of 2008 GDP) from 2008 and 2016. Absent any external or domestic shocks, we think the ECB could start reducing its balance sheet from the end of 2020. Yet, what might complicate the ECB’s task is that, by that time, other advanced economies (especially the U.S.) will have reached the end of the economic cycle, providing less external support to growth in the eurozone. To avoid being too pro-cyclical, the ECB might opt for slow balance sheet reduction. The article is a fragment of the research "What Can The ECB Take From The Fed's Policy Playbook?".

Please refer to our website for more information about ratings at https: and read our disclaimers at Copyright © 2018 by Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC. All rights reserved. STANDARD & POOR’S and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC. Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Economy Overview

Management reshuffle at Gorenje In June, the supervisory board of the household appliances maker, Gorenje, appointed a new management board under incumbent CEO Franjo Bobinac, just hours before the shareholders appointed new supervisors. Apart from Bobinac, incumbents Žiga Debeljak and workers’ representative Drago Bahun are being joined by Stanka Pejanović, Tomaž Korošec and Saša Marković. Their five-year terms will start on 20 July, with the exception of Marković who was appointed as of 1 September. Bobinac, who had been reappointed as chairman in July 2017, referred to the ongoing takeover by the Chinese group, Hisense, saying that the company "is getting a team that has the know how and can make use of all of the advantages that the strategic partner brings to the group". He praised Bahun’s "delicate sense for social dialogue and balance between various stakeholders within the Gorenje group", and Debeljak for "very Franjo Bobinac, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of Gorenje; Photo: Lili Pušnik/STA

good financial management" and for having laid down a "comprehensive approach to digitisation". Digitisation would remain Gorenje’s priority, especially in light of the development of smart and connectible appliances. Meanwhile, shareholders appointed Bachtiar Djalil, Corinna Claudia Graf, Miha Košak and Bernard Charles Pasquier to the supervisory board. According to the Small Shareholders’ Association, the supervisors committed to resigning as soon as Chinese Hisense, which already holds 60% of the company, completes the takeover. Business newspaper, Finance, reported that Hisense abstained from voting for "legal reasons", noting that the takeover bid at EUR 12 per share will expire on 26 June. The new supervisory board, to serve until July 2022, will consist of four shareholder representatives, three staff representatives, while three seats on the board were left empty for the new owner to fill.

Mercator shareholders appoint three new supervisors In June, the shareholders of retailer Mercator appointed Fabris Peruško, Irena Weber and Sergei Volk as new supervisors after their predecessors resigned earlier this year. They also reappointed Matej Lahovnik and Ivica Mudrinić, whose terms on the supervisory board expire in August. The three new supervisors of Mercator, owned by troubled Croatian conglomerate Agrokor, replace Ante Ramljak, formerly Croatia’s Agrokor special trustee, and former Agrokor advisors, Teo Vujčić and Damir Kuštrak. The group around the retailer recorded a EUR 184m net loss in 2017, largely due to real estate impairments resulting from a new accounting policy and amounting to EUR 145.8m. Adjusting for the negative effect of one-off events, the group would have made a EUR 6m profit. Mercator has nevertheless been assessed as the most valuable company within the Agrokor group. It is valued at EUR 878.6m, while the combined value of all of Agorkor subsidiaries is almost EUR 3.5bn.


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Banks urged to prepare for bad times Ljubljana, June - Despite the favourable general economic situation, upbeat forecasts and a revival in lending, the Slovenian banking regulator has advised banks to start preparing for a potential new crisis. "Preparations for a less favourable turn of events should start in the good times," Primož Dolenc, the interim Governor of the Slovenian Central Bank, told an annual bankers’ conference in Ljubljana. Dolenc assessed the state of the Slovenian banking system as favourable; the banks continue to have a strong capital base, despite a slight decrease in their capital adequacy ratio in 2017. The pressure on capital adequacy is blamed on a spike in lending. This has been quite high this year and last, a development reflected in the fact that the fall in interest revenue has bottomed out. It is mainly longer-term and unsecured retail loans which are increasing; these are granted swiftly without in-depth checks as to the borrowers’ creditworthiness. "Average maturity of new, long-term retail loans was almost seven years, last year. This is a length of time that may see a turn in the economic cycle and a deterioration in the debtors’ creditworthiness." Dolenc added that a much slower growth in housing loans suggested that such lending would not fuel the growth of real estate prices further. Banka Slovenije is closely monitoring these price trends because it would not want a potential drop in real estate prices to again cause troubles for bank balance sheets. Corporate credit from domestic banks has also been increasing, however companies have improved their creditworthiness and rely more on their own funds. Banka Slovenije Interim Governor, Primož Dolenc; Photo: Tamino Petelinšek /STA

The crisis management of Agrokor expects that it will conclude a settlement contract with the creditors, which hold a total of EUR 5.6bn in claims to Agrokor, by 10 July. According to unofficial information, the Russian banks, Sberbank and VTB, are to get around a 46.5% stake in Agrokor. Sberbank has an 18% stake in Mercator and one of the possibilities is that the bank sells its stake to Agrokor as part of the settlement. Source: STA

Economy Slovenian Economic Mirror:

A slowdown in export-oriented sectors of the economy; further growth in construction and private consumption

Seasonally adjusted index 2010=100, 3-month moving average

At the beginning of the year, activity in export-oriented sectors of the economy was slowed by developments in the international environment, while construction activity and private consumption continued to expand. The strong growth of Slovenia’s goods market, the EU and global markets continued in the last quarter of 2017; although the price competitiveness of Slovenian exporters deteriorated somewhat in the first quarter of 2018. 160 150 140 130 120 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 jan. 11

Goods exports Manufacturing Construction Trade Services (nominal)

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Figure 1: Short-term indicators of economic activity in Slovenia (Source: SURS; calculations by IMAD)

Economic growth in the euro area continues the year, although at a slower pace than in previous quarters; the EC expects that GDP growth in 2018 will remain similar to last year. According to Eurostat’s preliminary flash estimate, GDP rose by 0.4% (seasonally adjusted) in the euro area in the first quarter of 2018, which is slightly less than expected and less than the quarterly average in 2017. In its most recent forecast, the EC projects GDP to increase by 2.3% this year and by 2.0% in 2019, but it warns of elevated downside risks to the forecast, mainly due to developments outside the euro area. According to IMF projections, global economic growth this year and next will remain similar to 2017 (around 3.9%). At the beginning of the year, activity in export-oriented sectors of the economy was slowed

by developments in the international environment, while construction activity and private consumption continued to expand. Exports and manufacturing output in the first two months were affected by increased uncertainties in the international environment and recorded similar volumes to those at the end of 2017. Turnover in market services also maintained 2017 levels, while growth in the trade sector slowed. Activity in construction was influenced by weather conditions, but construction volume was considerably higher than in the same period last year. Private consumption expanded further, reflecting favourable labour market trends, high consumer confidence and relatively strong growth in household loans. Confidence in the economy remained higher than the long-term average, despite a deterioration in recent months.

The strong growth of Slovenia’s goods market, the EU and global markets continued in the last quarter of 2017, although the price competitiveness of Slovenian exporters deteriorated somewhat in the first quarter of 2018. The growth in market share in the EU accelerated further, driven mainly by vehicle exports to France. The competitive position of exporters during this period was favourably impacted by lower cost pressures than in Slovenia’s trading partners (measured by unit labour costs), which mitigated the negative impact of the appreciation of the euro. The euro has continued to appreciate this year. With similar movements in relative prices (measured by inflation), this has led to a slight increase in the real effective exchange rate. The number of employed persons continued to rise in the first months of the year; wage growth also strengthened. Favourable labour market conditions are reflected in the rapidly rising number of employed, which has now reached the level last seen in mid-2008. With higher employment and less unemployment than last year, the number of registered unemployed also continues to fall, down 13.8% year-on-year at the end of April. Short-term expectations about future employment remain high. Wage growth has strengthened in the private sector owing to good business performance amid strong economic activity and in the public sector due to the implementation of agreements with trade unions and promotions. Average consumer price growth remained moderate. Prices of services rose faster than that of goods. Food prices again increased, while prices of durable goods were lower yearon-year. Although increasing in recent months, prices of oil products, owing to the high base, have not yet had a visible impact on average inflation movements. Core inflation remained low. The growth in loans to domestic non-banking sectors eased slightly in the first quarter. The growth in household loans and loans to non-monetary institutions remained strong, while the volume of corporate loans declined. As lending survey data shows no constraints or tightening of lending conditions, this decline could be mainly due to enterprises relying on other sources of finance. Non-performing loans continue to fall gradually. The general government deficit in the first quarter of 2018 was more than 50% lower year-on-year. Favourable public finance developments are underpinned by still strong year-on-year revenue growth (5.3%) resulting from favourable economic trends. Expenditure remained similar to that of the same period of 2017.

Institute of Macroeconomic Analyses and Development

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times



Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018: Slovenia #28 Diversity can be a national resource for competitiveness With its fifth release, the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) addresses the theme of Diversity for Competitiveness. The view that diversity is a resource that can improve performance is spreading throughout organisations. Research shows that for complex tasks that require creativity, diverse teams do better than those comprised of similar individuals – as long as the team members have the skills to collaborate. Diversity of views, experiences, expertise, culture and race can all enhance the way organisations and countries work. This view is also spreading into the realms of policy. Education reform underway across the world is focused on tapping into differences rather than suppressing or ignoring them, as it has become clear that individual diversity and collaboration must be inculcated from the early stages of education.

Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018 How talent diversity can drive global competitiveness

The leaders in talent competitiveness

GTCI Talent Champion commonalities

Educational systems built on employability

Flexible regulatory & business landscape

Employment policies combining flexibility & social protection

it is not easy to get different people to work together or live together, let alone collaborate and innovate together.

External & Internal openness

Countries that realise the importance of leveraging diversity as a resource and do so effectively lead this year’s Global Talent Competitiveness Index. Switzerland (1) remains at the top of the index, retaining its spot of previous years. The country is especially sensitive to cognitive diversity; it retains the talent it grows and is also welcoming to outside talent. 24 percent of Switzerland’s population was born abroad, but with regards to gender diversity, there are still obstacles preventing women from assuming leadership roles.

GTCI 2018 Top 10

It is cognitive diversity (diversity of knowledge, experience and perspectives) above all else that leads to higher performance and creative innovation in problem-solving and predictive tasks. This is more important than ever in an era of automation. Crucially though, diversity must


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

walk hand in hand with inclusion. Diversity consultant, Vernā Myers, describes it as: "Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance." The responsibility for developing such diversity relies on education systems and bold leaders who understand that

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 28

Country Switzerland Singapore United States of America Norway Sweden Finland Denmark United Kingdom Netherlands Luxembourg Slovenia

Economy The importance of identity diversity has built a unique environment in Singapore (2). Using schools and public housing, the government has engineered diversity over generations, ensuring that the distinct ethnic groups live together harmoniously. English is the language taught in schools, next to the mother tongue languages of Mandarin, Tamil and Malay. Schools in Singapore are the vehicle to create common social values and collaboration among an ethnically diverse population. Singapore and the Nordic countries – Norway (4), Sweden (5), Finland (6) and Denmark (7) – in the GTCI demonstrate the link between diversity, talent competitiveness and prosperity. As a country that provides women with the same leadership opportunities as men, Norway is the biggest mover in the top 10, up six places from last year. It retains talent with excellent social benefits and protections. The Netherlands (9) is the world’s best country overall in growing talent, and the United States (3) has a fine track record. High quality universities in the United Kingdom (8) train a well-informed workforce. With an open, attractive business climate, Luxembourg (10) rounds out the top 10. There is a correlation between fostering diverse collaboration and the acceptance of gender diversity, although a number of countries are strong on one and not the other. The U.S. and Switzerland head the list of countries with a strong commitment to collaboration but a weaker commitment to gender diversity; this list also includes the U.K., Germany (19), the Netherlands, as well as Israel (24) and Japan (20).

Middle and lower income countries The top of the GTCI rankings is prominently made up of high-income countries. These nations have a pool of knowledge workers to increase innovation and entrepreneurship. Overall, the GTCI uses four measures or "pillars" to determine a country’s ranking: Enable talent through regulations and markets; Attract talent; Grow new talent; Retain existing talent with a fine quality of life; and two measures describing different types of talent, Vocational and Technical Skills (expertise) and Global Knowledge Skills (leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship). Differences between income groups are particularly significant in the measures of Global Knowledge Skills and Vocational and Technical Skills. Each income group has its own champions: For example, Malaysia (27) is the top-ranked country in the group of uppermiddle-income countries, and it belongs

to the fourth quartile of top-performing countries. It is ranked above many highincome countries such as Slovenia (28), Portugal (29) and South Korea (30). The middle income economies of the BRICS show mixed results in this year’s index. China (43), with well-developed clusters, is in the global top 20 in terms of R&D expenditure. Its PISA scores in reading, maths and science are on the rise, as are Chinese universities in international rankings. To pull even further ahead, China must improve tolerance of immigrants and minorities. Russia (53) does well on tertiary-level Global Knowledge Skills but lags behind in attracting outside talent. Retaining talent is difficult in South Africa (63) but the country has become more open to global talent. Brazil (73) is growth-focused but needs to work on labour-employer cooperation. Finally, India (81) must improve retention of its well-educated workforce, mitigating the brain drain by pursuing its efforts to attract its talented diaspora of IT specialists back home. In terms of reducing earning gaps between men and women, several African nations perform remarkably well, with Botswana (62), Rwanda (76) and Ghana (90) in the global top 20 for this variable. Efforts in education are also growing across Africa. Botswana is number one in the world in terms of the proportion of GDP allocated to education although, as in other African nations, the effectiveness of these investments can still be improved. Other countries, like Senegal (97), follow the same path, indicating that challenges in education have been properly identified and that forceful action is being taken to address them.

Global City Talent Competitiveness Index (GCTCI) For the second year, GTCI includes a ranking of talent competitiveness in cities, the GCTCI. Changes have been made to the model, introducing a new “Be Global” pillar, and broadening the coverage of the cities in

the index to 90 (up from 47 cities last year). European cities dominate the top 10 in the GCTCI and four of the top five are Nordic cities. Cities, as well as countries and companies, must compete in different international and global markets where diversity is also proving to be a competitive advantage. One city with a long history of diversity is Copenhagen (4). The city’s approach to diversity is unique because it is understood as a source for growth and innovation. The Business House Copenhagen, for example, encourages companies to emphasise personnel policies and strategies that support diversity, with a focus on wellbeing and talent development.

Diversity for innovation Urban environments are generally hubs of economic activity; increased GDP naturally leads to higher technology penetration rates and improves the quality of education. Overall, talent diversity is still a largely untapped resource for innovation, and the dangers of non-diverse leadership are evident. A 2011 report by the IMF concluded that the fund failed to predict the enormity of the 2008 financial crisis because of a “high degree of groupthink”. The organisation’s leaders, mostly men from developed economies, ruled out the possibility that a global crisis could start in an advanced financial system, like the U.S. When dissent came from members from less developed economies, their opinions were dismissed. Had all opinions been considered, perhaps some of the mistakes of the Great Recession could have been avoided. Organisations, cities and nations are slowly learning how to leverage diversity. Bold and visionary leadership is needed to make diversity a competitive edge at the organisation, city and country level. Cities will continue to change the global talent scene; they are the perfect lab in which to promote diversity.

GTCI 2018 Top 10 Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ... 49

City Zurich (Switzerland) Stockholm (Sweden) Oslo (Norway) Copenhagen (Denmark) Helsinki (Finland) Washington DC (United States) Dublin (Ireland) San Francisco (United States) Paris (France) Brussels (Belgium) Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Sources: INSEAD Web Article: The World’s Most Talent Competitive Countries, 2018 Paul Evans, Academic Director of the INSEAD Global Talent Competitiveness Index, and Bruno Lanvin, INSEAD Executive Director for Global Indices | January 22, 2018 Global Talent Competitiveness Index, Report 2018 globalindices/docs/GTCI-2018-report.pdf

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Economy Interview: Dr Paul Evans, Academic Director, Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), INSEAD

If Slovenia will not collaborate on talent management then the issue will remain theoretical and will never happen! By Tina Drolc, M.Sc., MBA

Launched in 2013, the GTCI is an annual benchmarking report that measures the ability of countries to compete for talent. According to Co-founder and Academic Director, Dr Paul Evans, who will be a keynote speaker at The Management Congress 2018, organised by the Managers’ Association of Slovenia to be held in September, the level of talent management awareness is rising, but continues to be very unequal across countries. Singapore is the only country in the world that is always focused on developing talent for the future and 43% of its population is from abroad! "Slovenia is included in the countries that have slightly neglected its expertise over the years", says Dr Evans, and obviously the country needs to improve the quality of business – government relations because if they do not collaborate, the issues around talent management and innovation will remain theoretical and will never happen! Q Why is talent management becoming so important for companies, cities and countries, and what is the level of awareness globally?

A The level of awareness is rising, but it is very unequal across countries. As innovation is something which is really important and the observation that the talent component of innovation is of national importance, it is becoming more and more important for prosperity, and that led to the discussion with various governments, notable with Singapore ministers, that the world needs a dedicated focused talent index. I would like to share a lesson from Singapore, a small country that 50 years ago was a third world jungle – a developing country with no resources, no oil, no minerals. Interestingly, Singapore has become one of the most developed countries in the world, more than the US in terms of GDP per capita and its only resource is talent! It is the only country in the world that is always focused on developing talent for the future and 43% of the population of Singapore is from abroad! Education in Singapore has always been the main importance, they have started tackling Industry 4.0 by building a

Dr Paul Evans, Academic Director, Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI), INSEAD


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Economy Smart City. If you look at the method of teaching maths in London, it is based on the method from Singapore. And it is important to say that the ministries in Singapore (education, trade, agriculture…) are all focused on talent!

Q GTCI measures the extent to which countries attract, grow and retain talent, and how that translates into output. In 2017, Switzerland was on top, followed by Singapore and the United Kingdom. In which fields do the winners excel? A The winning countries are all different, but what is common for them and also in the Scandinavian countries, which are among the top ten, is balance - balance between different aspects of talent competitiveness. First is attracting people (i.e. how do we attract the talent needed in startups, the blockchain technology we try to develop, etc.) and retain them. The second, balance (particularly distinctive for Switzerland and Singapore) in the type of talent that a country or a city needs and there are two: one is vocational talent – expertise; Slovenia is included in the countries that has slightly neglected its expertise over the years, and the other is more general talent – connected with people that are going to universities and it is associated with three things: leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship. And the third is the ecosystem, which is a very close relationship between a government, the business community and educational institutions. In the case of Switzerland, that is the most innovative country, 80% of all Swiss school children do not go to university! They go the vocational route, which is a route to a practitioner. You go to school three days a week and you work two days a week, and this is carefully managed through close collaboration between the Swiss cantons, local businesses and educational institutions.

Q What does the GTCI indicate for companies, entrepreneurs and the government about strengthening Slovenia’s talent competitiveness—currently 28th in the world (from 119 countries)?

A I do not know Slovenia well but I do know Danica Purg and she has gotten me very interested in Slovenia. The biggest weakness in terms of Slovenia is the third balance, the collaboration with the ecosystem. If you consider the numbers - Slovenia is one of the ten worst countries in the world in terms of the quality of business/government relations and if government does not collaborate with business and education, then a lot of issues around talent management and innovation are only theoretical issues that will never happen! A lot of discussion went around in Slovenia and people got

fed up because nothing happened there. But it is not just government, it is not just business and it is not just education, it is collaboration. However, in Slovenia, many people talk about corruption, it is not the most corrupt country in the world (Transparency International place Slovenia currently 29th in the world) and I do not think corruption is an excuse for the inefficiency of the government of doing the things that promote the development of Slovenia and its people.

Q Can you share some ‘lessons’ on talent management from smaller leading countries such as Denmark, Finland, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Luxembourg, Botswana and Switzerland, that could be also relevant to Slovenia?

A Make yourself attractive as a place and Slovenia has a lot to show here; from its image to its quality of life. Pay a lot of attention to development, since the future is the name of the game. Based on the experience of the abovementioned countries, what Slovenia has to do is to create an entrepreneurial spirit and the ecosystem. Because entrepreneurship is not individual (i.e. just people who create startups). What you need is what Switzerland has: extremely good technicians from the vocational educational system. They are not just plumbers, but robotic and software technicians, medical technicians in hospitals etc. You need these people because your companies need them to grow. So that is an ecosystem and we will see more of that this year or next year in many countries in the world. Therefore, for Slovenia it is of great importance to invest in good vocational education oriented toward software technicians, medical assistance and the sort of skills that you will need for growth in the future. Q How is digitalisation and technology changing the talent scene? A It is changing it radically. Denmark is interesting because it is the most digital state in Europe in the sense of the government. Everybody has an e-box for dealing with the government, (e.g. paying electricity bills, voting and paying taxes) everything is through the internet. And their government told me the big challenge is in the education because to prepare ourselves for this digital world, the whole educational system needs to be reformed. Play schools look more like modern workplaces than the dated classrooms with the teacher up front and students passively behind. So how do you educate people for a rapidly changing world? You need so-called T-shaped skills. IBM has practicing T-shaped skills for 40 years. The letter T stands on a base, otherwise it falls down. So, the base

of the T is learning how to learn! What we know about high potential talent is that they learn fast and well from their own experience! The Finnish education system knows this very well, it is among the best in the world and they believe the learning how to learn happens at school between ages four and seven, before you start learning how to read, numbers, etc., and that is the bottom of the T, and the most important thing. People who do not learn how to learn will be stuck in the future. I believe, in Slovenia, the elite want their children to go to the Montessori type of a school. They can pay for it because a Montessori type of school is very good in teaching kids learn how to learn. Taking two global people: Jeff Bezos from Amazon or Sergey Brin from Google, they came out of Montessori schools. In addition, within the T logic, it is important to have vocational expertise too – that’s the stem of the T! A lot of people come from universities, have no expertise and so it is hard for them to get a job because people learn through challenge! And at the top of the T, you have to collaborate with others; collaboration skills, co-creation, and the other top of the T is to have very good interpersonal skills – you have to have a very good critical ability to interpret information - what is real and what is fake!

In the case of Switzerland, that is the most innovative country, 80% of all Swiss school children do not go to university! They go the vocational route, which is a route to a practitioner. You go to school three days a week and you work two days a week, and this is carefully managed through close collaboration between the Swiss cantons, local businesses and educational institutions.

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Economy Interview: Mojca Kunšek, M.Sc., Director of the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES)

New services from AJPES help companies to analyse their partners and receive relevant information about their business By Tina Drolc, M.Sc., MBA

Based on the AJPES model, S.BON Credit Rating classifies Slovenian companies into 10 credit-rating scores. For 2018 there are indicators of positive business developments in the Slovenian economy, according to Mojca Kunšek, AJPES Director, and there is an increase in the number of foreign entities registering a business in Slovenia. Ms Kunšek, states that for sole proprietors the greatest number are Italian owners, while in terms of company ownership, the majority of founders are from the Balkans, with the businesses concentrated in sales and retail commercial Q S.BON Credit Rating is an AJPES model that classifies Slovenian companies into 10 credit-rating scores from SB1 (lowest risk) to SB10 (highest risk) according to their credit risk and SB10d the credit-rating for those companies already in default. Which businesses in Slovenia have the highest and which have the lowest risk according to their rating?

A Positive business developments in the Slovenian economy are reflected in the creditratings assigned to Slovenian business entities for 2018. The default risk decreased the most in the Information and communication activities sector and in the water supply, sewerage and waste management sector. In the real estate sector and electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector, the default risk decreased more than the average for the Slovenian economy.

Mojca Kunšek, M.Sc., Director of the Agency of the Republic of Slovenia for Public Legal Records and Related Services (AJPES)


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Less favorable business developments resulted in increased default risk in the health and social work sector, followed by the accommodation and food services sector and the financial and insurance sector.

Q Are the S.BON ratings comparable to S&P Global, Moody’s and Fitch ratings?

A To ensure overall objectiveness and consistency, credit-ratings are assigned to Slovenian business entities using the AJPES S.BON methodology which takes into consideration long-term default developments in the Slovenian economy. The reports are based on a large database of official data and also indicates a company’s ability to settle its obligations over a 12 month period, from the date of the most recent financial statements, and also information on a company’s short term payment discipline and other important information about the company and its operations. To enable international comparisons, AJPES presented mapping of S.BON credit assessments with credit assessments of the "big three" rating agencies. Mapping tables are available on the AJPES web page ( Credit_rating_scale).

Q Based on your evidence, is the percentage of foreign entities that decide to register their business in Slovenia increasing? Which countries are they from and what segments are the most attractive for them? A The Slovenian Business register does not contain data about the land of origin of company partners. So, we can answer your question regarding registered foreign entities solely based on entities with a foreign address. The share of Italian owners as sole proprietors reflects the free registration of a company with us. Comparing results from 2017 against 2013, Italians are still the largest share of founders, but they are no longer followed by founders from the Balkans, but from Austria. Results for companies reflect the opposite because the majority of founders are from the Balkans and concentrated in sales and retail commercial, which is confirmed by the actual purchases of Slovenian retailers. Recently, we launched two new services on the market: a new analytical tool, FI-PO, which helps companies to analyse their partners and receive all relevant information about their business; and we finished an accreditation from the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation to become an authorised local operational unit for publishing Legal Entity Identifiers (LEI) which, according to the MIFIR Directive, all institutions which operate on international financial markets should have.

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Economy Interview: Igo Gruden, Director of Credit Management and Workout, Bank Asset Management Company DUTB d. d.

Our expectations are in line with profit By Tina Drolc, M.Sc., MBA

In the 2017 Annual Report of DUTB, EUR 434.7m of cash inflows and EUR 67m in after-tax profit were reported, a good result according to Igo Gruden, Director of Credit Management and Workout at DUTB. Mr Gruden says the considerable cashflow was generated from real estate, while also successful was that restructured companies in Slovenia, with loans worth more than EUR 100m, fully refinanced their loans with commercial banks. Q In 2017, what were the most profitable projects in terms of non-performing loans? A I cannot comment on the profitability of individual projects. In the context of performance, however, earnings are not the only benchmark, although our primary goal is to repay as much money to taxpayers as possible. In 2017, we generated more than EUR 400m cashflow in three areas: the sale of real estate, the sale of equity interests and and cash flow from loan repayments, including the sale of receivables. The success was that restructured companies in Slovenia, with gross loans more than EUR 100m, fully refinanced their loans with commercial banks. The second success was the reimbursements by restructured


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Igo Gruden, Director of Credit Management and Workout, Bank Asset Management Company - DUTB d. d. Photo: Tadej Reissner

companies of which there are currently 58 representing about half of value of receivables ​​ management. The third success, where we also generated a considerable cashflow in the past year, was the sale of real estate of companies that are undergoing insolvency proceedings.

Q On assets sold, what was the achieved return in 2017 compared to planned? A Our expectations were in line with profit, especially for businesses being refinanced as the banks returned to normal lending practices. Given that economic growth is good, the required returns by investors are also lower. It is important for us to create a relatively constant and good cashflow. Looking back, our assets under management were the highest at the end of 2014, EUR 1.5bn - measured at fair value, which should reflect the market value of those assets. Similarly, after the merger of two smaller banks in 2016. Today we manage just under a EUR 1bn, from EUR 1.2bn in assets at the beginning of 2017, at net value, and we created more than EUR 400m of cashflow, which is in my opinion a good result.

Q What is the number of debtors in the DUTB Management Portfolio and can you highlight some of their characteristics? A We have examples from a few thousand euros all the way to larger companies, with a higher exposure and gross value of more than EUR 100m. At the end of 2017, there were 748 debtors with a low exposure of less than EUR 300,000, mostly from two merged banks,

including some sole proprietors and micro companies. 672 debtors are larger, of which 58 are in restructuring, while all others are in insolvency proceedings. However, with regard to purchases, larger investors are buying preferred items with higher exposure, as large companies are more resilient and more probable to restore normal business.

Q In 2017, DUTB purchased claims from six existing debtors of EUR 3.8m (gross value: EUR 22.2m) and with short-term loans funded five companies for a total of EUR 4.7m. What is the basis to buy receivables and what can you share about the debtors? A The foundation is always economic, however there are always stakeholders with different interests involved in the process. The interest is not always the same among creditors and debt consolidation mitigates this. For some, it is important to be repaid as soon as possible, for others, to sell at the highest possible price. In Slovenia we were not established to become a bank, but in the case of companies that have liquidity problems or need an investment, we are practically the only option, and when justifiable we support companies where we are also owners.

Economy Interview: Mihael Leskovar, CEO, Maribor Development Agency

SEE MEET 2018 Q This autumn, you will host the third SEE

Q Can you share more about last year’s

MEET business conference on 10 - 11 October. What is the purpose of the event and why is Maribor such an excellent venue choice?

gathering in Maribor?

A The basic objective of SEE MEET Slovenia 2018 is to provide a platform to enable companies to make new business connections, improve existing or find new business partners and opportunities. This year, we plan on increasing the number of participants and achieving greater international participation. We have confirmed delegations from Italy, Serbia and Turkey, and we are also conferring with delegations from British, Austrian and Hungarian companies. Naturally, there will be participants from other countries who will register individually. The event will take place in Maribor, a city that boasts a strategic location, efficient logistics infrastructure, a broad industrial base and a dynamic entrepreneurial environment. By organising SEE MEET Slovenia 2018, the Maribor Development Agency aids in strengthening the ties within the Eastern Cohesion Region.

A SEE MEET Slovenia 2017 hosted 104 com-

Mesto Development Center, Development and information center Bela krajina, Development center Kočevje Ribnica, the Zasavje Regional Development Agency, the Koroška Regional Development Agency, the Posavje Regional Development Agency and the Regional Development Agency for the Savinja Region.

Q You teamed up with Futurallia to organise the event. What is their role and does their involvement in the event reflect significantly in foreign participation?

panies from 10 different countries. Taking part in the event were 134 people who held meetings on behalf of their companies. A total of 1,326 meetings took place over the course of two days, indicating the high level of efficiency of the event. As organisers, we take pride in the fact that participants rated the event as excellent and that 97% of the participants have expressed their interest to participate in this year’s event.

A Futurallia is a French company which spe-

Q Who are the co-organisers and how do they contribute to the project?

A In principle, this is a multi-sector event. The focus of SEE MEET Slovenia 2018 will be on companies from the following sectors: information and communication technology, manufacturing industries (e.g. metalworking and plastics processing), energy efficiency, and other services. This year’s conference program will be structured to provide companies with insight into the latest solutions for business process digitalisation. To this end, we are working on bringing internationally acclaimed experts.

A The Maribor Development Agency coordinates seven regions and two sub-regions who come together to implement this project in coorganizing with the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia and SPIRIT Slovenia. SEE MEET’s other partner organisations include the Murska Sobota Development Center, the Novo

cialises in the organisation of B2B events. They organise events with thousands of participants and will ensure quality implementation of SEE MEET Slovenia 2018. With respect to the extensive network of Futurallia’s companies, we expect a high international participation.

Q What kind of companies are you hoping to see at the event this year?

Mihael Leskovar, CEO, Maribor Development Agency

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Political Overview

US Ambassador Hartley leaving Ljubljana in July The US Embassy in Slovenia has confirmed that Ambassador Brent Hartley will end his three-year term in July. It is not yet known whom the State Department will send to Slovenia after Hartley leaves, but the confidential procedure is already underway.

istration after the election of President Donald Trump. Among the unofficial names for the new ambassador was Kelly Roberts, a California hotel owner, who was reportedly the pick of First Lady Melania Trump who was born in Slovenia. The Politico news portal reported last September that Roberts had withdrawn her name from consideration and experienced diplomat Hartley stayed in the post. Brent Hartley, US Ambassador to Slovenia; Photo: Tamino Petelinšek /STA

Until the appointment of the new fully-fledged ambassador, the US Embassy in Slovenia will be headed by a chargé d’affaires. Hartley, a career diplomat, has been in Slovenia since February 2015. Unofficial information was circulated last summer about a possible early end to his term with the change of the US Admin-

Ambassador: Slovenia can afford to raise defence spending In June, Slovenia’s Ambassador to NATO, Jelko Kacin, called for an increase in defence spending which he said Slovenia needs urgently and can also afford. He expects the new government to address the issue. "After years of recession, Slovenia now has strong economic growth which means it can afford to increase defence expenditure," Kacin said in BrusSlovenia’s Ambassador to NATO, Jelko Kacin; Photo: Daniel Novakovič /STA


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

sels. "It absolutely needs this increase because in the austerity years, Slovenia fell behind with investment and the armament and equipment of the military forces needs to be modernised and replaced." He believes that Slovenia needs to start fulfilling the goals it had set itself. "It’s necessary to move from words to action, from commitment to securing the funds and implementing the planned investment." Defence spending was a major topic at a NATO defence ministerial in Brussels and will also be in focus at the July summit after US President Donald Trump made it clear that he expected European allies to substantially increase their defence budgets. The allies have made it their goal to try to near the target spending of 2% of GDP for defence by 2024. An unofficial estimate is that Slovenia will allocate 1% of GDP for defence this year, which according to current plans should be increased to about 1.1% of GDP by 2024.

Slovenia again protests over LB court rulings with Croatia In June Slovenia sent a verbal note to Croatia expressing concern over the latest in a series of court rulings against NLB bank concerning Yugoslav-era foreign currency deposits. In a note sent to the Croatian Embassy in Ljubljana, the Foreign Ministry said continuation of such court procedures constituted a breach of the 2001 Succession Agreement among the Yugoslav successor states and the Memorandum the Slovenian and Croatian governments signed in Mokrice in 2013. The note concerns a ruling against the defunct Ljubljanska banka (LB) and Nova Ljubljanska banka (NLB) of 10 April 2018 under which both banks were ordered to settle EUR 222,426 plus interest. The suit relates to LB foreign currency deposits by Croatian account holders who were compensated by the state. Croatia later authorised several commercial banks to recover the money on its behalf. Several court procedures are ongoing in Croatia despite the 2001 Succession Agreement stipulating that the issue is to be resolved in negotiations between successor countries. The Mokrice memorandum (which Croatia never ratified) affirms this position. The Ministry also informed Croatia that Slovenia had asked the European Commission on 23 April this year to mediate in the dispute because Croatia has failed to respond to repeated requests to relaunch succession negotiations. Slovenia expects Croatia will accept the offer of mediation.

Croatian Embassy in Ljubljana; Poto: Nebojša Tejič/STA

Source: STA

Be a part of a business meeting, where 150 international companies will participate. Meet with new potential partners by using the 2-day pre-arranged individual meeting opportunities. PLEASE REGISTER FOR THE SEE MEET 2018 BUSINESS MEETINGS AT WWW.SEEMEET.SI SEE MEET SLOVENIA 2018 is an international B2B forum that provides a unique platform for businesses working in different sectors with special attention on companies from the fields of digitalization and ICT, processing industry (metal, plastic), energy efficiency and other services. The purpose of the forum is to help companies expand their businesses on domestic and international markets by organizing up to 15 pre-arranged meetings that will identify mutual interests for further cooperation in a quick and efficient way.



The Alpine Tiger has cast its vote By Boštjan Lajovic

Analysing the results of the parliamentary elections is a thankless job as everyone reads and interprets them based on their own political values and stances. In Slovenia, where the old saying "two Slovenes, three parties" still applies, this is especially the case. Comments by journalists and numerous opinion leaders varied and were diametrically opposite from one another as early as on the Sunday evening when the polling stations closed, and the situation remained unchanged days later.

90 MP seats

SDS......................................................................25 MP seats LMŠ....................................................................... 13 MP seats SD.......................................................................... 10 MP seats SMC...................................................................... 10 MP seats Left...........................................................................9 MP seats NSi...........................................................................7 MP seats SAB..........................................................................5 MP seats DeSUS...................................................................5 MP seats SNS.........................................................................4 MP seats Minority representatives...........................2 MP seats

According to various estimates, the parliamentary elections actually failed to produce a winner as the votes cast were dispersed across numerous political parties. As a result, none of the parties received sufficient support to form a coalition and govern comfortably. Others believe the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) was the convincing winner and that their victory indicates that the Slovenian electorate desires a shift to rightist and more conservative politics that would firmly represent Slovenian


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

national interests. Then there are those who say that the voters have expressed their support for the left political parties, clearly voicing their opposition to the "Orbánisation" of the state, i.e. state leadership that follows the example of Viktor Orbán, the Hungarian Prime Minister. Participating in this year’s parliamentary elections were 25 political parties, which is the most Slovenia has seen in the 27 years of its independence. Successfully making it into the parliament were 9 parties, which is also a record. The Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) won 25 seats with the majority of votes, followed by the List of Marjan Šarec (LMŠ) lagging far behind with 13 seats, and the remaining seven parties that each received more than four percent of the votes, the threshold for making it to the parliament. For a better picture of the power relations – the Slovenian Parliament seats a total of ninety members of the parliament. If you are not an overly enthusiastic follower of Slovenian politics – which seems highly likely for a reader of The Slovenia Times – then this data is most probably of little help. At the moment, Slovenia is in very good economic shape, economic growth numbers are impressive and the forecasts by international institutions are promising. It would be a long shot to designate Slovenia as the Alpine Tiger by analogy with Asian and Celtic counterparts, but it is not far from the truth. Therefore, it seems sensible to ask why Slovenians are so agitated, stressed and constantly quarrelling about politics when, in reality, the country is not doing too badly at all – on the contrary, it is doing extremely well. The unemployment rate continues to drop, foreign investments are on the rise, tourism has developed to the point where the myriad of visitors are starting to

get on people’s nerves, and company revenues are increasing dramatically. With all this, politics should be the last thing that the public is concerned about, people should be focusing on other, more entertaining and useful things. But that is not the case. Slovenians are willing to debate and fight for hours on end about political questions, partisans and home guards, Janša and Kučan, the Left and the Right, liberals and conservatives, patriotism and multiculturalism, and safety and human rights. Paradoxically, the passion for political debate is not reflected in electoral participation. The latter has been dropping since Slovenia gained independence in 1991. These parliamentary elections were only attended by a little more than half of all eligible voters (52 percent). Such a low turnout cannot be explained by suggesting that Slovenians are so satisfied that they do not think it is necessary to vote. Just the opposite – it is a sign of revolt and dissatisfaction with politics and the politicians who are, supposedly, all the same. I could write an extensive essay on the reasons for such perception, but that is not the purpose of this article and so I will leave it be. Certainly, the general decline in the reputation of politics and the consequent electoral boycotts have become such a serious problem that Slovenia will have to start actively resolving it. What kind of a government is Slovenia to expect after the June elections? Perhaps a better question would be whether the formation of a new government is even possible, seeing how all the parties belonging to the so-called Left Wing – whatever that means in Slovenia – have proclaimed that they are not willing to abandon their cause and cooperate with SDS and Janez Janša, the party’s controversial leader. The convincing victory of SDS can only be credited to Janša himself but, paradoxically, he also happens to be his own biggest obstacle in preventing him from taking the lead in the parliament for a third time. Janša is an experienced politician who will not let this opportunity – which might just be the last in his extensive political career – simply pass him by. Thus, it will be interesting to observe how he will go about tackling what has already been coined 'Mission Impossible'. But we must not forget that 'never say never' is not a saying in politics – just remember the 2017 German elections where Martin Schulz, the then-leader of the Social Democrats, claimed firmly that he would not form a government with Angela Merkel. But in Slovenia the alternatives are scarce. If the triumphant SDS fails to form a coalition, the six left-wing parties are the next in line, and should they also fail, the only remaining option is another round of preliminary elections. At the moment, nobody dares to make any predictions as to what they might bring, aside from an even lower turnout!

Politics Final results of general election 2018:

SDS won all electoral units, Ljubljana leans to the left The Democrats (SDS) won all eight electoral units on Sunday, 3 June 2018 and the vast majority of the 88 electoral districts. However, a closer look reveals a strong showing for the left in Ljubljana and for Marjan Šarec around his native Kamnik, with a few Social Democrat (SD) strongholds thrown in. Slovenian voters cast 2,473 valid general election ballots at diplomatic and consular offices abroad. The largest number of votes, 720, went to the election winner, SDS, while another right-leaning party, New Slovenia (NSi), came second with 438 votes, according to the National Electoral Commission. The left got 260 votes, followed by SD with 244 and the Modern Centre Party (SMC) with 192. The Marjan Šarec List, which came second in the election, got 134 votes. SDS, having won just under 25% of the national vote, was able to win in 75 districts. It achieved its best result in Grosuplje, the home town of its leader Janez Janša (39.3%). At the unit level, it recorded its best result in Ptuj (28.2%), but rose well above 20% in all eight units for a national result of just under 25%. The left won five districts, four in Ljubljana and one on the coast in Koper. It achieved its

best result in the district of Ljubljana Centre, 24%, which compares to its national average of just over 9%. Marjan Šarec, Mayor of Kamnik, was apparently a huge draw around his native city. He won five districts in the area, achieving the best result in Kamnik, 36.4%, almost triple his national average of 12.7%. Meanwhile, SD won the Piran district on the coast (15.7%) and the districts of Hrastnik and Laško in Central Slovenia, posting the best result overall in Laško (24.2%). After a meeting with Janez Janša, President Borut Pahor confirmed that as the President of SDS, which had won the general election, Janša would get the first chance to try to form a government. He urged dialogue and a politics of inclusion as opposed to exclusion.

Source: STA

President Borut Pahor (left) receives SDS leader, Janez Janša, for talks about the election winner’s chances of putting together a government; Photo: Daniel Novakovič /STA

Marjan Šarec, whose party finished as runner-up in the election with 12.6% of the vote, appears to be getting ready to start informal coalition talks with all of the parties bar the election winners, SDS. Poto: Nebojša Tejič/STA

MP seats

number of votes



































































ZL and Unity




































The final results of the 3 June general election in Slovenia. Nine parties made it to the parliament with a turnout of 52.64%. Source: National Electoral Commission

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times



What will you improve so that Slovenia becomes more attractive to foreign talent? Dr Miro Cerar

Slovenian Prime Minister and The Modern Centre Party (SMC) President

"Slovenia is a country in which it is nice to live. The level and availability of services that determine the safety and quality of life is high and incomparably better in our country than in many countries, which we sometimes look to or want to get close too. And many people who have a job opportunity or lead us to different ways agree on that. With regard to this, will people who can make a significant contribution to the development of our companies, the education system, art and society in general, even more often decide for Slovenia, however it is imperative to simplify bureaucratic procedures. It is also important that as a society we reduce our reservations, not just prejudices against foreigners who want to spend part of their lives with us and prove their knowledge and abilities here. In the long run, we will also be successful because we will be able to take advantage of the opportunities that connect us with others, with the world."

Janez Janša

President of Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS)

"In the last year, Slovenia lost thousands of young people who left our country in search of a better life, meaning we also lost a lot of intellectual potential that our society needs in order to become highly and technologically advanced. For Slovenian experts, researchers, innovators, as well as talent from abroad, we will create an environment where individuals will have the possibility of progressing and realising their life goals, their future, and where optimism and the joy of living will be seen everywhere. At the same time, when we will de-bureaucratise the country, reduce unnecessary administrative burdens that burden individuals at every step, introduce opportunities for flexible employment and reduce the tax burden on people, we will surely become an attractive destination for creating one’s life path and family."

Marjan Šarec

President of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ)

"The Slovenian economy is small and can only be globally successful if it is based on science, knowledge, creativity and innovation. Having said that, we need to foster high value-added sectors where talent, both local and foreign, is needed and which can offer many exciting opportunities for personal and professional development. Slovenia’s natural beauty and high quality of life are attractive by themselves, but this is not enough. To attract foreign talent, we need to create an open economy with simple and fast administrative procedures for foreign citizens, attractive and competitive personal income taxation, governmental and community support for their families with easy access to education, healthcare and other social services. They need to feel welcome and included, sharing the same rights as any other citizen. When we do what needs to be done, we need to increase institutional promotion to help our businesses bring these people on board. Many would have already come if the above-mentioned basics had been provided."


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Politics Matej Tonin

President of the New Slovenia Party (NSi)

It is necessary to lower taxes and encourage development Slovenia is less attractive for foreign investors and talented people, primarily because it has excessive taxation of labour, low wages and a disadvantageous business environment. These problems have been dragging on for many years and unfortunately the ruling politics has shown no interest in changing it. In NSi we say that the arrival of highly qualified and talented people in our country is possible only if we quickly solve the abovementioned problems. In NSi we have prepared a set of concrete solutions to improve the business environment that needs to be de-bureaucratised. Above all, it is necessary to lower taxes that are hampered by Slovenian companies and craftsmen and consequently, there is a lack of funds for development and search for talented employees. Our solutions also foresee an increase of general income tax relief, so that every worker in Slovenia would receive a higher net salary with the same gross wage.

Dejan Židan

President of Social Democrats (SD)

"Slovenia is already an attractive destination to live, work and do business in: a safe place, with top-class public childcare and education, affordable healthcare and good infrastructure; an open and integrated part of the EU. These are comparative advantages we should focus on and build upon. The specific proposals are to: • Strengthen, improve and extend our public services (health and elderly care, education, safety…) guided by the principles of solidarity, quality and accessibility for all; • Taxation reform focused on reducing the burden on worker compensation; • Simplify life, work and business in Slovenia by clarifying administrative procedures and reducing the number of regulations. Our program is based on confidence for Slovenia’s future: to be the best place to live, work and do business."

"The opinions expressed in this section 'In the Spotlight' are solely those of the contributors and are not necessarily supported by The Slovenia Times or its associates." Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


International Business Partners

TOPIC: How attractive is Slovenia for foreign talent?

American Chamber of Commerce – AmCham Slovenia In the modern world, the fight for talent has an increasingly competitive dimension which is why Slovenia and consequently Slovenia’s economy, can gain a lot by facilitating the arrival of key talent from abroad. By being more efficient and predictable than now, Slovenia could become more competitive as a country. Talented and competent workers represent for all companies and particularly for high-tech development companies, a competitive advantage, and the key to Slovenia’s development is high value-added jobs and investment in human capital. Therefore, at AmCham Slovenia, we strive for a more flexible labour market

where we will focus on flexible forms of work that coincide with development and new professions. We propose more efficient regulation and expediency in obtaining work permits and temporary residence permits for foreigners in Slovenia, the establishment of better condi-

tions, and the promotion of life quality for foreigners who want to come to study or work in Slovenia. In addition, improving and upgrading school programs and offering programs in English and other foreign languages would be helpful.

tries for attracting talent from abroad, especially highly-qualified and well-remunerated job positions. This is due to Slovenia’s high income tax policy, one of the least attractive in

Europe. Labour costs are still high in Slovenia, yet labour is not paid enough. To make Slovenia more attractive for foreign talent, a more attractive income tax system is essential.

British – Slovenian Chamber of Commerce – BSCC Labour costs are high in Slovenia, yet workers are not paid enough. Slovenia has healthy economic growth and a low unemployment rate, which is ideal for attracting foreign talent from abroad and convincing Slovenians that work abroad to return home. With its high quality of life, vibrant capital city and English being widely spoken, it is an attractive destination for people who are looking for a good life balance. Unfortunately, it remains one of the least attractive EU coun-


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2017

International Business Partners

The German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce and Industry – AHK Slowenien German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce is organizing educational trainings on the topic of Industry 4.0 for SMEs.

The German-Slovene Chamber of Commerce is a driver of the concept of Industry 4.0 and digitalisation in Slovenia. New knowledge, technologies and innovations are the foundations of development. Therefore, we are organising training for SMEs on how to start on the path towards Industry 4.0 and the further steps towards a Smart factory. Research and development, along with new technologies,

will discourage young Slovenians from going abroad and will mean added value for Slovenian companies. Slovenia has, according to an economic survey by our Chamber, the best suppliers and conditions for R&D in CEE countries, but lacks lower salary taxation and flexibility of labour law, both of which are a matter of politics. Nevertheless, we can see that Slovenia is attractive

because of it’s beauty, central location and the linguistic competence of its inhabitants. Most European states have faced a labour shortage in recent years, therefore we think that the companies will have to invest more in employer branding to reach and get the employees needed for faster and higher growth.

Advantage Austria

Slovenia, a neighbouring country of Austria, with EUR 3.2bn of Austrian investment, more than 700 subsidiaries and 20,000 employees, is one of the top ten important trade markets for Austria. Therefore, Austrian companies in Slovenia employ Austrians, mostly managers, technical engineers, researchers and branch specialists, to support the Slovenian workforce

with their knowledge and expertise. According to the Statistical Office of Slovenia, in 2017 about 78 Austrians commuted to their job in Slovenia daily and about 1,200 Austrians live permanently in Slovenia. On the other side, in 2016 more than a quarter (27 %) of emigrants with Slovenian citizenship left for Austria and about 12,000 Slovenian citizens com-

mute daily to Austria, most of them to Styria and Carinthia. About 80% of all commuters are men. It can therefore be determined that, generally, people commute to countries with a higher purchasing power than their country of origin.

Summer Edition 2017 | The Slovenian Times


International Business Partners

Luxembourg-Slovenian Business Club (LSBC) By Iztok Petek, Nataša Zajec LSBC actively includes young foreign talent; Photo: Nemanja Glumac

Slovenia and especially its capital Ljubljana, is getting more and more interesting for young foreign experts for their internship or their first job. They are attracted by beautiful nature, a vibrant city culture and easy reach to nearby big cities and travels around the EU. However, they tend to choose the country for short stays only. We are observing the opposite situation with experienced professionals, there is a lack of progressive companies who require their ex-

pertise or companies cannot afford to pay them accordingly. To put Slovenia on the map as a hub for foreign talent, there is an urgent need to create a business environment which will apply western liability standards. This will increase the inflow of capital and investment, enable domestic or foreign high-tech companies to offer appropriate conditions for skilled foreign workers and talent. We should not forget sci-

ence (where Slovenia already plays a significant role), we should explore possibilities that applied research of Slovenian scientists is implemented in our country or even attract top foreign talent to do their research in Slovenia. As long as we are only attractive for lowqualified and low-cost labour from even poorer EU or neighbouring countries, we are doing nothing more than just filling the gap in production automation.

advantages, from Italy’s viewpoint, is that Slovenia  offers proximity, safety, natural beauty and the quality of life. On the other hand, the strong progressivity of taxation on wages can act as a braking factor. Look at the overall average net salaries in Slovenia which are a quarter lower in comparison to the Italian average.

A labour market and laws in line with the current technological development challenges, including a job and self-employment friendly and flexible context, would help attract more foreign talent while, at the same time, prevent the flow of the highly-trained and intelligent local workforce from going abroad.

Italian Trade Agency (ICE)

In the last few years Slovenia has registered strong economic growth connected with an important employment increase. Recently, many employers, as well Italian companies in Slovenia, have registered a shortage of highly skilled personnel and are therefore forced to search for qualified people from abroad. Among the

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Global Pitch Q BTC Company is converting BTC City into a Bitcoin City – the first of its kind in the world to provide its visitors, consumers and business partners with an ecosystem that will develop and integrate advanced technologies based on state-of-the-art approaches (blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Machine Learning and the world of cryptocurrencies). Can you share the concept?

A Bitcoin City will enable all of its visitors to

Damjan Kralj, M.Sc., Member of the Management Board, Director of Sales and Marketing, BTC, d. d.

Interview: Damjan Kralj, M.Sc., Member of the Management Board, Director of Sales and Marketing, BTC, d. d.

From BTC City Ljubljana to the first Bitcoin City in the world By Tina Drolc, M.Sc., MBA

BTC City Ljubljana is one of the largest business, shopping, recreational, entertainment and cultural centres in Europe. Its nascent marketing strategy will determine its path to becoming an innovative and digital city of opportunity in an open society. With its harmonised area comprising varied programs, target groups, international business partners, 21 million visitors annually, the globally positioned ABC Accelerator, as well as structural, traffic and technological infrastructure, BTC City Ljubljana has been recognised as a stimuli-rich living lab environment for developing and testing all kinds of software and hardware solutions. The living lab R&D ecosystem currently consists of five living lab pillars: sustainable mobility, energy, information and communications technology, logistics, and retail. The common denominator of the five pillars is the very promising blockchain technology and blockchain community which BTC Company is building with strategic partnerships and close cooperation with start-ups. The retail pillar, in particular, has recently progressed through cooperation with a start-up that could boost the multi-channel retail landscape by implementing artificial intelligence and blockchain technology. 32

The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

pay for the services and products in the BTC City area with selected cryptocurrencies via the EliPay payment system. It will also provide them with state-of-the-art ATMs ensuring a bi-directional conversion of cryptocurrencies and euro, as well as a numerically strong blockchain and start-up community composed not only of companies within the area of BTC City, but also many visitors and enthusiasts who cocreate the future with their innovations. With the new payment system, EliPay, ATMs convert cryptocurrencies and fiat money (euro), as well as with its own blockchain and start-up community, BTC City is transforming into the first Bitcoin City in the world.

Q Bitcoin City enables its visitors to pay for the services and products with selected cryptocurrencies via the EliPay system. Explain the user experience?

A The aim is to develop solutions featuring the latest technological developments in order to make the shopping experience as fast, transparent, safe and user-friendly as possible. Paying with EliPay is easy and user friendly. In fact, you no longer need to carry cash or cards, just the item that has become our constant companion − the smartphone. When paying at the cash register, you select the EliPay payment option, open the EliPay mobile app, scan the QR code generated by the merchant and confirm the transaction.

Q How does payment with a cryptocurrency work when paying for services or products that have a low value (e. g. less than one bitcoin)? A This is a frequent question in the cashdominated world of shopping because we have an image of an enormous amount of change being returned and carrying it around in a jam-packed wallet. The advantage of crypto payments is just that – no more cash or physical change. The virtual currency sphere is quite used to decimals, especially in the case of bitcoin which has eight decimals altogether and is worth a substantial amount that one would hardly spend in one’s daily purchases, except for highly valuable items. All of the calcula-

Global Pitch tions and currency exchanges are done automatically, so there is no risk of a decimal being omitted and suchlike. But yes, be prepared to see a lot of decimals on your receipt because it will state the amount in both the selected cryptocurrency and euros.

BTC City Ljubljana has been recognised as a stimuli-rich living lab environment for developing and testing all kinds of software and hardware solutions.

Q These kinds of projects carry an important message for the crypto industry. The EliPay app is to be launched in Slovenia by the end of 2018. How do you see the future of the app, what are your thoughts on its global potential?

11km of roads, 14 roundabouts and 8,500 parking spaces. It boasts 21 million visitors per year and as many as 40,000 vehicles per day. Not to mention charging stations for electric vehicles, a gas station, bus stops, cycling paths, the rent-a-bike system - BicikeLJ, as well as a parking garage and over 450 shops. The entire ecosystem creates unprecedented potential for never-ending "what-if" scenarios, the crucial component in the autonomous vehicle learning process. What is of paramount importance is the fact that we have received extremely positive feedback from the automotive and related industries so far. Additionally, great success was achieved at our remarkable event at the end of April, which was organised by the BTC Company and the AV Living Lab in BTC City Ljubljana as a part of the TEN-T Days 2018. We received significant interest from exhibitors as well as from the general public who were able to get in touch with nascent autonomous vehicle technology. And not to forget, a ride with the autonomous shuttle, Navya, was demonstrated to the public for the first time in Slovenia. I must say, it was an interesting experience driving through BTC City without a driver! Additionally, as a part of our living lab initiatives, we are also pursuing other interesting initiatives which could change the way we move, live, work and connect to each other. For example, in our logistics business unit partnership, a pilot project with OriginTrail, a blockchain company, will enable its partners real-time inventory tracking with the use of blockchain

A Over the last decade, the crypto industry has given rise to novelties, currencies and communities with amazing inventions, but has mostly been active at online exchanges. Now it is time to go beyond the 'online borders' and share these creations with the rest of the world because everyone can benefit, especially from the safety and transparency of blockchain technology, which is the technology on which cryptocurrencies are based. It is safe to say that blockchain is expected to become one of the major mainstream technologies of the future. Our plan is to test EliPay at BTC City for three months and then expand its presence.

Q What makes BTC City an ideal testing lab for showcasing the usability of EliPay in the offline world?

A BTC City provides an ideal shopping microcosm for launching the EliPay solution at the global level for two reasons. Firstly, it consists of approximately 450 stores of various kinds with more and more of them being interested in cryptocurrencies via the payment system. Secondly, Slovenia has a very strong crypto community. When looking for volunteers to test EliPay for the next three months, we were met with a pleasant response. There are also other interesting solutions, products and apps that are being tested or will be tested in BTC City Living Lab with our strategic partners and start-ups.

technology. We are also gaining new insights in the field of efficient energy consumption with our partners ELES from Slovenia and NEDO, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization from Japan. Managing BTC City Ljubljana as a true smart city is enabled through the user testing of the Smart City platform, provided by the SmartIS company. In order to improve people’s quality of life in large metropoles, best practices could then be shared with city municipalities around the globe. BTC Company has put significant emphasis on creating the so-called blockchain community at BTC City Ljubljana which could not only benefit the parties involved, but due to the very promising potential of blockchain technology then sooner or later also society as a whole. In order to walk our talk, BTC Company signed a letter of intent at the beginning of May, with many other partners, on the establishment of the European Blockchain Hub, where BTC joined as a founding member. And one more thing – did you know that Slovenia is among the leaders in the implementation of fifth generation mobile technologies and that on 1 June, the Agency for Communication Networks and Services of the Republic of Slovenia (AKOS) awarded BTC Company the use of frequencies for testing 5G network technology and the implementation of R&D projects in the area of the BTC City Ljubljana? I am sure these cases give you a better impression of how the BTC City of tomorrow will look and the experience it will provide to its visitors.

Q Are there any other digital initiatives that are currently incubating at BTC City Ljubljana? For example, we have read a lot in both the national and international media recently about BTC City Ljubljana transforming itself into a R&D ecosystem for the autonomous vehicles industry. Sounds impressive, yet unimaginable. Can you share some more information with us?

A It does sound impressive, yet quite imaginable and realistic. We are already taking some concrete steps in this direction based on BTC City’s diverse, dynamic and harmonised infrastructure. The area spans 475,000m2, has Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


INVESTMENT Opportunity

More information about investment opportunities is available at

Development Project "DELAMARIS RESORT" A prime touristic development project located next to the ancient fishing and trading port of Izola. The town has a wealth of art galleries, crafts shops, cafes and gourmet restaurants. This largely undiscovered tourist destination on the Istrian coast is the perfect new Slovenian vacation resort. Land: Development: Type of use: • Hotel • Spa • Congress • 7 Villas • 80 Apartments GFA: Usage factor: Floors: Parking:

37,355 m2 Brownfield 4* superior city resort 16,700 m² 8,600 m² 1,750 m² 1,750 m² 6,400 m² 47,450 m2 0.75 B + GF + 2 upper floors Garage for 300 vehicles

The Letter of Intent from Municipality of Izola to support presented development project was obtained. The subject of the offer is a building plot in the eastern part of Izola. The land adjacent to the shipyard is currently used for manufacturing purposes, being occupied primarily by abandoned food production facilities awaiting demolition. The old fish processing and magazine buildings are subject to cultural heritage protection, as is St. Pietro’s Church in the centre of the plot, where a large square filled with greenery is planned. The revitalization project foresees a modern 4-star SPA resort with 270 rooms accompanied by private villas and an apartment complex. The fish magazine building would be transformed into a distinguished meeting and event venue. The production facilities will be repurposed as a fusion of an unique fish restaurant and a fishery museum.


Izola is an old fishing town and a municipality in South-Western Slovenia on the Adriatic coast. It has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters, hot summers and average 300 sunny days yearly. The Mediterranean pace can be felt at every step on the clustered medieval streets, with the view of the rocking boats, with a relaxing chat with the locals, and with the aroma of seafood dishes served with good wine. The lively town lies in the vicinity of five international airports (Portorož, Ronchi-Trst, Ljubljana, Venice and Rijeka). It has an excellent connection with other Mediterranean cities in particular with Venice. Region generates 2.4 million overnight stays in value over EUR 470 million yearly. The property lies along the coast of the Adriatic Sea close to downtown, a park at the lighthouse and the city marina. The immediate surroundings are characterized by commercial and residential buildings. The land is accessible along the south and west sides. The plot will be easily reached from the H6 highway connection to the regional capital city of Koper, and Trieste in Italy.


HETA Asset Resolution d.o.o. Dunajska cesta 167 · SI-1000 Ljubljana For more information please visit our web page or contact us by email:

Leadership Corner The world "has gone nuts" some critics say and the reign of confidence, implying behaviour that goes beyond a rational approach of decision making, indicates why in today’s agendas we lose or obtain so much. To achieve success is no longer such a big fuss; you have to be internet addict, fast in typing, overwhelming in appetite, rigid in emotion, lazy in spirit and eager to learn new marketing tricks and voila, tomorrow you can be a bestselling success story, a new cyber millionaire?! Young, pretty and rich. With or without content and depth.

Passion for life: why stories win

Professor Lucija Mulej Mlakar, Director, Budnjani d.o.o.

Reign of depth and content – toward holacracy By Professor Lucija Mulej Mlakar, Personality Manager, Business Anthropologist, Budnjani 4Q Coach, Author

Summer time is probably the most appreciated time of the year; or it should be! When professional stress is minimised, when the rational mind is still, when emotions and colours subside, the time for new ideas is ripe and ready. Our minds go into overdrive in this era of advanced capitalism, IT success stories and multiple blockchain gains played by young winners under 30. I Ching says "in the time of plenty there is no need for depth". Does that also apply to content, with inner richness and personal integrity, deluded by capital gains consequently formed via usage of humans as a means to an end?


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Nowadays, 'passion' is just a word with new references. If we dedicate our life to achievements we learn so much, especially when we have an open eye, warm heart and cool mind. Being an entrepreneur is probably the most challenging role we can choose; not just do we need to be confident, sometimes cocky, as well as rational, pragmatic and holistic, we ought to be psychic and predicting the future. Since business is all about this moment and its influence on the future, just ordinary knowledge won’t do. Passion for life is probably the motto of those who achieved admirable success, not just in numbers but also in impact. Life is all about what is not systemised or is just a little bit. It is more about joy, colours, meaning, happiness and willingness to feel good, to create and enjoy the fruits of endeavour. About random, not ruled. But, real business is so many times far from life! It is still generally considered unprofessional for economists to base their analysis on intuition, hope and ethics, i.e. 'stories'. We are supposed to stick to the facts, merely the facts based on optimisation of economic variables but we know the economy is much more than numbers. It is more about passion, stories and content. And what do stories really tell? They are inscriptions of subconscious values, expectations and desires, notions that drive the economy that we can see, investigate and measure. Are we ready to observe the invisible but totally touchable? Are we ready to touch humane singularity? To see things as anthropologists do, unconventionally? We have to be ready even if we are not. To be successful in today’s economy we have to understand how the human mind functions. We no longer have just rational, there is also the emotional and cyber economy, where stories play a crucial role. Full of adventures, passion and yes, probably picturesque facts, ballooned solutions and fairytale details, stories masterly intertwined with the core ideas they create. The Human being - and individual - is a creator of stories, especially in the "developed IT world", where objectivity is no longer as objective as it was and stories are

Leadership Corner crucial mechanisms of today’s trade. Are we able to predict, see, smell and co-create future stories? We live in an era of virtual, spontaneous, hybrid, cyber, cyborg, spatial and optional – where we create more than we can imagine and manage. This is the reason why we have to constantly evolve, which is also the reason why we need to be ready! In selling our knowledge we need to sell problems along with solutions, woven into the idea of the immediate future that we can imagine and manage. Management is the key and comprehending crypto language, subconscious codes of human behaviour and our influence on both, is crucial for tomorrow’s opportunities and the future wellbeing of us all.

Passion for business: why do we burnout? Workaholics, visionaries, bravehearts and all great minds of passion do stumble and sometimes fall. What leaders and managers today are most afraid of is the increasing complexity as demonstrated above. This suggests that the more complex the environment, the more complex the management has to be. In pursuing the goal of collective happiness and satisfaction, managers and leaders have too great a burden and go down the long road of total exhaustion! Leaders should, alongside business goals and corporate strategy, address the collective imagination of their people and create a collective identity bringing together four dimensions: body (healthy living), mind (smart decisions), heart (relationships) and spirit (contribution to the benefit of all) (Buytendijk, 2009: 55). Or, as we explain in Budnjani 4Q, we need to connect the rational mind (IQ), the emotional (EQ), spirit (SQ) and body (PQ). Stress erupts in our minds, hearts, and memories and at the subconscious level we cannot redirect the oppressed redundant energies that are a part of our collective behaviours, which is reason why we need paradigm shifts in the explanatory and solution phases. From job descriptions to managing roles we are playing; from visible to invisible subtle forms of authority that are distributed amongst teams and no longer allocated in the delegated vision of minority authority. Since social and economic realities are too complex to comprehend, we have to create models on what is optimal behaviour in given circumstances. We know that confidence is not just the emotional state of an individual, but a social state of co-reflection of other people’s perceptions of other people’s confidence. A holistic vision where we interconnect and

evolve minimises collective stress and the loss of confidence that leads to stress and burnout syndromes. Now, with no passion, there is no gain, with no content there are no stories, just empty and shallow PR trying to create something of what died long ago. We have to take care of ourselves, take care of our businesses in our permanent quest for meaning, integrity and depth, leading to greatness of content and to sustain the impact for a new era - the future. We simply cannot just relax as thinkers, mind and emotional workers which is what managers, entrepreneurs and leaders really are. We have to be addressed with hard core arguments to be able to open up to the subtle and spontaneous - this article attempts to address both.

Multicapitality or Budnjani 4Q connecting intelligences The understanding of management has changed gradually: how we hire, promote and identify leaders, and allocate resources are the future challenges we must answer. Since we are in an economic shift from control towards creativity, skills and competencies vary. Not just consistency is needed; divergent creative process and thriving to achieve holacracy1 is what is crucial for "predicting" the future. According to this, we propose introducing into the theory of management the concept of 'multicapitality' or connecting intelligences. This implies merging the various types of capital and not only financial gains. Financial capital has to be connected with spiritual, emotional and social in order to persevere and increase in value. We must realise that macro subsystems develop and change but that the pace of transition is nonlinear or even singular; it can be random or most likely spontaneous. Today it is technology that changes most rapidly, while social values lag behind. This gap creates socioeconomic divides that cause systemic problems and this is the crucial element of up-to-date factor analysis in management excellence for the 21st century and most of all, the reason why most appreciated companies hire sociologists and anthropologists and other people with a lot of expertise in human behaviour. 'Contemporary societies most of all need social leaders – people who can recognise the developing cultural and social needs and trends, and who are able to mobilise resources and social forces to create a better future' (Adizes in Schein 2011: 15). Some data suggests that even the most successful company managers only manage to mobilise 40 percent of their employees’ potential. What a social manager

needs is not just creativity, determination and the courage to take risks, as in the past. On the contrary, a manager needs values and the capacity to know right and wrong. Lessons from history demonstrate that financial systems are most vulnerable when they are not supported by all of the other social systems. This is the essence of multicapitality: bringing together financial, social, emotional and spiritual capital. What is more, the concept suggests gradation of capital, it presupposes that financial capital without the social and spiritual to back it up is essentially unstable or to put it differently, the underpinning of business success is not financial capital per se but rather it’s merging with social and spiritual capital. When passion for growth, content and depth are united, a new era of business approaches. We are in transition from an economy of products to an economy of insight, meaning and experience. As Gary Hamel says "I think we need an ideological revolution in business. The ideology for the last 100 years has been 'controlism', and the tangible form of that ideology was bureaucracy. As we move from the industrial economy through the service economy to the knowledge economy, and now the creative economy, the relative value of control as a source of competitive advantage is going down." As Perry Timms says, we need to reimagine careers and reinvent work – and Budnjani 4Q addresses both. We are shifting from the ideology of control to HE anthropology, business anthropology and eventually a collaborative economy.

When passion for growth, content and depth are united, a new era of business approaches. We are in transition from an economy of products to an economy of insight, meaning and experience.

References: Akerlof, A.G., Shiller, J.B. (2009): Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology drives the Economy. And why it matters for Global Capitalism, Princeton University Press. Buytendijk, F. (2009) Performance leadership: The next practices to motivate your people, align stakeholders, and lead your industry. New York: McGraw Hill.

1 Holacracy is a method of decentralized management and organizational governance, in which authority and decision-making are distributed throughout a holarchy of self-organizing teams rather than being vested in a management hierarchy. Holacracy has been adopted by for-profit and non-profit organizations in several countries.

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Leadership Corner

People don’t want to change. By Saša Fajmut, M.Sc.

Negative feedback hurts. Failure demotivates. Rejection stings. When we experience all this, the world is probably trying to tell us something. Most likely, we need to start doing things differently if we want a better outcome. Very few people are actually satisfied with the way they live their life, as the majority feels they are just not where they would like to be. But they don’t do anything about it. Strange, isn’t it? Why is this so? At first glance, change does not seem like it should be that difficult. If there is something that you do not like about yourself, just change it. But this is a very rational approach, while change is always an emotional process. We all know that smoking and eating unhealthy food is bad for us, but we still do it. Low success rates on everything from New Year’s resolutions, stopping smoking, losing weight, starting exercise and having better relationships, confirm that changing ourselves is a massive emotional iceberg. Even if on the surface we decide to turn the page and take a different, new path, our "underwater currents" keep taking us back to the old patterns. The reality is that profound change can be slow, frustrating and painful, filled with struggles, setbacks and disappointment. Whether you want a more positive view of yourself, have a better job, build fulfilling relationships, achieve your professional  goals or simply live a happier life, deliberate and conscious change is the most difficult, yet rewarding, thing you will ever do.

A common, yet very dangerous thought is that when we feel unsatisfied, we start to blame others. We try changing our partner, fixing our children, correcting our employees. We want other people to change. We feel like their behaviour is the root cause of our unhappiness. But people don’t want to change. Nobody likes to change. We don’t want to be changed. We don’t want to be convinced that we need to change. The trick is when you want others to change, you might actually need to change yourself. To put it differently, when we start to blame people around us for


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

our own problems, the problem might be in ourselves. When we start seeing ourselves as victims, when we inflate others faults and our own virtues, we are "in the box", we cannot see, think or feel clearly as our view of reality becomes distorted. We are self-deceiving because this is easier than to find reasons for our problems within ourselves and to fix them. The truth is, we can only change if we cease resisting what is outside "our box" - others. When we cease resisting others as well as stop reinforcing our own views, we are "out of the box" - liberated from self-justifying thoughts and feelings. The question is can we even change other people? How can we do that? What truly changes people is how we interact with them. We all have our patterns of behaviour. If we consistently invite positive repertoires by behaving well to someone, they might change their usual responses for the better. Again, it all boils down to you. The only thing you can change is how you interact with other people. We should spend more time and effort helping things go right than dealing with things that are going wrong. Unfortunately, these allocations of time and effort are typically reversed. We spend most of our time with others dealing with things that are going wrong. By sending out this message, we are again "in the box" and the vicious circle is complete. If you are loving, caring and warm to someone, eventually even the coldest person will melt. The same is true for organisations and their employees. We know that changes around us are inevitable, however personal growth of employees is a matter of their choice. Therefore, we cannot force people to change, to develop. The main question on this important, yet very personal topic for any organisation is - why invest in people who don’t want to change, who are happy with who they are and where they are? Yet organisations, managers, human resource departments create development plans for them, which is a paradox in itself! There are no right ways to develop the wrong people! If someone wants to change, they will find a way "out of the box", break their self-deception, gather the energy and go the extra mile. When people realise that "the way they have always done things" does not serve them anymore, they are ready for change. No excuses, just action.

Saša Fajmut, M.Sc., Director Leadership Services at Amrop, is responsible for leadership assessments and development. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology and an Executive MBA. Sources: • Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box (2010). The Arbinger Institute. Oakland, Berret-Koehler Publishers, Inc. • Mintzberg, H. (2005). Managers, not MBAs. A Hard Look at the Soft Practice of Managing and Management Development. San Francico, Berret-Koehler Publishers, Inc. • Sherman, J. E. (2016). Is »You can’t change people« true? Psychology today: https://www. is-you-can-t-change-people-true • Fisher, J. (2012). The Process of Transition. Available at: _data/assets/pdf_ file/0006/949533/fisher-transition-curve-2012.pdf

Education Perspective

Ranko Jelača

Member of the Management Board, CCO, CMO Telekom Slovenije d. d.

Never before have personality traits been so crucial - openness to change, departure from comfort zones, cooperation with others and changes and upgrading of strategic guidelines. Interdisciplinary skills are the key to understanding different areas such as marketing, controlling and technology, as well as sociological and behavioural patterns. Business schools have a demanding task since a lot of disruption begins with people who leave studies and who do not have a traditional career curve. The ability to adapt schools to these changes and to integrate change agents into the knowledge transfer process will be crucial.

Dr Alenka Braček Lalić

Vesna Vodopivec

General Manager of HR Management and Organisation Development, NLB

Digitalisation leads the change in organisational structures, launching project work and demanding a more flexible workforce as well as change management and leadership. Established companies struggle to become more agile and they must choose between high and necessary speed and flexibility on the one hand, and the stability inherent in fixed organisational structures and processes on the other. Agile organisations are, in fact, stable and they create more dynamic elements, such as project work and agile methodology in order to be more efficient and flexible, to be able to innovate faster with a shorter time to market, and to guarantee employees more freedom and responsibility.

Aleksander Zalaznik

President of the Managers’ Association and Senior Vice President, Danfoss Commercial Controls

The results of the survey reaffirmed that stability and linearity in the work of managers are gone. Therefore, they must acquire new knowledge on a daily basis and develop the key competencies required by business model disruptions, demographic trends, lack of key personnel, diversity of generations and global corporate transparency. Due to the complexity and speed of change, business education and the economy must be intertwined on a daily basis. If we used to talk about laboratories in science, today it is also crucial for the business environment to have ‘laboratories’ where managers can master key competencies in real time based on theory and practice.

Making Management Education Relevant for the 21st Century The book, Business and Society Making Management Education Relevant for the 21st Century, is the result of research coordinated by IEDC-Bled School of Management and the CEEMAN-International Association for Management Development in Dynamic Societies in 11 countries: Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa and Ukraine. The aim of the study was to understand the missing link between management education and the corporate world in order to develop recommendations to help strengthen the partnerships between management educational institutions and businesses. In interviews with more than 200 CEOs and Human Resource Managers we recognised that the negative demographic trends which impact the recruitment and retention of the best people, the implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution, new competitors in the market and the change in customer needs, are currently the most significant challenges faced by the business sector in the CEE region. These challenges require new leadership styles, reinvented business models and organisational cultures, and employees with cognitive flexibility who are eager to continuously develop and ‘unlearn’ in order to relearn. Management education has a crucial role in addressing these challenges. Therefore, the main objective of the book is to encourage management educational institutions to start monitoring the needs of their respective stakeholders and to be responsive to those needs by providing relevant management education and research. Following this approach, engagement with the wider world, that is with industry, government and society will be achieved.

Dr Alenka Braček Lalić

Vice Dean for Research and Co-Director of EMBA, IEDC-Bled School of Management, Postgraduate studies Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Education Perspective Interview: Aleš Popovič, PhD, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana (FELU)

Interpreting the data becomes the advantage By Tina Drolc, M.Sc., MBA

Aleš Popovič, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Information Management and Vice Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies at the Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana. He explains how companies such as Walmart, Amazon and Under Armour, exploit predictive analysis to optimise their business processes, and how with European privacy law, GDPR, he sees opportunities to improve security and privacy, offer tangible rights to data subjects and generally offer better services. Q Companies from all industries are realising that their customers leave a lot of useful data from both online and in-store interactions. The use of predictive analysis is one way in which companies can make the most of available data to optimise business processes and achieve higher efficiency levels. How have companies achieved this?

A The essence of predictive analytics is insight as opposed to hindsight. It is not so much about the data, but about the meaning and signals that can be inferred from the depths of such data. The evolution of widely available and accessible analytics platforms has provided access to sophisticated statistical models for companies of all sizes to improve their everyday business. For example, Walmart, a renowned retailer, relies on analytics to link the online and offline worlds to compete with Amazon. The company takes data instantaneously from its pointof-sale systems and incorporates it within its forecasts to assess which products are likely to sell out and which have underperformed. Combined with customer online behaviour patterns, this provides a huge amount of data to help Walmart prepare for a rise or fall in product demand. These forecasts also allow Walmart to personalise its online presence, showcasing products to specific customers based on the predicted likelihood of making a purchase.


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

The next example relates to the travel industry. It is notoriously competitive, with volatile peaks and troughs in demand and many lowmargin routes. This can leave travellers in the dark, unsure of the best time to book. This makes it a field ripe for the power of predictive analytics, a fact that has seen the travel information provider, Hopper, grow dramatically. It stays one step ahead by predicting future pricing patterns and alerting travellers of the cheapest times to buy flights to their preferred destinations. It does this by watching billions of prices every day and, based on historical data for each route, anticipating how the trend will develop. An interesting example is also that of Under Armour, a company that produces physical fitness products, but also apps and wearable devices to tie the offline and digital worlds together. Analytics is used by Under Armour to perform tasks such as sentiment analysis and social listening to understand what customers think of the brand, and where the gaps in the market are. This has led the company to focus on becoming a digital fitness brand, an initiative that has seen it carve a new niche in a saturated market. Knowing where to spend a firm’s advertising budget is essential, but so is knowing where not to spend it. Predictive analytics allows companies like Under Armour to hone in on the areas that will deliver the greatest returns and reinvest budget that would otherwise have been spent inefficiently.

Q How does European privacy law, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that restricts how personal data is collected and handled, affect consumer privacy from the Internet of Things (IoT)? A Consumers have long questioned just what internet giants, such as Google and Facebook, know about them and who else can access their data. But these companies have little incentive to give straight answers. GDPR focuses on ensuring that consumers or more broadly, data subjects, know, understand and consent to the data collected on them. With the IoT, personal data is collected in a continuous manner at times, posing a risk to the security of the respective data and therefore to the privacy of the data subject. The first problem arises due to the difficulties in ensuring IoT security. Both industry and academic researchers are still searching for the most efficient methods in this area. Since GDPR places great emphasis on security and privacy, with significant fines in the case of a data breach, especially if the breach takes place as a result of poor security, we can see the first conflict between regulation and the IoT. At the same time, GDPR does not require specific methods to be used for security. Each organisation is given the possibility to choose their method in accordance to the systems they use, their financial possibilities and the risk level. Another issue is making sure the consent to process data is obtained in compliance with GDPR. Asking the data subject for consent before they start using each device could be an option – but can we really consider all the situations where data will be collected? The issue is still under debate, with no clear answers provided. Another sensitive issue under GDPR is processing the personal data of children. Those under the age of 13 should not be able to express consent on their own for processing in relation to online services. Many IoT devices are used by children. Another challenge that rises with the IoT is knowing where the data is at all times. This means location, as well as who has the right to access it, how the data is used and to whom it is disclosed. According to GDPR, a data subject has the right to be informed of this and more, at any given time. With the IoT, with the use of so many devices by each data subject, the risk of losing track of the data is not negligible.

It is not so much about the data, but about the meaning and signals that can be inferred from the depths of such data.

Education Perspective Without adequate data quality, data is practically useless and sometimes even dangerous. The key is to look at GDPR as an opportunity and not as an impediment. An opportunity to improve security and privacy. To offer tangible rights to the data subjects, and to offer better services overall.

Q The purpose of Business Intelligence is to support better business decision making. What are the Business Intelligence (BI) trends, since the systems are data-driven Decision Support Systems (DSS)?

A Data quality/master data management, data discovery/visualisation and self-service BI are the three topics practitioners have identified as the most important trends in their work. The importance of data quality and master data management is very clear: decision-makers can only make the right data-driven decisions if the data they use is correct. Without adequate data quality, data is practically useless and sometimes even dangerous. Data discovery is a business, user-oriented process for detecting patterns and outliers by visually navigating data or applying guided advanced analytics. It requires skills in understanding data relationships and data modelling, as well as in using data analysis and guided advanced analytics functions to reveal insights. Interactive and new visualisation types enable decision-makers to see, within an instant, major trends, as well as spot outliers. Visualisations make use of brain pattern recognition capabilities to digest information at a glance or even pre-attentively. Visual analysis is an important feature that is increasingly being sought by enterprises seeking more efficient ways for decision-makers to absorb and act on data. Self-service BI tasks are those that business users carry out themselves instead of passing them on to IT for fulfilment. The aim is to give the users of BI tools more freedom and responsibility at the same time. At its heart lies the notion of user independence and self-sufficiency when it comes to the use of corporate information, which leads to the decentralisation of BI in an organisation.

on decentralised, encrypted and non-editable ledgers, embracing the full potential of the technology in order to streamline and secure their data storage. In banking and other industries, the main drive for adoption of blockchain technologies has been security. Across healthcare, retail and public administration, establishments have started experimenting with blockchain to handle data to prevent hacking and data leaks. In healthcare, a technology such as blockchain can make sure that multiple "signatures" are sought at every level of data access. Also, blockchain will give companies greater confidence in the integrity of the data they see. Immutable entries, consensus-driven timestamping, audit trails and certainty about the origin of data are all areas where we will see improvement as blockchain technology becomes more mainstream. Longer term, we will very likely see a move from proprietary data silos to blockchainenabled shared data layers. In the first era of BI, power resided with those who owned the data. In the blockchain era, power will reside with those who can access the most data and who can gain the most insights most rapidly. When data moves out of proprietary systems onto open blockchains, having the data itself is no longer a competitive advantage. Interpreting the data becomes the advantage.

Q What is the correlation between blockchain and Business Intelligence?

A Blockchain can offer several implications for the BI milieu. Within the context of data and BI storage, blockchain can be used to drastically improve security and decrease dependency on central entities. By introducing blockchain, companies can benefit from reliable databases Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Education Perspective Interview: Dr Aleksander Zadel, PhD, Director of the Institute for Personal Development Corpus, Anima, Ratio

Everyone can progress with the right, high-quality training In May, a new eCoaching platform, Potendo, was introduced in Slovenia. It enables the development of competencies based on the user’s personal potential, helping them to reach their personal and professional goals. The person behind the platform is Dr Aleksander Zadel who holds a PhD in psychology and works as the Director of the Institute for Personal Development Corpus, Anima, Ratio. He was also a co-founder of Competo, a Human Resource company. Both domestic and foreign companies hire him to help them with projects such as developing management techniques, personnel policy and the development of the personal and managerial potential of employees. By Tonja Blatnik, TST Digital Editor / Communication Hub Host Q What competencies and skills will be needed for success in the future, both professional and personal? Are they changing?

A The world, the environment and the challenges are changing constantly, faster than ever. It is becoming more and more of a challenge to keep up with the necessary changes. Seeking internal peace, focus and meaning, are the key challenges and are now the foundations of personal success and will continue to be so in the future. Luckily, the needs of the environment are diverse enough that there is the space for all of the possible inner potential of people. The good news is that we will always need introverted people who will do their jobs in peace, and also extroverts who will establish and maintain various contacts, networks and create opportunities. In terms of professional success, the key competencies will be the ability to collaborate and communicate, high emotional intelligence, the ability to solve challenges and creativity. Q Economic growth is highly dependent on the quality and quantity of labour, however Slovenian companies increasingly struggle from a labour shortage. What is the environment in Slovenia, and in Slovenian companies, for foreign workers, managers and leaders? A The Slovenian environment can offer employees a distinct quality of life. It is one


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

of the greatest competitive advantages of our environment. I generalise when I say this, not forgetting all of those who struggle to make ends meet for themselves and their families through fair work, who do not experience the quality of life in the same way. With an increasing sense of entrepreneurship, international networking and economic development, we are becoming an environment in which foreigners and guests will feel increasingly more welcome.

Q Recently you launched a new eCoaching platform, Potendo. How does it work? A Potendo enables employees to develop competence based on their personal potential, to help them reach their personal and professional goals. We developed a solution, sought after by entrepreneurs, managers, HR experts and employees. Everyone wanted a tool with which they and their employees could develop skills for effective work, collaboration and solving everyday challenges. Potendo is a behaviour training platform; the user is guided through tasks, questionnaires, tests and exercises, to try new behaviour in real life with confidence.

Q Why do you believe eCoaching is needed? A It is my passion and the passion of my colleagues to enable people to live a high -quality life. Everyone would like to be successful. No one looks forward to work that

they know they won’t succeed in, work that they know they will be criticised for. We therefore developed a tool that enables employees to train the general competencies with which they will communicate more easily and be better leaders, for themselves and for others. Regardless of the quality of potential and the quality of current behaviour, everyone can progress with the right, high-quality training.

Q I have come across your quote: “Honesty is not to tell people what you think of them, but to tell what is going on in yourself.” Can you explain that thought, please?

A I often hear people say that they are honest, that they always tell everyone what they really think. I like to ask them, ‘do you have any friends left?’. We satisfy some of our most important needs with interpersonal relationships. If we do not have good relations with other people, we cannot effectively satisfy our needs which is why it is important that we are not rude to others or lecture them. It is much nicer if we simply tell them how we feel because of what happened, instead of telling them what it is they are doing wrong and how they should act so that it would be right for us. We can be honest when we are loving and we give positive feedback. In all other cases, it is better to talk about ourselves and our feelings.

Education Perspective Anastasiya Paruntseva

Business Development Director, CULINARYON, Russia

"The Young Managers Program at IEDC-Bled School of Management helped me rethink my own experience so far. The Strategy and Team Management course served as an inspiration for me, and consequently helped me successfully implement one of the largest and most complicated projects in my work. We have launched a new CRM system for the International Network of Culinary Studios, CULINARYON, at our Russian offices. Moreover, we are installing the system also at our European and South East Asian locations. In fact, I’m very thankful for the motivation and confidence that I got from YMP."

Nino Chedia

Deputy General Director, JSC Hualing Insurance, Georgia "Attending a DEMP Program at IEDC- Bled School of Management was the beginning of new era in my life. The school and professors created my approach towards management, self-development and leadership. The program is very competitive and intense, it gives you vision, teaches you how to survive in a very competitive environment and is absolutely a world class experience. It taught me the importance of ethics. Understanding what a diverse team is. And, of course, helped me make new friends and create new relationships."



Young Managers Program


Discover Entrepreneurial Management Program

The YMP program is designed for those who have recently assumed managerial responsibilities.

The DEMP program is developed for recent university graduates and requires no previous management background.

YMP Group I: June 26 - July 6, 2018 YMP Group II: July 1 – 11, 2018

July 5 - July 13, 2018

Education Perspective Professor Igor Papič, Rector of the University of Ljubljana, Professor Zlatko Šabič, Director-General of the EARL, Mirjam Kotar, Chief Coordinator of the EARL and Head of the Central Social Sciences Library, and Professor Anuška Ferligoj, Ambassador of Science of the Republic of Slovenia address the attendees of the EARL Inauguration Day. Photo: Urban Resnik

East Asian Resource Library for knowledge without borders By Silvija Fister

The East Asian Resource Library (EARL) officially opened its doors on 10 May, with an inauguration ceremony held in its main reading room at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Serving as a central repository for printed and digital collections of books, data, journals, primary documents and articles, EARL’s main ambition is to facilitate and strengthen understanding and connections with the East-Asian region among scholars, students and interested parties alike. The idea of EARL stems from a collaboration between two faculties of the University of Ljubljana: the Faculty of Social Sciences and the Faculty of Arts, specifically the Department of Asian Studies. The project had been in the works for at least two years, since the signing of an agreement by the two collaborators. As professed in the video introduction at the event, the library has already proven to be a valuable asset for students of humanities and social sciences. In addition to providing access to resources, it serves as an information point, hosts open lectures, roundtables and panels on the subjects of relevance and interest to the East-Asian and European academic and general public. The library’s main objectives are to build interdisciplinary, intercultural and international knowledge through the EARL Research Unit by publishing papers and to further facilitate and sustain a worldwide academic network


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

of collaborating institutions. Currently, EARL consists of four "corners" that represent its main partners, contributors and supporters: the China Corner Reading Beijing, the Taiwan Resource Centre for Chinese Studies, the Korea Corner and the Japan Corner.

EARL consists of four "corners" that represent its main partners, contributors and supporters: the China Corner Reading Beijing, the Taiwan Resource Centre for Chinese Studies, the Korea Corner and the Japan Corner.

In his welcome address, Professor Zlatko Šabič, Director-General of EARL, expressed his hope that the vision of EARL will have local, regional and worldwide reach, and make a positive contribution to the solving of common global problems. EARL is to be a confirmation of the assertion "knowledge knows no borders". This vision was also echoed in the inauguration speech of Professor Anuška Ferligoj, Slovenia’s Ambassador of Science, who shared experiences from her successful international academic career. According to her, science is a global activity and EARL is about science, knowledge, research, teaching and networking. Its potential and capacity are such that it can become an important regional hub for studying social sciences and humanities. What’s more, successful research development requires a diversity of ideas: Using a range of diverse ideas is likely to lead to the development of unexpected and very successful results. According to my experience, researchers from East Asia have very different research approaches than European, and collaboration between them can develop into very interesting and new research outcomes. EARL offers an ideal setting for such collaborations.

Science is a global activity. Only when public and private shake hands and work together can we see science thriving, including, above all, social science. As a scientist, I feel humbled to see the support for EARL coming from all corners of East Asia. What is even more important, I can see from the list of the participants at this opening that you come from both the public and private sectors. Only when public and private shake hands and work together can we see science thriving, including, above all, social science. The guests at the opening included representatives of EARL’s partners, ambassadors, senior public officials, members of the business community, students and the media. The entire event was in line with the spirit of cultural exchange, complete with music from the four East Asian corners, performed by Florence Gacoin-Marks and accompanied with dancing by Ryuzo Fukuhara.

DUTB, d.d., Davčna ulica 1, 1000 Ljubljana w e p +386 1 429 38 95

REAL ESTATE EXCEPTIONAL OPPORTUNITY - 12 FAMILY VILLAS IN SAVUDRIA The Bašanija twin houses, located approximately 100 meters from the beachfront, have not been pre-used. The project is built as a gated community, all villas are built as independent apartment units with private entrances and fenced-in lots. BUILDING NET FLOOR AREA:

215,38 m² to 217,42 m²


251,85 m² to 293,01 m² YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION:

construction started in 2003, finished in 2007 ENERGY PERFORMANCE CLASS:

Energy performance certificate pending PRICES: 325.000,00 € to 350.000,00 € (incl. tax)




The development houses 9 modern apartments with varied and modern layouts, sized 60 to 100 m². The apartments have covered parking and basement storage areas. BUILDING NET FLOOR AREA: 1.545,60 m² TOTAL LAND PLOT FLOOR AREA: 746,00 m² YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION: 2011 PRICE: 720.000,00 € + tax

The land plot suitable for development is located in a beautiful, peaceful location along Iztokova ulica in Maribor. The land plot has a building permit for residential development with underground parking.



The empty industrial complex located in the immediate vicinity of the motorway in Brežice. The municipal zoning plan is set for residential development, and the architectural concepts have already been prepared for the development. BUILDING NET FLOOR AREA: 14.554,00 m² TOTAL LAND PLOT FLOOR AREA: 32.101,00 m² YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION: 1971 PRICE: 1.500.000,00 € + tax

TOTAL LAND PLOT FLOOR AREA: 19.092,00 PRICE: 1.690.000,00 € + tax

The business complex with offices, five production halls and warehouses and curtilage form a rounded functional unit. Adjacent to the complex a buildable land plot is also available, sized 2,823 m². BUILDING NET FLOOR AREA: 8.550,00 m² TOTAL LAND PLOT FLOOR AREA: 16.147,00 YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION: 1980 YEAR RENOVATED: 2000 PRICE: 2.500.000,00 € + tax

CELJE BUILDABLE LAND PLOT SUITABLE FOR MIXED-USE RESIDENTIAL/ COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT The buildable land plot suitable for mixed-use residential/commercial development is located near Dečkova cesta and the Celje Fairgrounds, in the immediate vicinity of Golovec. TOTAL LAND PLOT FLOOR AREA: 8.583,00 PRICE: 471.500,00 € + tax

PRODUCTION-WAREHOUSE COMPLEX IN MARIBOR, DIRECTLY NEXT TO THE MOTORWAY The production-warehouse complex with excellent transport connections is located at Einspielerjeva ulica, Maribor, in the vicinity of the main train station and the Ljubljana-Maribor motorway. BUILDING NET FLOOR AREA: 8.026,00 m² TOTAL LAND PLOT FLOOR AREA: 16.478,00 m² YEAR OF CONSTRUCTION: between 1940 and 1979 PRICE: 1.300.000,00 € + tax

Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia Interview: Petra Stušek, M.Sc, Managing Director, Visit Ljubljana – Ljubljana Tourism

The quality of life in Ljubljana is the essence of sustainable tourism By Tina Drolc, M.Sc., MBA Petra Stušek, M.Sc, Managing Director, Visit Ljubljana – Ljubljana Tourism; Photo: Mankica Kranjec

Although tourism is about storytelling, Ms Stušek, Head of Ljubljana Tourism, highlights that the story must have a basis. The concept of sustainable tourism in Ljubljana has been in the making for a decade, and tourists are thrilled about the relaxing atmosphere, without traffic noise in the city centre, free drinking water from the fountains, the city market with fruit and vegetables from the region and the English-speaking traders. Ms Stušek believes that sustainability has been the right path, as "people are starting to appreciate it". Experiential tourism, based on the authentic and unique creation of the stay, has also contributed to an average occupancy rate of 79% for overnight stays in Ljubljana, for the past three years and rising. Q What would you highlight from Ljubljana’s tourism strategy – the milestones and your future vision? A In general, what we are really focusing on is the actual management of tourism flows, such that tourists come through all year round and that they stay longer, that they spend more and that they come back. In addition, we are creating a quality tourism offer in the city centre, the outskirts and in the region because, primarily we lead the tourists to the city centre, so that they have a quality experience while they are here. Also, because the city centre has its limits and the citizens also love the city centre, that means there are periods when there can be too many people at the same time. This is why we give tourists the highlights, how to spend time out of the centre, and in the future we will establish so-called cultural quarters in other


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia parts of Ljubljana encourage event organisers to hold their events in the other parts of Ljubljana and if necessary, we can advise them with the infrastructure development. Another highlight is the citizen’s satisfaction, so they are happy with tourism in Ljubljana and they work with it, which is why we invite them to cooperate with us.

Tourism is about storytelling. If you tell a regular tourist that we are a very sustainable destination, that will not tell him or her much.

Q What are the profiles of the tourists who

Q Many times, Ljubljana has been awarded

visit our capital during the different seasons?

for sustainable tourism, a green soul and a high level of environmental awareness. From this perspective, what attracts visitors the most and can you share some green facts and figures?

A There is not a typical seasonal profile of tourists. We know when it is the season for business tourism – i.e. September, October, the end of March and April, but this has also changed, in fact, prolonged. July and August are typically leisure tourism. However, for us, it is important that a person could be any type of a tourist; once a business tourist, another a family tourist, etc. In addition, we are still focusing on those markets where we have a direct airline connection, those within a 500km radius of Ljubljana and the overseas markets where we have already been focusing for a decade.

ally interesting. This year, for the first time, we more strongly promoted Ljubljana in Australia and tourist numbers from there are now really rising.

tourists that we do every year that their average spending per day is approximately EUR 150 and so multiplied by 1.5 million overnight stays (based on 2017) this means EUR 225m.

A Tourism is about storytelling. If you tell a regular tourist that we are a very sustainable destination, that will not tell him or her much. But if you tell him or her that Ljubljana has a city centre that is completely closed to traffic, no cars are allowed to go in except for electrical cars which transport people for free, that the atmosphere without cars is really relaxed - bars and restaurants have their gardens outside all year around, we have more than 10,000 events a year and a lot of them happen on the streets, free of charge, and venues are expanding because the city is closed to traffic, etc. Furthermore, we have drinking water in fountains that are clearly marked and so you will never be thirsty in Ljubljana, and we even have an app with the locations of the drinking fountains clearly marked. So, when you give tourists this type of information then they start to realise that "that is what sustainability means to them" and "wow, they even have a market in the middle of the city centre where you can talk to the traders selling the fruit and vegetable, grown in the region, and they speak English!" Part of sustainability is also that the local people are included in the tourist offer. There are also milk machines with fresh milk, so-called "Mlekomats", and then everyone starts to realise how much progress Ljubljana has made, in just a decade, toward the quality of life for locals and tourists, and then sustainability comes as a story with a base.

Q According to your statistics (www.visitlju-

Q Do you think that tourists will appreciate it is mostly Europeans that visit the city, followed by visitors from the Asian countries and then the United States. What about other parts of the world? Have you already thought about them and how will you cater for them?

the sustainability trend more and more in the future?

Q When is the peak tourist season in Ljubljana?

A It is hard to say when the peak of the season is. For the past three years, the average occupancy rate of overnight capacity in Ljubljana has been 79%, however we know that the numbers are rising all year long and it is important to say that the period is extending. We are also happy that, in the last year, the number of tourists that visit outside the seasonal months has increased 10%.

Q How much does tourism bring into Ljubljana’s budget?

A We estimate based on a survey for foreign

A I do not believe in having too many promotions, all over the world, at the same time and besides, every destination has limited capacity and we have to decide which markets we focus on. We started to pick up the trend from Australia, for whom Ljubljana and Slovenia is re-

A Yes, I think so! In general, people are more and more aware that we only have one planet and people are starting to appreciate it. There are destinations that are too hot for the majority of the year, which is not the case here. Destinations where it is really windy are also not a pleasant experience, but that doesn’t happen here. People are starting to realise that we are the creators of all these changes and that it will be more and more reflected also in the tourism.

Q What is the largest, recent investment in Ljubljana tourism?

A Apart from re-facing the city centre, which is a big investment and is ongoing, obviously the new hotels and renovation of places such as Cukrarna and Ljubljana Castle, which is constantly under renovation, etc. We are also going to invest in the suburbs, promote some attractions that come from our heritage such as the Kolišče Ig area which has already got EU funds and so they will start very soon. In addition, Ljubljana’s ongoing investments are also in new tourism offers such as the new experiential guiding, we are producing tours that are not only about getting facts and figures, but also to experience the city or event, to cocreate the actual tour, such as the Moustache tour. We had the Emona tour and we even put a sort of a street theatre into the tour and people really got the feeling of how it was 2,000 years ago. These experiences cost but they are unique, they are ours and that is what drives people to come back.

Q Do you also invest in the digital infrastructure of tourism? A Yes, we are at the start of focusing on the 'Smart City' concept and the Ljubljana Municipality has even opened a new working space called "Smart City Manager". Together, we are working on future development in tourism and we are developing new strategies, based on big data, which can be done with smart city platforms. In a year we will be able to talk concretely about it.

Q What can you say about Ljubljana’s visibility in the area of its digital presence and the viral buzz?

A We do all the digital advertising and use the tools, not to mention that we are on nine platforms daily and we have two-way conversations, not only one-way, we listen to what people say! But, I strongly believe that the most important ambassadors of every destination and in our case Ljubljana, are its citizens. We have to listen to them, what they are saying through social media, what they say about the city, what their wishes are, and then the tourists come because they are on a vacation and they are happy with a lot of things, because they are relaxed and expect to see something new and beautiful. And, of course, they are also pooling that positive buzz about Ljubljana and that is why we repost and reuse these. However, when we are talk about creation, it needs to come from us. Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia

Vibrant summer in Ljubljana Summer in Ljubljana is full of life, lively events in the streets and the city markets never diminish. Citizens and visitors create a relaxed atmosphere, complemented by a diverse cultural program designed for different audiences such that everyone finds the content written their skin. We invite you to discover some highlights, which are a part of our cultural offer and we invite you to join us for summer in Ljubljana.

Ljubljana Festival – at the heart of your experience We are counting down the days to the 66th Ljubljana Festival. Running from 28 June to 7 September and with a top-notch program, the Festival will fill Ljubljana with an exciting atmosphere of concerts and other events, spanning a wide variety of genres and featuring some of the world’s top artists. One of the largest festivals in Europe, the Ljubljana Festival begins on 28 June, at Congress Square, with the world premiere of Sfera Mundi – Voyage Around the World, a co-production with the famous theatre company, La Fura dels Baus, and directed by Carlus Padrissa. Photo: Festival Ljubljana

The program then continues with numerous other major events and world-famous names, including: the Filarmonica della Scala orchestra from Milan, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra from Amsterdam, opera stars Diana Damrau and Marcelo Álvarez, the Eifman Ballet from Saint Petersburg, the groups Laibach and Voca People, choreographer Edward Clug, veteran baritone Leo Nucci in the role of Rigoletto, and many others. Spend carefree and unforgettable summer moments at the outstanding events of the 66th Ljubljana Festival. For more information and online ticket sales visit Tickets are also on sale at the Križanke Box Office, Eventim outlets and Petrol service stations.

Photo: Festival Ljubljana

Summer pulse above the city

Another notable event near the start of the Festival will be the performance by the Munich Philharmonic, on 1 July, at Cankarjev Dom (Cultural and Congress Centre). Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear one of the finest performances of Bruckner’s Symphony in D minor, also known as Die Nullte ("Zeroth"), with the orchestra conducted by Grammy Award winner, Paavo Järvi. Latvian opera star, Kristīne Opolais, performs a concert of opera arias on 4 July. One of the most sought-after sopranos in the international opera scene, she will appear with the RTV Slovenia Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Italian conductor, Sesto Quatrini, whom she describes as radiating passion and the love of music.

The central tourist spot in the city - the Ljubljana Castle - is preparing a varied cultural and artistic program for the summer. In this Dragon Year, do not miss the central exhibition about the Ljubljana dragon, the dragons in Slovenia and the dragons of the world - The dragon of all the dragons, and as part of the accompanying program, an exhibition of the illustrations of Lila Prap, Dragons?! The walls of the castle halls – the Palacij Hall and the Estates halls - will this summer be decorated by one of the most sought-after fashion photographers Giampaolo Sgura, whose trust is shown by the most prestigious fashion shows in the world. During sunny weekends, both local and foreign visitors to Ljubljana Castle are invited to the Castle Reading Corner, a pleasant and quiet corner, in the safe shelter of the castle walls and the defensive trench, where they can abandon the light summer atmosphere in the company of a friend, a book! More at Photo: Ljubljanski grad

Photo: Festival Ljubljana

The very next evening, on 5 July, opera lovers will have the chance to hear Hasanaginica, the most beautiful (and most translated) ballad from Bosnia-Herzegovina. In 2000, the librettist Nijaz Alispahić used the original text as the basis for an eponymous three-act opera in collaboration with the extraordinarily prolific Bosnian composer, Asim Horozić. The main roles in this Sarajevo National Theatre production will be sung by soprano Adema PljevljakKrehić and bass Leonardo Šarić.


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia

Photo: Domen Pal

Photo: Matevž Paternoster/MGML

Film Under the Stars 2018


On midsummer nights, film stars come to life in the courtyard of Ljubljana Castle. A programme of this season’s best films has once again been put together by Kinodvor, in collaboration with the City of Ljubljana and Ljubljana Castle. This year, five films will have their first public screening in Slovenia in the Castle courtyard. Films are screened in their original language with English subtitles. English spoken films are screened with Slovenian subtitles only. Ticket prices: EUR 4.5; Avant Premieres and Special Screening: EUR 5.5.

Open-air cinema at Congress Square 2018 Modelled on two grand city squares in Bologna and Locarno, Ljubljana annually presents its inhabitants and visitors with the gift of admission-free screenings of masterpieces of cinema. The shows in one of the city’s main central squares are dedicated to important anniversaries and events in the city and in cinema. Marking Kinodvor’s 10th anniversary, the Openair Cinema at Congress Square will be extended to a fourth evening showing four timeless film classics this year. Films are screened in their original language with English subtitles. English spoken films are screened with Slovenian subtitles only. Open-air cinema at the Congress Square: every evening from 27 to 30 August 2018, at 9 pm at the Congress Square. Entrance is free. Photo: Domen Pal

EUROPA NOSTRA AWARD 2018 FOR A JEWEL OF SLOVENIAN CULTURAL HERITAGE – PLEČNIK HOUSE Among this year’s winners of the 2018 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards, Europe’s top honour in the field was Plečnik House, located in Ljubljana’s neighbourhood of Trnovo. In May 2018, the European Commission and Europa Nostra, the leading European heritage network, announced 29 laureates from 17 countries that have been recognised for their impressive accomplishments in conservation, research, dedicated service, education, training and awareness-raising. Plečnik House was awarded for its programs and activities in the latter fields – the jury highlighted that, "the elaborate educational program attached to the conservation of the house, ensured the existence of a secure learning environment for continuing education for various target groups of visitors, as well as encouraging a broader appreciation of architectural heritage. The social value and benefits of the project are reflected in the integration of various social groups into the different activities of Plečnik House". They added that, "the museum has also been dedicated to increasing awareness of Plečnik across Europe and the world." This is definitely another good reason to visit the unique Plečnik House this summer.

New permanent exhibition on the millennia of Ljubljana’s history A new permanent exhibition at the City Museum of Ljubljana, Ljubljana. History. City., shows a chronological overview of the Ljubljana basin area, from prehistory to today. The exhibition can be understood as the museum’s identity card, an important document of Ljubljana, and a new space where locals and tourists can meet and research the city. The exhibition gives emphasis to the museum artefacts and a clear chronological presentation. Visitors can admire the world’s oldest wooden wheel with an axle, as well as the medal commemorating the formal declaration of Ljubljana as the capital of the Republic of Slovenia. The exhibition offers local and foreign visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of Ljubljana and draws attention to the city’s important geostrategic position and to the extraordinary events in the history of the area, from prehistory to the 20th century. Among all important moments, Emperors, Kings and Presidents, visitors of the exhibition also encounter everyday life in the city, as the exhibition presents the lives of the people who lived in the city and left their mark on it. Several longstanding local peculiarities can also be found at the exhibition, which differentiates the people and city from other European cities.

Ljubljana –

the third cleanest EU capital A survey performed by the European Statistics Office, Eurostat, shows that citizens of Ljubljana are very satisfied with the cleanliness of the city. The survey included 109 European cities, with Luxemburg taking first place among capital cities, followed by Vienna and then Ljubljana (88 percent very satisfied or satisfied with the cleanliness).

Photos: Nik Rovan

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


URBAN SOIL 4 FOOD from waste to soil, from soil to produce and certificates Maribor is at the heart of Europe’s economy, but it depends heavily on outside resources to meet its demand for raw materials, energy, water, and food, and to manage its space, waste and emissions. Slovenia’s selfsufficiency is low, fertile soil is disappearing, and food quality is declining, while young people often lack knowledge about, and motivation for, healthy eating. Maribor does not want any more landfill sites. Instead, it is aiming to use the waste produced by its residents as an input material for making new products.

The main objective of the project is to use the city’s waste as a resource for producing and adding value to new products and food, applying an innovative process for producing soil, and subsequently to improve local self-sufficiency and lower the region’s carbon footprint.

The URBAN SOIL 4 FOOD project starts by addressing the challenge of how to turn the city’s organic and mineral waste into fine soil, for use in food production, parks and construction. The project’s partners will develop safe and certified soil, and produce electricity as a by-product; this will be achieved using a combination of fermentation, pyrolysis, and homogenization technologies. The project encompasses four main inter-connected circles, with two overarching investments: the

establishment of a pilot system for urban soil production, and the creation of four urban gardens (using the urban soil produced). The material circle will analyse the material flows of the city’s waste with a view to producing urban soil. As part of the food circle, some currently unused municipality land will be turned into urban community gardens, where food will be grown – and the circle completed by creating an urban food label. The



In the URBAN SOIL 4 FOOD pilot project, we will process small quantities of organic waste, primarily wood and trimmings. Cutting-edge technology will be used to process up to 500 kg of organic waste a year, producing soil that will be used in Maribor’s greenhouses, urban gardens, and green spaces.


comprises establishing an agricultural and food lab for developing and testing innovative pilot concepts, such as urban flowers for urban bees, micro urban gardening and urban soil rehabilitation, while simultaneously supporting innovative startups working in the field of the circular economy. The knowledge circle will encompass sharing the knowledge gained from the project with other cities in Slovenia and in the EU, as well as the development of certificates and patents in order to promote urban soil technology internationally.






The main technological processes to take place: • dry fermentation, which will be undertaken in a tank with negative pressure to prevent odour emissions; • composting using a system which is usually used by large hotels to process large quantities of kitchen waste, and which has filters preventing odour emissions; and • the mixing of compost i.e. soil, altering the ratios between materials to produce as fertile a soil as possible.




Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia

Darko Brlek, Director, Ljubljana Festival; Photo: Miha Fras

Interview: Darko Brlek, Director, Ljubljana Festival

A Program is the Identity Card of the Artistic Director By Gamze Ekmekcioglu

Born in Ptuj, Darko Brlek has spent most of his life in Ljubljana. After becoming the youngest Artistic Director of the Ljubljana Festival in 1992, he took on the position of Executive Director in 1995. In addition, Mr Brlek organises other prestigious festivals and cultural events including the Slovenian Days of Music and the Winter Festival in Ljubljana and he is also the Chairman of the Council for Culture of the Republic of Slovenia, a founder of the Slovenian Chamber of Culture, and was the Vice President of the Brussels-based European Festival Association in 1997 and its President from 2005 until May 2017. Mr Briek has been granted numerous awards for his work. 52

The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Q In addition to the Ljubljana Festival, you also work on the Winter Festival and Slovenian Days of Music. With all these festivals, how much time do you need to organise the program and create new ideas for the Ljubljana Festival each year?

A We will have the 66th Ljubljana Festival this year and as you mentioned, we also organise the Slovenian Days of Music which we held for the 33rd time this year and we started the Winter Festival only two years ago, in the beautiful concert hall of the Grand Hotel Union. So, of course, the most demanding is the Summer Festival and we start to organise each festival something like three or four years in advance, finishing just one year before the event. Especially when you are dealing with big orchestras like the Munich Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Theatre or Israel Philharmonic, they of course plan their program at least two or three years in advance and so we have to adapt to it, otherwise we cannot compete for the dates. But then, of course, every festival is not only an artistic challenge but also a financial one. If we are successful enough with the city authorities and also the main financier (and also with the sponsors of course), then we can

Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia close the programming process and announce it, but it is never enough money and so there is always the risk of whether we are going to succeed in obtaining enough financiers. We plan the Slovene Days of Music one year in advance. It is a shorter festival, something like 10 days. But the speciality of this festival is the symposium with musicologists from all over the world. They come to Slovenia for four days to discuss special themes. Every year the theme is different and it is always determined by our team leader and then around the theme we plan the concerts. The concerts include not only Slovenian music but mainly all music written in Slovenian territory. We arrange the Winter Festival because there is a gap in tourism in February and Ljubljana has become the newly crowded city in tourist seasons for winter holidays or summer. But, in February, after Christmas, it becomes calm and so we try to do something to not only attract our citizens but also tourists to come to Ljubljana.

Q Do you negotiate with local people for the events, celebrities, singers or bands? Do you consider people’s expectations or only try new ideas on your own as the director of the festival?

A I decide on the events and artists. I am also the artistic director but, of course, we also have an artistic board which includes others and they mainly confirm the proposals I put on the table each year. And we also have the festival board which supervises the finances.

Q Does your personal taste, academic background and profession as an active concert clarinettist and soloist influence the flow and program of the Ljubljana Festival?

A For sure! A program is the identity card of the artistic director, it is always personal. For sure, if someone else had my role, the program would be different. It is always.. not only my taste and expectations of course, but we go with our vision and try to explain to the audience that this is a high-quality event and convince them to trust us. And mostly they are very happy after the performances.

Q Since you became the Director of the Ljubljana Festival in 1995, how have you changed the form of the festival?

A I have to say that the growth of the festival has been enormous in recent years, and particularly in the last 10 years we have grown really fast. So now, the Ljubljana Festival is one of the biggest European festivals. I came to the Ljubljana Festival as the Artistic Director in

1992, and then in 1995 I also became the General Director. In between, I was also a member of European Festivals Association board and until May 2017, I was the president of this association. So, all these roles helped me develop the Ljubljana Festival. It has changed a lot for sure. When I came in 1992 the festival was like a chamber music festival with something like 15-18 events and with very little budget. My first job was to convince the city authorities that Ljubljana deserved a bigger and better festival with more artists. At the beginning it was not easy. Then, year by year, the festival was more successful with more audiences. Ten years ago, we started with great development of all kinds of forms. We regularly invite huge opera houses such as I have mentioned already, the Mariinsky Theatre from St Petersburg, from Milano, Vienna, all the big orchestras, first class soloists, really top global names… So, I think, it is the way we are going to continue also in the future.

Q Have you witnessed a change in the number and profile of the participants? A Yes, of course. The number grew threefold in these years. The profile has also changed. Honestly, I was afraid 20 years ago that our audience would become old in the following years but we adapted to the day with our programs. So, we also have a lot of events for young people. There are genres which are interesting for young people or middle-aged people. We also do educational programs such as workshops, MA classes and things like that, for very little children to teenagers, and these have enabled us to reach new audiences all the time. So, when you come to our halls, summer theatre or Congress Square, you will see all generations and I am very happy about that. And the foreign audience mainly comes from the neighbouring countries, from Italy, Austria and Croatia. And, of course, we have those audiences who fly around the world for special concerts and events. So, those festival people all around the world also come to our events. Q What is the biggest event during the festival? What is the event that you can call irreplaceable and at the heart/core of the Ljubljana Festival?

A For sure, the opening. The opening always happens in Kongresni trg (Congress Square). We have, it depends on the event, from 5,000 to 10,000 visitors. We started to have the ‘opening’ in Congress Square in 2011 when the square was reconstructed. We opened with the Mahler 8 Symphony. We had 1,100 artists on the stage because it is a symphony of thousands. And this huge orchestra was conducted

by Valeri Gelgijev, the famous conductor from the Mariinsky Theatre. This year, we are reconstructing the summer theatre here, Križanke and unfortunately we will not be able to finish the restoration until the beginning of the season. So, this year, we will hold all of our main program in Congress Square and Cankarjev dom. This maybe will give another dimension to the Ljubljana Festival because usually we only have the ‘opening’ in Congress Square, but now we will have more events there. I am quite excited about this and we will see how it will go.

Q What is special about the Ljubljana Festival? Why do you think people should visit Ljubljana during the festival?

A Not only for the festival but also for Ljubljana because Ljubljana is a very little town with a huge tradition and history. It is a very giving city. So, it is small but cosmopolitan. And all of the city centre is reserved for pedestrians. So, you can walk around the city centre and there are a lot of restaurants and fantastic food. We are at the crossroad of several cultures so you can taste and feel it. Ljubljana is also a very safe city so you do not see the police in the centre because there is no need. Moreover, it is very clean and what is also very important is that we have clean, drinkable tap water everywhere in the country. I think this is really something. Slovenia is a small place but also around Ljubljana there are some nice places. If you drive in different directions, the climate, the nature, the food and even the dialect of the language change rapidly. So, in this small place, you can enjoy Hungarian, Balkan, Italian or Austrian. For these international influences and local culture as well, it is very pleasing to be here. Regarding the festival, we follow the highest standards in the quality of our concerts, we have beautiful venues and I think this is the main promise we offer to our visitors.

Honestly, I was afraid 20 years ago that our audience would become old in the following years but we adapted to the day with our programs. So, we also have a lot of events for young people.

Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia Interview: Jernej Hudolin, Architect, Director General, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (IPCHS)

Cultural heritage is at the centre of sustainable development. By D.S.

Under the leadership of Jernej Hudolin, Architect, Director General, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (IPCHS), IPCHS has carried out a number of complex conservation and restoration projects. Among the most recent are the renovation of Plečnik’s house and the National Gallery in Ljubljana, as well as the Minorite complex in Maribor, the renovation of Bled Castle and the church on Bled Island, plus an extensive redevelopment and presentation of the antique mosaics in Izola and Celje, to name a few. During his mandate, IPCHS has become a partner in "international research and development projects worth millions", such as the InnoRenew CoE Centre for Excellence and the European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science (E-RIHS). Q Is the protection of cultural history well considered at the systemic level in Slovenia?

A We should be creating the conditions that would allow heritage owners to become interested in restoration and upkeep. With a suitable fiscal policy, the funding that heritage owners invest should be augmented. In neighbouring Croatia, for example, they have introduced a special tax for investment in heritage and despite initial objections, this measure has proven to be successful. There are many similar examples in Europe. Conditions should be created which would allow heritage owners to become interested in restoration and upkeep. We should regulate the systemic financing of restoration and maintenance for cultural monuments of national importance. In major promotional projects such as, for example, this year’s European Year of Cultural Heritage, all sectors should be included, not just cultural. The Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, above all the Slovenian Organisation for Tourism and the Ministry of Culture should all work together, targeting more closely.

Jernej Hudolin, Architect, Director General, Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia (IPCHS); Photo: Arne Hodalič


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia Conditions should be created which would allow heritage owners to become interested in restoration and upkeep.

Q This year, the European Year of Cultural Heritage, is dedicated to cultural history. Is Slovenia able to use this opportunity? A At IPCHS we have marked the year with the exhibition The AljaŞ Turret – Preserving the Symbol. A monography 'Bridges', from the new collection 'Our heritage', is also in preparation. We are organising European Heritage Days and a Week of European Cultural Heritage. With ICOMOS Slovenia we are preparing a symposium on managing monuments. For the time being, the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 has not brought any significant changes. The long-awaited law on the cultural euro has still not been adopted, nor has the proposal that a certain percentage of new investments be devoted to the arts. But the year is not over yet and perhaps something may still change.

Q You have mentioned several times that heritage is an opportunity for every country. Where do you see the opportunities for Slovenia? A Correct. I do like to emphasise that the opportunities heritage offers are innumerable. Tourism has, to a large extent, already recognised and exploited these opportunities. We know that restored heritage can be a great tourism product, and the increasing numbers of tourists visiting cultural monuments in Ljubljana, Postojna, Bled, Lipica, on the coast and elsewhere, prove that we also know how to offer it. Furthermore, we have begun to realise that tourism is multi-layered and the orientation towards sustainable tourism, an undisputed part being heritage, is absolutely the right choice for Slovenia. Today, such emphasis on sustainable development without heritage is impossible as heritage is at the centre of every sustainablyoriented society. Ironically speaking, the monumentally-protected building did not become a part of sustainable development until it got its new, energy-saving façade. Sustainable

development touches on at least three areas: economic, social and environmental. Heritage is a part of all three. Heritage is a lever in economic growth and contributes greatly to the formation of local and individual identity as it reflects our values, beliefs, convictions, knowledge and traditions. Maintenance, a quality restoration and care for the revitalisation of heritage means care for the surroundings, which are the basis for sustainable development in our society.

Q Can you present us with a successful example of connecting heritage with industry, either at home or abroad? A The Centre for Excellence 'InnoRenew CoE', of which IPCHS is one of the leading (founding) partners, is definitely an example. Together with its partners, the Centre is building in Izola and will closely connect the wood industry with heritage and renewable resources. Within the framework of the project, the production of new sustainable wood products is planned, while at the same time, special attention will be given to the heritage of wood. Q To conclude, a few words regarding the international cooperation of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage

The best stories happen through collaboration and at the Institute we are proud that we can participate in the above mentioned and a number of other international partnerships where, together, we may create new stories.

A The Institute is involved in several major international projects. I have already mentioned the Centre for Excellence and the Institute is, among others, a partner in the project 'The European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science' (E-RIHS). The project is in its preparatory phase, the partnership joins 16 countries: 15 EU Member States plus Israel. The new European research infrastructure, whose main European centre will be located in Florence, will offer users the latest scientific equipment and expertise in the form of four laboratories: ARCHLAB (archives), FIXLAB (fixed facilities.), MOLAB (mobile facilities) and DIGILAB (virtual facilities).

Maintenance, quality restoration and care for the revitalisation of heritage mean care for a quality living environment which are the foundations for sustainable development in society. Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia

WCYCLE, waste treatment in the circular economy for the City of Maribor WCYCLE is a waste treatment model of the circular economy based on the idea that what is waste today should be used as raw material tomorrow. The strategic development model of the City of Maribor transforms the municipality into an urban centre for the integrated management of all generated waste, surplus energy and wastewater using the concept of the circular economy, with a material, energy and water strategy of using processed waste, energy and treated water as new sources. As part of WCYCLE, the strategy of the Municipality of Maribor identifies 18 projects including the Center for the preparation of secondary raw materials. The Center for the preparation of secondary raw materials (the Center) is the most modern sorting plant in this part of Europe and the only one in the region providing purely real recycling. Construction began at the end of August 2017 and the machines were tested for the first time in the middle of May 2018. The Center will be fully operational by the end of June this year. The Center consists of more than 150 elements, each of which plays an important role in the separation of mixed municipal waste. The surface of the device extends to an area of more


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2018

than 5,000 square metres. Within one year, the Center will be able to process almost 40,000 tons of mixed municipal waste in one shift. When a truck delivers waste to the Center, the waste route begins with the tearing up of all the bags in which the waste was deposited. Waste then travels to the drum, which sorts the waste into four sizes. This is very important since large sections could cause disturbances and clogging or could also cover small material and therefore make sorting more difficult. The efficient and technologically advanced seal drum provides the basic conditions so that the

output fractions are cleaner and of better quality. Now waste is ready for the real action. Two optical machines eliminate all plastics. This moves forward to two ballistic separators, which classify plastics in size and shape in three fractions: rolling materials or so-called 3D material, for example bottles, separated from flat materials or so-called 2D materials, such as various foils, the fine fraction is sieved. This is extremely important for the efficient operation of the optical devices called the NIRs which sort different types of materials, there are six of them at the Center. NIRs separate waste by means of infrared light. In addition, three iron magnets, two air separators and two turbine circuits sort colored metals, predominantly aluminum. The extremely precisely sorted mixed municipal waste is divided into three main groups after completing the journey at the Center: fractions suitable for recycling, the light and the heavy fractions. While the bulk of the mixed municipal waste that is brought to the Center goes further into the recycling process, the light fraction is used in the heating plant and the heavy fraction is disposed of. In the Wcycle model, ways and technologies to further process the heavy fraction are being considered which would completely avoid waste disposal. The ratio of waste to recycling, which is passed on as light or heavy fractions, makes the Center so unique in this part of Europe: 77% of collected waste is used for real recycling, 9% of the light fraction is dedicated to energy use; and only 14% of the heavy fraction is disposed of. Such results are not achievable at any other centre in Slovenia, which is why the only ‘pure’ recycling in Slovenia is from the Center for the preparation of secondary raw materials in Maribor.

Experience&Lifestyle Slovenia

Slovenian bees circle the world United Nations Declares 20 May World Bee Day and on that occasion Slovenia hosted representatives of renowned foreign media companies, the images of our green country and the stories of the tireless Carniolan honeybee and Slovenia’s efforts to ensure its survival circled the entire world. Among them, a video of the Reuters press agency, which was published 221 times, stands out. On the Voice of America programme alone, it reached 236.9 million viewers. More than 4000 pieces of content on the topic of World Bee Day, reaching nearly 29 million people, were found on the internet. "All of the media attention paid to Slovenia due to World Bee Day is an invaluable contribution to the recognisability of our country as the initiator of this holiday and as a unique green, active, and healthy destination with excellent bee-keeping tourist features that could help position Slovenia as a destination for five-star experiences," says Maja Pak, Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board. The love of bees in green, active and healthy Slovenia dates far back into the past, and this passion has been passed from generation to generation for decades. Slovenia was the homeland of Anton Janša (1734-1773), a pioneer of modern beekeeping. Slovenian beekeepers celebrate the day of his birth, 20th May, and the Slovenian Beekeeper’s Association have submitted an initiative for this day to be proclaimed as World Bee Day. On 20 December last year, the United Nations General Assembly in New York unanimously adopted the decision to proclaim 20 May World Bee Day. The main purpose of World Bee Day is to have at least one day devoted to raising aware-

Beehive, Photo: Tamino Petelinšek/STA

ness around the world about the importance of bees and other pollinators for humankind. At the same time, it is an opportunity for the profession, policymakers, industry and the general public to address the challenges facing bee conservation, and to outline specific activities to ensure their survival. The Slovenian Tourist Board highlights the topic of bee-keeping at its business events and on its social media, on the website, in press releases, various publications, etc. Last year, for example, it caused excitement over bee-keeping tourism, which is considered a very sought-after niche segment of tourism in the British market, by having a stand at the global WTM London trade show, at which a replica of Janša’s apiary with beehive panels

Celebration of the first World Bee Day: Boštjan Noč, President of the Slovenian Beekeepers' Association, José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Dejan Židan, Slovenian Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food. Photo: Daniel Novakovič /STA

and the meaningful slogan Be(e) Responsible was set up. Work with foreign media and social media influencers is also an important part of the promotion of Slovenian tourism. With the expert support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food and the Government Communication Office, the Slovenian Tourist Board marked World Bee Day by organising an excursion for ten participants from globally influential media companies, such as BBC Wildlife, National Geographic Russia, The Independent, Air Canada enRoute, TRAVELBOOK Magazine, and the Reuters press agency. On this occasion, Reuters carried out various interviews and recorded footage of honey-making procedures, colourful apiaries, the landscape, and features of bee-keeping tourism for a report in which it emphasised our efforts to conserve bees and other pollinators, our commitment to sustainable development, and a rich bee-keeping tradition. It highlighted that Slovenia was the only EU Member State to protect a native bee variety, namely the Carniolan honeybee. Reuters showed Slovenia as an interesting and unique green destination, in which visitors can have boutique experiences. This message was summarised by 33 TV networks, which broadcast on different continents, and online media outlets. Monitoring online publications using the mediatoolkit tool showed that, between 22 April and 22 May, there were nearly 10,000 pieces of online content related to World Bee Day; they reached more than 49 million people around the world. Posts on the social media pages of the Slovenian Tourist Board related to the observance of World Bee Day in Slovenia and highlighting Slovenia as its initiator and a green, active, and healthy tourist destination reached at least 500,000 followers. Summer Edition 2018 | The Slovenian Times


Event Guide

Event Guide

 Music Festival

59th Jazz Festival Ljubljana 27 June – 30 June, Cankarjev dom (Cultural and Congress Centre), Ljubljana The Jazz Festival Ljubljana has the mission to offer a platform for new creativity. At the heart of this year’s program is a rich assortment from the Slovenian music scene, as well as an exhilarating selection of international artists. The festival mirrors our time, while also reflecting the diversity of Slovenian music and its various nuances; artists belonging to different generations and employing diverse modes of expression. Undoubtedly, never before has such heterogeneity been witnessed in Slovenian music, such an abundance of artists and musicians working in the broad area of jazz.

 Music Festival

Overjam International Reggae Festival 2018 10 – 15 July, Tolmin Summer music festivals have put Tolmin on the Slovenian and international festival landscape. The festival, which takes place at the intersection of three countries, aims to become a symbol of integration, peace and diversity. The Overjam International Reggae Festival attracts fans of reggae, dub, dancehall and other genres associated with reggae music. The musicians reflect the international spirit of this festival, introducing all the different genres of reggae music.

 Sporting Festival

Soča Outdoor Festival  Music Festival

Lent Festival 2018 22 – 30 June, Maribor With 25 years of tradition, the Lent Festival is one of the oldest and largest open-air festivals in Central Europe, turning Maribor into a giant open-air stage and a buzzing meeting place for people from across the globe. Each June, the medieval Lent district by the Drava River, the historic squares, picturesque streets of the Old Town, and even the mighty City Park emerge as festival venues bursting with art, culture and creativity. It is an experience in hospitality and fine cuisine, an experience of a lively, open and friendly town that invites you to take in its squares and streets for nine days and nights of pure festival magic.


The Slovenian Times | Summer Edition 2017

29 June – 1 July, Tolmin At the core of the event are four beautiful trails. No early morning drive to Bovec anymore – the start and finish of all trails will be at the festival’s main venue and everyone will have the opportunity to cross the Tolminka river for a spectacular finish. A "kindergarten" with different activities for children will again take place this year and also a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) race will be organised– the SUP-er Soča Race. Some new activities have also been added including the Mini Mountain bike Marathon on the Sunday, at the Continental Pumptrack. There will be also be Thai massages, a Latino aerobic vibe and outdoor yoga at the main venue.

 Music Festival

54th Pivo in Cvetje Laško Festival 12 – 15 July, Laško On the third weekend in July, Laško becomes the centre of Slovenia and the capital of the liveliest summer happening which has become more popular each year. In 2018, the Beer and Flowers festival celebrates its 54th anniversary, although the first festival was held 55 years ago. Over the years the event has hosted several million visitors, featured almost 1,000 bands and individual performers, invited numerous local brass bands, florists, flower professionals and enthusiasts, and many other exceptional artists.

Event Guide

 Music Festival

MotörCity Blues Rock Festival 16 - 19 August, Tolmin

Music Festival 

10th Arsana Festival 20 – 28 July, Ptuj The 10th Annual Arsana Music Festival will host Slovenian and international musicians from classical, jazz, ethno, world, popular, vocal and instrumental music, on the stages in and around the historic city of Ptuj to see more than 60 events featuring over 300 renowned artists. Highlights of the festival include: NATURALLY 7 (USA), the kings of a capella music after three world tours; New song evening (SLO), dedicated to the vocal poetry of Rok Vilčnik, with Papir, Patetico, Pliš, Bilbi, and Severa Gjurin; project EPK Maribor 2012, the Tango story & Irena Yebuah Tiran (SLO) with world dance champions, Andreja Podlogar and Blaž Bertoncelj; Tadej Toš, with new stories and Klemen Slakonja and the All Stars Orchestra; Vox Arsana & Vlado Kreslin; Cubismo and Magnifico.

 Music Festival

28th Okarina Ethno Festival Bled 25 July - 5 August, Bled The Okarina Festival is a world music festival, held in the alpine town of Bled since 1991. Presenting a very wide range of musicians, its focus spans from the many traditional folk genres to the more contemporary, hybridised idioms. The festival’s creed is, in part, summed up by its name, which alludes to a very ancient wind musical instrument that can be found all over the world - the ocarina.

Eloisa Cascio

Koehne Quartet, Photo: Skye Kiss

 Music Festival

Tartini Festival 2018 2 August – 8 September, Piran The Tartini Festival is an international music festival dedicated to the Piran-born maestro, Giuseppe Tartini, and takes place in the Primorska region. The festival presents a series of artistic events of the highest calibre and has won high praise from critics and audiences year after year. This undoubtedly contributes to the festival and the country achieving steadily increasing relevance on the international stage. Last year’s highlights included the Tartini Junior project, which will again present talented young musicians, in Koper, every Thursday in July and August.

At the beautiful Sotočje in Tolmin, where the Tolminka and Soča Rivers shake hands, there is a new wind coming from the mountains! Under the name MotörCity there is a new, uncut diamond when it comes to festivals; an amazing blues and rock music selection, plenty of fun, beautiful nature and surroundings, and the refined taste of motorcycle lovers. The location was not selected randomly; the beautiful road that takes you from the city of Nova Gorica towards Tolmin and other nearby cities, leads you through amazing landscape and close to the beautiful, emerald Soča River, that will not leave you cold hearted.

 Musical

Madagascar 29 September (Premiere), 6 October, Kulturni dom Mengeš – Špas teater (Mengeš Cultural House - Špas Theatre), Mengeš After the remarkable success of the Dreamworks cartoon, Madagascar, which has delighted young people across the world, this great spectacle comes to the stage this autumn as a musical. The licensed project, NAGP production, with Producer Nejc Avbl and coproduced with Špas Theater, will premiere on 29 September on the stage of Špas Theater in Mengeš. The New York City Zoo is over! The animals have decided to leave for a big adventure which ends with a wild party on the beach in Madagascar. For the giraffe, the nile horse, the zebra, the lemurs, the penguins and the lion, it will be the greatest adventure ever. Famous singers and actors include Klemen Bunderla, Irena Yebuah Tiran, Jan Bučar, Nejc Simšič, Lea Bartha, Nejc Lisjak, Danaja Koren and many others who will bring to life their characters in this adventure musical. Summer Edition 2017 | The Slovenian Times


CONVENTA CROSSOVER – FESTIVAL of EVENTS and LIVE MARKETING 30 – 31 August 2018, Puppet Theatre Ljubljana Best experts in LIVE Marketing and Meetings Industry in one place Nothing average about it. 100% Fresh, New, Bold More than 20 regional and international speakers Crossing over to a new conference format More authentic experience, personal engagement and live interaction Conventa Best Event Award 2018 Conventa Crossover is an international conference dedicated to the future of events and live marketing. This year, Crossover presents itself in its third edition, ready to set new standards for organising meetings. Crossover’s creative meetings design will ensure a deepened personal engagement, a more authentic experience and live interaction with the speakers.

10 PRINCIPLES OF CONVENTA CROSSOVER Perfect content Participant journey Crazy branding Rhythm Creative venue and set-up Informed and prepared speakers Co-creation and experiential learning Authenticity Green thinking


Crossover ingredient: Rock’n’Roll

WHO IS IT FOR? Event organisers / planners

Marketing agencies

Event venues

Meeting destinations

Special venues

From all over NEW EUROPE

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THE ANNUAL AWARD FOR THE BEST EVENT IN THE REGION OF ‘NEW EUROPE’ Every year Conventa draws attention to excellence in the meetings industry with an award for the best event in ‘New Europe’. The intention is to award those events that are not only innovative and creative, but also effective – those that achieve, or even exceed, their long-term communication, marketing and business aims. The deadline for registering your event is 15th of July 2018.

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12. – 30. 6. 2018, 21:30

Kinodvorišče. Letni kino. Vhod skozi Kinodvor.

27. – 30. 8. 2018, 21:00 Vstop prost / Free Admission

Letni kino na Kongresnem trgu Open-Air Cinema Congress Square Kinodvor. Mestni kino. let.










5. – 28. 7. 2018, 21:30 Ljubljanski grad / Ljubljana Castle




The Slovenia Times Summer Edition 2018  

The leading Slovenian magazine in English

The Slovenia Times Summer Edition 2018  

The leading Slovenian magazine in English