On December 12th, the promotion of the book titled 'Addressing Trans-Regional Issues in Intelligent Transport Systems from Managerial and Technical Perspective', took place at the University Rectorate of 'University St Kliment Ohridski' in Bitola (UKLO) and in hybrid manner, with present audience from academia, business, civil society, ministries and international institutions, from across the Western Balkans. This book has been officially included in the university's curriculum which was the main reason for this gathering and the official promotion of the first book that was created as a product of one WBAA project.
The event commenced with the university's Rector, Prof. Dr. Igor Nedelkovski, addressing a sizable audience. He extended a warm welcome to the guests and commended the collaborative efforts between WBAA and the University. Prof. Nedelkovski emphasized his hopes that this collaboration marks just the initial phase of a promising partnership.
Following the Rector's remarks, Milan Stojanović, a Regional WBAA Board Member and an official promoter of the book, underscored the significance of fostering partnerships between universities in the Western Balkans and WBAA. In front of over 50 gathered guests plus numerous online attendees, Milan expressed gratitude to the book's authors and reviewers for their voluntary contributions toward this meaningful initiative. He also thanked the university administration for recognizing and supporting the initiative, highlighting its potential to add substantial value to the University. Milan emphasized the importance of regional cooperation, expressing immense pride in the collaborative efforts that culminated in the creation of the book. He announced the likelihood of more similar projects in future all over the region.
After the ceremonial reading of a passage from the book, the book's authors—Professors Daniela Koltovska Nechoska, Mimoza Bogdanoska Jovanovska, and Renata Petrevska Nechkoska—addressed the audience. Professor Renata, Head of Research team at WBAA who hosted and moderated the event, along with her co-authors, provided further insights into the book's content and significance.
After that, Professor Renata Petrevska Nechkoska encouraged the audience present, both live and online participants, to share their impressions from the event on the occasion of this cornerstone in deepening the relationship between WBAA and one academic institution from the region.
Before moving on to an informal networking cocktail, Renata and Milan addressed the audience again and discussed plans for future cooperation between WBAA and 'University St Kliment Ohridski' in Bitola.
A small note on the holistic engagement of the organiser of the event, prof. dr. Renata Petrevska Nechkoska, the graphical design of the book promotion poster, has been done by the #WBAAjuniors initiator, her daughter, Noela. It served as a nice platform to showcase one of multitude of engagements and activities which can be done by youngsters, in the direction of growing together.
On December 13, Renata and Milan conducted a series of workshops at the Faculty of Economics in Prilep, focusing on the theme of 'Co-Creation Clusters.' These interactive sessions engaged local students and delved into Renata's proposed framework for revitalizing WBAA teams. The workshops involved a simulation replicating the work of reconstructed WBAA teams, offering hands-on experience. Approximately 30 students from three faculties: Faculty of Economics, Faculty of Information and Communication Technology and Technical Faculty, within UKLO, as well as coaches from academic and administrative staff from the university, actively participated, forming 5 groups with 6 members each. Over several hours, the students contemplated applicable solutions, following the principles as instructed by prof. Renata and Milan. This workshop denotes a kick-off of the taskforce activities for the new WBAA teams restructuring, and a hands on methodology on how to co-create within the realm of active alumni and citizens from WB and EU.
As a token of participation, students received WBAA certificates and WBAA practical gifts, upon successful completion of the presentation of the ideas. The students were engaged, inspired, competent and enthusiastic in their discussions, which enhanced the impression of fit of the idea of co-creation clusters. Subsequently, Renata and Milan carefully gathered and analysed the workshop outcomes and updated the concept with these practical findings. As such, they are foreseen for prompt presentation to the WBAA Regional Board, paving the way for further deliberation and actionable strategies toward the restructuring of WBAA teams.
Milan Stojanović and Renata Petrevska Nechkoska
Novi Sad, Serbia, 21th December 2023