Urška Starc-Peceny

Posted By on Sep 25, 2015 | 0 comments

As coordinator of the NASA Space Apps Challenge in Vienna I have learnt what a great difference makes when people forget the local hitches, focus on the big picture and hack for problems that concern us all. What a spirit!

I’m Slovene, I was born in ex-Yugoslavia, have attended my high school in Italy and then studied in Austria. I’ve co-founded more companies in Europe and Middle East. Although my move to Italy have been influenced by the war in Slovenia, I have never been a “refugee”. But I know how it feels to come in a new culture, with a new language and be a foreigner.

With long year stage in strategic development & storytelling of the Innovation & the New I have loved how the ecosystem here in central Europe has been changing last years in terms of entrepreneurship, start-up, innovation … the courage of embracing the unknown.

And then came summer 2015.

At once anxiety spread around: How many more? Where will they all go? What does it mean for us? What the heck is with the politicians and Europe?!

I think the innovative spirit has already proven its power. Kudos to all initiatives born spontaneously and grown over night on social media to help manage the Westbahnhof in Vienna and other locations on the main refugee routes.

Why should not the same spirit help solve also the middle and long-term challenges? Politicians might be in charge to solve these problems, but the future is our. We better care and help.

When I talked to Ursula about this need to avoid the mistakes from the past, take innovation as a shelter and drive, the best thing was that I had no need to explain a lot. We are on the same page! And same with many other persons, who think and feel the same and will hopefully join us on this journey.


Ever heard of the Butterfly effect?

When a butterfly flaps its wings in one part of the world it can cause or prevent a hurricane in another part of the world. (theory by meteorologist Edward Lorenz)

We shape our destinies anyway. Thus, we better flap for the good …