A problem solving think net: collaborating for greater impact

focus group on early stage researchers in social science in serbia

The photography is from the focus group on the position of the early stage researchers in the social science. Research results are available at the following link.

An article by Slobodan Ocokoljic


problem solving pulsar

This article was originally published in the Master CoDe 2017 January Newsletter. For more information about the Joint European Master Programme in Comparative Local Development please click here.

The idea

The first think net I took part to was a research team working on the project National Policy Dialogue in the Social Science in Serbia, 2014-2016. A team of 6 young researchers from different disciplines, cities, and sectors was purposefully brought together in order to provide unique interdisciplinary and interterritorial expertise.

One of the best moments was the first focus group we held back in May 2014: Twenty bright young researchers across scientific disciplines discussing the position of early stage researchers in Serbia. The energy, discussion and inputs were simply amazing. I remember thinking in that moment: it would be so inspiring if one could work with the best people he/she has met during his/her career.

Since some of the researchers were living outside Belgrade, we have coordinated our efforts by monthly Skype conferences, a joint SPSS database, simultaneous gDocs editing, joint pursuit of designers, catering, and finally holding joint presentations. Tasks were clear, communication was efficient and research team members became friends. As the project continued, it became obvious that our synergy was much more than the sum of all the parts and that our team has a strong gravitational pull for sustainable and innovative solutions. Therefore the name: Sigma Infty: Problem Solving Pulsar Think Net.

The vision for Sigma Infty is to become a glocal think net of professionals that will make development ideas and projects works for the benefit of communities and business.

sigma infty problem solving pulsar think net joined up thinking: networking for greater impact

Glocal network with strong gravitational pull for innovative solutions.

The people

Sigma Infty is a platform fostering business initiatives, public and civil society organisations, and local communities by applied research, project management, business investment consultancy for the Western Balkans, and translation and interpreting. Members of this think net are definitely the smartest folks I have met along the way. People who have inspired me with their dedication, vision, skills, great personal values and integrity, and people I am happy to work with. 4 out of 16 members of our think net are Master CoDe alumni, namely Dragisa Mijacic, Ilija Stojanovic, Milos Cavic and myself.

Since we are offering various services, the members are also experts from different fields. Consequently, we are a network of managers, business evaluators, researchers, marketing experts, translators, designers, lawyers, HR experts, economists, fundraisers, etc. The common denominators for all members are proactiveness, dedication and problem solving attitude.

sigma infty problem solving think net learning by doing

The photography is from the 2013 Think and Link – Regional Policy Programme workshop.

Learning by doing

We have all learned a lot by making the website and blog functional. We have reached this goal with almost zero funds invested but with a lot of enthusiasm. People from all over the world gave us a helping hand. Gratian Mihailescu from the Urbanise Hub, Aleksandra Stojkov from Ela language studio, Chiara Salce and many others gave their contribution as well.

In order to work efficiently across time zones we follow the principles of task fragmentation and result-oriented management. After the first months our achievements are only a few, but they are important milestones for the future activities. We are proud on the functional and SEO optimised website and blog, established coordination and management mechanisms, created social networks profiles, 3 published articles and other 3 scheduled for january 2017.  

Sigma Infty problem solving pulsar think net: ecosystem of solutions and ideas

Plans for the future

Presently, we are trying to understand how to create a community that will foster innovation again and again, not only during isolated projects, and how to develop a task-force group that will help us to be the first to seize the opportunities. During the next 6 months we will be working on the establishment of Advisory board, translation of the website to Italian and Serbian, online marketing strategy, and defining personal and organisation KPIs.

Our biggest challenge is to maintain the starting enthusiasm and acquire first clients. Once we establish a successful track record this will give a powerful momentum for growth and further pursuit of excellence. Yet, for full implementation of our vision, that is “to become a glocal think net of professionals that will make development ideas and projects works for the benefit of communities and business”, we will keep relying on our distinctive characteristics, such as interdisciplinary solutions and flawless execution, and the results will follow.

Let’s work together to make things happen.

Are you an independent expert interested in fostering innovative businesses and sustainable development policies?

Do you want to practice your expertise by developing concreate solutions for real life problems?

Do you have an interesting development case study or innovative business model that you would like to share with the world?  

Send us your one page CV and max 300 words motivation letter for joining the Problem Solving Pulsar Think Net or to be our blog contributor and we will get to you as soon as possible.

Contact us!

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