Blog

What we care about: sustainable development and people empowerment

The place of your residence has a strong influence on lifestyle, opportunities and overall perception. I lived in a tiny village on the Zlatibor plateau in southwestern Serbia, then moved to Cacak, a mid-sized town in central Serbia, then came Belgrade, Trento, Budapest, and now Imola. During my studies I have lived in 7 different student dorms, each of them being, as all student know, a city in itself. This is how I got attracted to “local” realities/communities and to the mutual influence of place, perception, performance and pursuit of happiness.

In Serbia, the country where regional disparities are among the biggest in Europe, and with a strong centralisation of the economic development in Belgrade, the capital city, infrastructure/services/prices change to a great extent depending on the place of residence. An eloquent example is that the Republic of Serbia, with 120 units of local self-governemt, and with GDP per inhabitant in Purchasing Power Standard in relation to the EU-28 performing less than 75% of EU-28 average, has 44 extremely underdeveloped municipalities with development level under 60% of national average and 19 municipalities clarified as devastated areas with development level under 50% of national average.

The same goes for Italy, the state of the regions, where each region is a state for itself. The division between Italian north and south is a clear example of diametrically opposite regional development performances within one country.

Therefore, even if international initiatives are necessary to solve global issues, the challenges of local realities are to be tackled, local people need to get involved and local problems are to be solved!

This image is copyrighted, and used with permission. Image by bran_don via Instagram.

That’s why after earning my MA from the Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, I have continued my studies in Comparative Local Development at the Master program at the University of Trento and Budapest. Studying in one of the best Italian universities with students from 23 different countries was a dream come true. In fact, in Trento I had the opportunity to analyse the institutional clockwork of one of the European best performing regional innovation systems and to get the necessary academic support to implement my research project on the influence of the perception of the borders on the cross-border policies.

Our Development Pulsar blog will mostly cover the topics of urban/regional/rural/transnational sustainable territorial development policies/programs/projects/processes/actors and the best practice examples of innovative startups and environmental engineering.

We thought a good way to begin is to map the global innovative and top-performance regional development agencies and organisations. Just check the map below. If you have any recommendation on other development agencies that deserve to be on the map, please send us your advice by email.


The second topic of the blog will be the underexploited potential of brain-drained and highly educated people. This is because:

another common denominator for Serbia and Italy is that they both are among the best global exporters of grey gelatine wrinkled mass filled with neurones.

According to the data of the World Economic Forum, Serbia occupies the 6th place in the brain drain world rank. Italy is the only highly industrialised country in the EU that has a negative research growth rate. Every year the number of researchers leaving Italy is 13% higher than the number of researchers coming from other countries. Whether driven by declining opportunities within a country, or growing demand within others, in-demand workers go where there is an opportunity.

Project cycle management

This image is copyrighted, and used with permission. Image by bran_don via Instagram.

Therefore, our Brain Drain Powertrain blog is conceived as a place where researchers, enthusiasts, and expats from Serbia and Italy (but also from other countries) will blog about their experiences and enterprises, with the aim at promoting their initiatives and help others in similar situation to find faster and easier answers.

In the long run, Brain Drain Powertrain will establish a networking platform for those who have project or business ideas with project/business developers/supporters and will eventually lead to bridge the gap among those who are searching for a job and those who are offering jobs.

Want to become a part of our problem solving pulsar?

Want to be a blog contributor?

Contact us and let’s work together to make things happen.