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Interview with the CEO of Out of the Box International Network, Marko Paunovic

A brief biography

Marko Paunović is an expert in EU funding who embraces his drive for social innovations with creative approaches to education and fundraising. He is a consultant, moderator, and social entrepreneur. Marko is originally from Serbia where he studied Political Science at The University of Belgrade.

In recent years, he has been advocating at the European institutions and closely following Cohesive, Entrepreneurship, Internet, Enlargement and Youth policies of the EU. He is the founder and CEO of Out of the Box International, an international Network based in Brussels dealing with social innovations.

What is your current professional position?

  • Founder and CEO of Out of the Box International
  • General Manager of Consulting EU

Which of your achievements brought you to your current position?

I have founded and run several non-profit organizations and businesses and my biggest lesson learned is that you need to stay authentic even when things don’t go as planned. If you are afraid to make mistakes, you can stay at home and watch TV, or get a stable underpaid job as part of your country’s public administration and complain about how “life has been tough on you” every day. My experience says that nobody really cares about your complaining. 

What were your previous work experiences?

While my country was in a deep social and economic crisis, destroyed by civil war and finally bombed in 1999, I engaged both in peace initiatives and a movement that demanded democracy, dialogue and some kind of normal life in Serbia. Shortly after that, I started working for Europe and for solidarity and innovations through non-formal education and intercultural learning activities in a European context.

I was the Executive director of Touch Ltd, an event company from Belgrade and Secretary-General of YEU International, a pacifist European Network.

Which are your main fields of expertise?

  • Consulting on EU policies and EU funding
  • Moderation of public events
  • Training on project management

Three adjectives describing your professional attitude

  • Persistence, Innovation, Flexibility

Can you disclose the main ingredients that bring excellence into your work?

I believe that these three ingredients brigs specific advantage when working with me:

1) Education in political science, expertise in EU policies and funding experiences provide a solid base in providing an excellent understanding of the policy context, management aspects and finally unsuccessful stories to avoid.

2) Communication techniques allow me to transmit my experience in different settings, for example in trainings, moderation events or meetings.

3) My activities within the community of practitioners and experts allow me to develop my competences, learn and stay up to date. I am open to change and I strive to upgrade my inputs according to the developments in the sector.

What has been your most important professional achievement until now?

My most important professional achievement so far has been the chance to work on projects that inspire and challenge me. Also, I am glad to have had the opportunity to assist people in advancing their professional stories and dreams.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently developing a new start-up “Smart City Consulting Group” together with the IT company Kamisoft, offering a wide range of consulting services for future smart cities in Europe.

What is the next important objective you desire to attain?

I would like to increase my outreach online and share my knowledge with people worldwide.

What are you doing for a better society?

Everything I do is connected with the promotion of better societies. Innovations, solidarity, and diversity are integral parts of my work ethic.

 

Can you provide us with some link that will help us show your work to other people?

Here are a few links that can show you some of my achievements so far:

  • The publication “How to build your Pool of trainers”:
  • Publications about Social Entrepreneurship:

Katerina Pouspourika
SEO Expert / Copywriter

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