Tuesday evening for Year 13 student Maša Mitić was reserved for an online lecture. But not just any online lecture – a lecture organised for University of Belgrade’s Faculty of Economics Alumni Club.
Ms Marija Milić, Economics teacher at the International School and alumna of the Faculty of Economics, invited Maša to be a special guest at a very interesting and inspiring lecture organised by the faculty’s Alumni Club.
Dragana Tomić Pilipović, alumna of the Faculty of Economics, Executive Director at the Centre for Socially Responsible Entrepreneurship, and the founder of Rural HUB Vrmdža, held a lecture entitled “Rural Development Through Economic Growth”.
After a successful career as an executive HR director at one of the most prominent banks, Dragana Tomic Pilipović decided to embark on a new adventure and moved with her family to beautiful village of Vrmdža, where she continued to improve not only herself as an individual but also the environment. There are few people like Dragana, who are engaged in what is called social entrepreneurship in our country and contribute to the development of small settlements with great dedication, energy and experience in consulting. Thanks to her, Vrmdža has been recognised as an example of successful social innovation.
‘The lecture introduced us to the term “rurbanisation”, which refers to the increase in the population of people living in villages and spatial expansion. Using her vast experience, our lecturer aimed to describe the potential benefits and drawbacks of domestic rural areas, while emphasising the importance of collective work, awareness, and the snowball effect. We learnt about ethno villages, their economic purpose and the ways in which villages of different settlement patterns (linear, sparse, nucleated, and even isolated) can develop their economic potential through the production of standardised final products made for export or to be sold through a multinational corporation. Finally, our lecturer used the example of unsustainable population growth in India to underline that proper planning is a significant part of rural development’, said Maša Mitić who shared with us how useful the whole experience was to her.