Alumni in Montenegro: Leaders in innovation and industry

In November, the United Kingdom Alumni Association of Montenegro (MAUK) held their second forum on the theme of 'Innovation Reshaping Montenegro', which was a continuation of the first Innovation Forum held in November 2016.

'Digital innovation in public administration: Future of Montenegro' was the topic of this year's forum, aimed at all stakeholders involved in the process of public administration reforms in Montenegro, with more than 100 participants including representatives of the government, local municipalities, NGOs, start-ups, and students. The goal was to support enhancing digital innovations through the finest of British expertise and Chevening Alumni examples, by encouraging digital innovation and reinforcing the principles of user-orientated digital services.

British Ambassador H.E. Alison Kemp, Minister of Public Administration of Montenegro Suzana Pribilović, and MAUK representative Ferida Mandić opened the forum. Ambassador Kemp said that this sort of event is a really powerful example of the influence and convening power of Chevening Alumni, and the strength of the Chevening network.

Minister Pribilović emphasised the importance of the forum for raising awareness and broadening knowledge about the digital transformation of the public administration since the Montenegrin government is strongly committed to these reforms.

Ms Ferida said that the Chevening Alumni network in Montenegro has been contributing successfully to the development of Montenegrin society in various segments such as education, culture, empowerment of young people, strengthening of the economy, and social innovations, since its foundation in 2013, supported by the British Embassy and Chevening Secretariat.

The keynote speech was delivered by Dominic Campbell, a digital government entrepreneur with a background in government policy and technology-led change. He is experienced in organisation and service redesign, and has senior management experience in implementing change initiatives within public services. Having spent six years in the UK government, Dominic established the organisation FutureGov in 2008, which supports digital and design-led transformation in government in the UK, Australia, and many places in between. He has lectured at Harvard's Kennedy School in the USA, INSEAD in France, IMD in Switzerland, and other prestigious world universities.

There was also a panel discussion on the topic 'Challenges and innovation within public sector reform - Western Balkans examples', where Chevening Alumni representatives from Croatia, Serbia, and Macedonia presented public administration reforms, digital innovations, and e-services in their respective countries. British Council Montenegro Director Vanja Madžgalj also presented the work of the British Council in public administration reforms in Montenegro.

On the second day, Dominic led a workshop on how to go about designing public services for the digital age. Drawing on approaches to service design, organisation design, and technology delivery, Dominic helped the participants to make change happen in their organisation, whether in government or not.

In addition to the speeches and workshops, the forum also included a cultural event, a Butoh performance called Monte Negro,which was performed by one of our MAUK members who studied Art and Politics in London as a Chevening Scholar.

The forum was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the many talents of Chevening Alumni, both as leaders in innovation and industry, and also as amazing performers. The organisers would like to thank all those who attended for making it such a successful event.