Just a few days after the European Parliament approved the new EC and shortly before the inauguration of the new 28, we discussed the challenges and issues facing the “Junker” commission
Together with EDIT and Google we transformed Varna’s beach into a stage. EDITogether Varna Digital Meets Art was not a typical digital conference. We brought together technology pioneers, artists and entrepreneurs. We offered our guests four workshops led by inspiring speakers from the fields of culture and technology and an exciting beach conference with guests such as the Bulgarian winner of technology Oscar Vladimir Koylazov, the founder of MOVE.BG Sasha Bezuhanova, experts from Google and some of the most experienced culture managers in the country.
The conference ended with an attractive performance which combined dance and digital graphics, capturing perfectly the philosophy and idea behind the event - to stimulate the interaction between tradition and innovation, between analog and digital, between artists, entrepreneurs and even software programmers. The conference in Varna took place in the framework of the initiative “Varna - European Youth Capital 2017” under the patronage of the Mayor of Varna Ivan Portnih.
The event gave the start to a three-month roadshow organized by EDIT in partnership with Google titled EDIT on the ROAD. It will stop in seven different Bulgarian cities and will bring together traditional and digital business in order to assist them to better cooperate, learn about innovative tools and instruments for growth and equalize the different speeds of development of industries across Bulgaria.
Conference lecturers in Varna included Vladimir Koylazov, Oscar winner for his V-Ray technology, the founder of EDIT Sasha Bezuhanova, named Digital Woman of Europe 2013, and Marcin Olender, regional public policy director at Google. In the early afternoon Marcin Olender held a workshop where he shared his experience and tips for copyright and intellectual property in today’s digital times.
Sasha Bezuhanova gave the start of the conference welcoming entrepreneurs and artists with an inspiring words about the times of digital transformation in which we are living and the need for creative interaction and lasting collaboration between different spheres of business and life - be it traditional or innovative, in order to grow and develop the ecosystem.
“We are starting our national roadshow EDIT on the ROAD in Varna-Youth Capital of Europe for 2017 to send a message that young professionals are defining for the economic. These are the people who know and understand technologies and regulations of the contemporary world and create their startups in Bulgaria with the intention to try to establish them as global businesses. These are the two faces of creativity and the partnership between this different type of creators brings new solutions for tomorrow”, said Sasha Bezuhanova in her welcome address.
Marcin Olender also focused on the need to stimulate innovation and digitalisation, in business and in arts. “Google Growth Engine program provides technology and support for businesses around the world to grow online. We are partners to MOVE.BG for the EDIT on the ROAD project because our goals, the way in which we think about Internet and value progress, innovation and technology, are in essence the same. It was a natural step for us to unite our efforts for the future of digital Bulgaria.”
The only Bulgarian, winner of the prestigious Oscar award in the category Science and engineering technologies, Vladimir Koylazov shared that his company Chaos Group has offices in USA, Japan and Korea, but the software is written entirely in Bulgaria. “Thanks to Internet we can do our work from anywhere in the world, but I have always chosen to do this from Bulgaria,” said Vladimir.
The conference was preceded by four workshops for digital artists and entrepreneurs during which experienced cultural managers, art festival organizers and experts shared best practice and tips in the field of contemporary digital arts and business. The workshops took place in Innovator Creative Spaces and were an inauguration of sorts of this innovative co-working space in Varna. The lecturers included Dimitar Petrov, animator and founder of studio Zmey, Polina Gerasimova from Poliforma - studio for experimental digital art, Vesselina Sarieva, founder of Open Arts Foundation and Sariev Gallery and Marcin Olender from Google.
Following the colorful start in Varna, the roadshow EDIT on the ROAD continues to Burgas, Plovdid, Stara Zagora, Veliko Turnovo, Gabrovo, Vratsa and Ruse where we will bring together the local digital entrepreneurs with representatives of the traditional business and public administration. During each event in the country there will be a lecture from a local entrepreneur, presentation of why each business should have an online presence, led by a Google trainer, as well as a workshop for identifying the challenges and possibilities for development of local regional business through implementation of digital solutions. The next stop of EDIT on the ROAD is today, 20 August in Burgas.
Parallel to the Roadshow, the EDIT team is carrying out a survey of the digital small and medium startups in the country. The results of the survey will be presented during a closing conference in Sofia in November.