The business sector and civil society need to cooperate in monitoring and supporting reforms in the European integration process and working towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. That was the key message of the event organized by Belgrade Open School with the support of the Kingdom of Sweden.

At the „Integration-Innovation“ event, business and civil sector representatives gathered to open up new opportunities to involve the two sectors in policy making and advocacy. Among the many guests, in front of the organizers, the event was opened by H. E. Jan Lundin, Ambassador of Sweden to Serbia and Vesna Djukic, Managing Director of Belgrade Open School.

"So far, the cooperation between the two sectors has been reflected mainly through sponsorships and donations, and less through the pursuit of common, developmental goals and a joint approach towards decision-makers and the general public. Many European examples show us that major positive changes in society have been solved precisely through the mutual cooperation of all three sectors of society, "said Vesna Djukic, Managing Director of BOS, who has been successfully developing human resources, promoting public policies and improving public policies for almost three decades, empowering the business, civil and public sectors.

Ambassador Jan Lundin emphasized the importance and opportunities that are created by establishing cooperation between the business and civil sectors.

"We need to create a common vision of what sustainable development means and make it concrete by pointing out the role of each actor - business, civil and public sector. This is why today's meeting is of great importance in order to be able to concretize it and create a common vision. As soon as it is created, then it is possible to fulfill it as well“, emphasized Ambassador Lundin.

The event introduced new models of cooperation between the civil and business sectors, and analyzed already existing models in Europe and the world that are applicable to our country. The attendees were addressed by Ola Andersson, advisor at the Embassy of Sweden in Serbia, Nikolaus Hutter, founder of New Paradigm Ventures from Vienna, Dejan Turk, CEO of Vip mobile and A1 Slovenia and Milorad Bjeletic, CEO of  Belgrade Open School. They agreed that cooperation between business and the civil sector was much needed in order to create and improve public policies that would benefit citizens the most.

“Civil society lacks profits, while the business sector lacks greater impact on society. That is why the solution to these problems requires both sides, because in the future we are rapidly entering the world of changed rules. I think the business sector needs to wake up to this great opportunity. Civil society organizations, such as BOS, play a very important role in the merger of the two sectors, and the business world engages for more important reasons than profit itself, "said Nikolaus Hutter, who had the opportunity to work in business and civil sector cooperation in many European countries.

The Belgrade Open School, as part of the project "Civil Society for the Advancement of Serbia's Accession to the European Union", implemented with the support of Kingdom of Sweden, will continue to foster co-operation between the two sectors through a series of activities in order to launch new initiatives based on shared values.