The Belgrade Open School organized the eighth Move.Link.Engage. the conference and the first day of the event brought together representatives of the civil, public and business sectors. Topics of common interest of all sectors and in focus of this year’s conference were environmental protection, improving the employability of young people, social responsibility and conscientious corporate management.

This year's conference showed that the synergistic action of all segments of society contributes to the mapping of challenges, as well as roadmaps to solutions.

"Partnership is a key factor for success in any process or initiative. Without multi-sectoral cooperation, mutual support, and open dialogue, we cannot have positive results in any reform process. Cross-sector cooperation is imperative for improving the position of citizens in a society in every respect," emphasized Milorad Bjeletić, executive director of the Belgrade Open School.

The latest research "Roadmaps to partnership" in which representatives of 32 civil society organizations and 24 enterprises and companies from various fields participated indicated that representatives of the business and civil sectors most often perceive joint cooperation through financial support. However, other forms of partnership aimed at joint problem solving through the exchange of resources and expertise are increasingly popular.

 "According to our deep belief, the path to a more beautiful and humane society is based on the connection and synergy between the business, public and civil sectors." These key factors of social life, but also of progress, must cooperate, because by crossing and combining specific knowledge, experiences, unique perspective and specific work methodology of each of us, joint initiatives and projects are created that often have the potential to provide long-term, comprehensive and systemic solutions to some of the biggest social challenges. For us, working with civil society organizations represents a great joy, but also an opportunity to learn a lot from them, as well as to enrich our approach, as well as the practice of corporate responsibility," said Milena Mićanović, Director of Communications and Public Relations, at the conference, OTP Bank Serbia.

Representatives of organizations, companies and enterprises that participated in the BOS research cited the reduction of costs and greater efficiency in work through providing the necessary resources, improving the development and satisfaction of employees and the reputation of the organization as positive effects of cooperation, as well as contributing to solving social problems.

Move.Link.Engage. conference has been promoting knowledge, partnership and responsibility through constant work on improving the quality of life in the community and dealing with issues of social importance for years. This year’s conference was supported by the American Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Embassy of Sweden in Belgrade, and was organized by the Belgrade Open School in cooperation with the BFPE Foundation for a Responsible Society, the Balkan Research Network Serbia and the Nordic Business Alliance.

Author of photograph: Danko Strahinic