Young Bled Strategic Forum

June 27-28, 2013 
Ljubljana, Slovenia


Rajamanohar Somasundaram, Recipient of the INDIAFRICA Young Visionary Award 2011-12, traveled to Slovenia for the Young Bled Strategic Forum.

Rajamanohar traveled to Ljubljana, Slovenia on 26th June 2013, a charming city full of artists, museums, and galleries. The Young Bled Strategic Forum (YBSF) began at city hall of Ljubljana on the afternoon of 27th June 2013. Ms. Tjaša Ficko, Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana, commenced the forum for discussion post her opening comments. Rajamanohar was the only international participant who was invited to share the success stories from Asia and Africa emerging market.

YBSF challenger conference is aimed to help EU governments and agencies to identify the challenges before EU employment and entrepreneurship initiatives. This year, the YBSF was extended over a longer period to enable a broad discussion on pressing challenges, providing an opportunity to put forth different ideas and proposals on how to address these challenges and to discover possible directions and solutions.

While the world is witnessing the geopolitical power shift from West to East, from the developed to the developing, One can no longer build their career by working at one place for decades; information and communication technologies are becoming instruments of change. Over the past twenty years, the clash of civilizations has been transformed into a clash of groups, geopolitical powers and, most recently, generations.

This year YBSF had a theme 'The Clash of Gs' that largely focused on the 2013 Young BSF covers three discussion topics:

1. Youth in the EU: The Promise for the Future or a Lost Generation?
2. Digital Revolution: Do-It-Yourself Politics
3. Doing Business: New Tools and New Rules

Young BSF Challenge Conference also provided a platform for an online follow-up discussion that anyone can join at The final outcome of the digital debate, which will take place over the summer, will be further developed at the closing Young BSF Solution Generator Conference.

Rajamanohar shared his thoughts on how the software-outsourcing ecosystem has been opening job opportunities in urban India. Fellow participants were really intrigued when they heard about NASSCOM’s ambitious initiative to create 10000 startups in a year that would encourage students/ fresh graduates to start a venture on their own. He also shared the success stories of Indian product based startup companies that are being incubated at incubation centres at universities.  He further elaborated on the success of Indiafrica initiatives that enable the mutual understanding and mobility among entrepreneurs/ students between India and emerging African nations. 

During the engaging 2 day forum discussions, Rajamanohar also had the opportunity to meet up and exchange views with Ambassador Alain Brian Bergant - Secretary General of the Bled Strategic Forum, Mr Tommy Hutchinson from i-genius, a social entrepreneurship facilitator from UK, Mr Hadar Swersky - Israelian hedge fund manager, Mr Darko Dujic - Google executive on government policy from Yugoslavia,  Mr Peter Matjašic – Spokesperson of European Youth Forum, Mr Vildana Mandalovic – Attorney from Bosnia, Mr Harald Katzenschläger - Dreamicon Valley from Austria and students from Slovenia.

Though the challenger conference wasn’t about finding solutions, it was quite essential to identify the challenges before arriving at the solutions. Forums like BSF are critical in identifying the challenges that could provide insights into new possibilities.

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