SPEAKER OF THE WEEK: Ajša Vodnik

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Step into the world of eloquence and inspiration as we bring you exclusive interviews with Slovenia’s top speakers. Delve into the minds of these captivating orators as they share their insights, wisdom, and secrets to mastering the art of communication. From motivational speakers to thought leaders, our interviews showcase the diverse talent and expertise within Slovenia’s speaking community.

Ajša Vodnik is a respected figure in the field of entrepreneurship and business development, particularly in the context of Slovenia and the broader European region. With a strong background in economics and business management, Mrs Vodnik has made significant contributions to fostering innovation and fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem. As the CEO of the Slovenia-based startup accelerator, “Startup Slovenia,” Mrs Vodnik has played a pivotal role in nurturing and supporting emerging businesses, providing them with the necessary resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities to thrive. Her dedication to empowering entrepreneurs and driving economic growth has earned her recognition as a leading advocate for entrepreneurship in Slovenia and beyond.

What was your most important lesson in 2023?

In 2023, life served me with two profound lessons. The first, a positive one, highlighted the importance of trust, which can only be earned through excellent relationships and hard work. This culminated in my colleagues from 49 countries electing me as the president of AmChams in Europe. The second lesson, however, was considerably more negative and painful. It taught me the consequences of pushing my body beyond its limits, resulting in a loss of consciousness, a fractured skull, and a permanent reminder in the form of a scar—a testament to the fact that the body is a temple not to be exploited. Another timeless lesson with no date is that the most significant individuals are the ones who stand by you, regardless of your position or the circumstances.

What global trend will shape 2024?

The year 2024 will unfortunately be marked by the wrath of Mother Nature, as we take her for granted and exploit her as an endless resource. I hope that people, especially authoritarian leaders, will rediscover humanity and put an end to wars. The unpredictability stemming from significant advancements on the one hand and poverty and hunger on the other will pose challenges. Certainly, there will be great strides in biotechnology and ICT. However, I wish we could pause the world and realign it with values that matter.

Ajša Vodnik at the event Festival odločitev (Festival of Decisions), organizer: Speaker.si

What will be the most key skill in 2024?

In 2024, essential skills will include resourcefulness, an open mindset, empathy, the ability to find the good in people, and a desire to create a better world. Each of us can make a significant impact within our spheres, and if you can’t change the entire world, change yourself and what you can influence.

Tips and tricks to help personal/business growth succeed in 2024.

In my opinion, there are no universal tips and tricks. The key is to be proactive, seize opportunities, and, most importantly, be guided by a desire to create beauty and goodness rather than selfishness.

What is your top resolution for 2024?

Generally, in life, I am not a campaigner, so I live by consistent principles. I don’t believe in the approach of “I’ll start losing weight on Monday” or “everything will be different from the New Year.” However, I have made one decision: I will dance more in 2024. Alone, with myself, and with my loved ones, but most of all with my husband 😉