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Southeast Europe depends on others and does not have any long-term strategic plan for energy – Interview for Poslovni HR

Mirjana Preljević, an expert with extensive experience in strategic positioning in the areas of entrepreneurship and business intelligence, speaks for PD about facing the challenges of energy transformation, differences within Europe, leadership…

Mirjana Preljević is a world-renowned expert with more than 25 years of experience in strategic positioning in the field of entrepreneurship and business intelligence.

Her book “Positioning Strategy as the Key to Success” has been translated into seven languages, and she is the author of numerous expert texts and analyses on the topic of strategic positioning of countries, cities, and organizations, energy efficiency, sustainable development, start-up companies…

She lives between Belgrade and Paris, and for Poslovni Dnevnik she spoke about the challenges world societies face in new geopolitical circumstances, energy transformation, the future of leadership, differences within Europe, and her inspiration from the teachings of Nikola Tesla.

How do you comment on events at the world level from your position as an expert in strategic positioning? Where do you see Europe, China, the USA, and Russia in the coming period? Can we even assume strategic movements anymore?
You know, I well remember the words of James Canton who said: The Stone Age did not end due to lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil!”.

Namely, it is clear to all of us that energy is the main driver of development because the history of civilization is and will always remain the history of energy transformation. Every advanced economy required access to modern energy sources to ensure its development and prosperity. And today we are living in a serious paradox, which is that Western economies are consciously renouncing the strategic decisions defined yesterday in the field of energy, while at the same time suddenly turning to the reactivation of the use of coal, and despite all that, a new source of energy – the use of hydrogen.

We saw that the leaders of the EU countries agreed at the Summit in March to jointly buy gas, liquefied natural gas (LNG), and hydrogen ahead of the next winter. So much for what is currently happening in Brussels, which has somehow lost its compass, seemingly suddenly, but actually the war matrix has resurfaced, bringing all other strategies into checkmate.

The USA, as always, follows its own economic interests, China knows how critical energy is to it and invests a lot in the installation of new technologies on its territory, while Russia emerges by transferring this sudden blow to the existing energy flows of oil and gas exports to new markets or existing with new users, and at even higher prices.

Strategic directions should always be set, regardless of whether you are big or small in terms of territory, because smaller countries, due to their flexibility and less use of energy sources, can be set much faster and more optimally in relation to their economy, industry, and population.

That is why the balance of different energy flows of production and supply of energy products is always the best strategy for small businesses. RES and Energy efficiency have a serious task and test here today. What bothers me as a strategist is that in the region of Southeast Europe, almost all strategic documents in the field of energy do not exceed ten years.

There is no continuity, but the direction of the dependence on others continues. It should and can be set differently. One niche in all that and an excellent example is the newly established project SINCRO.GRID. So, it can be done, there is potential, you just need to know and want it.

The topic of energy transformation has become one of the main topics. As an expert and professional lobbyist, you dealt with this topic long before it became mainstream…
Yes, you are right. The fact that I was elected to the group of experts of the G7-group for the proposal for the development of the Sustainable Development Strategy of the member countries in 2015 in Berlin, and then a direct participant in the two-day workshop of the IEA – International Energy Agency in Paris, when Energy Efficiency was set as an equal unit. in the IEA along with oil, coal, and gas.

It was a significant day for all of us who deal strategically and operationally with energy because from that moment EE becomes a significant and official factor in energy transformation. On the other hand, the EU’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions has serious implications for the European energy system. Around two-thirds of the EU’s energy should come from renewable sources.

The European energy system is still not designed to face such challenges, so it must be transformed by 2050. The events that we are having right now in the energy market that arose as a result of the war in Ukraine have called a lot of things into question.

Ad-hoc decisions are made and we return to some old and forgotten proposals and projects for the production or supply of energy sources. Meanwhile, some are actually profiting from it.

So, while this recomposition of strategic decision packages continues, I still see that solutions based on innovations in RES, the grid and EE measures are the most promising, because, in the long term, they certainly win. By the way, this is the first time that the Commission has analyzed energy trends for such a long-term period, which also says a lot.

Do you think we are really ready for the energy transformation? As a society, but also our economies?
We must be ready, this is no longer a matter of just thinking, but of serious action. You know, when I think back to how many decades the talk about the LNG Terminal in Omišlj has been going around, and now you have that by 2024, the entire capacity of the terminal has been leased, and by 2035, about half of the capacity.

So, energy transformation was and is being worked on. This can be seen in countless examples. Where is the so-called strategic slippage with new energy sources, i.e. new use of known ones, are economic analyzes in response to the question, and how much will it all cost us?

There is a weak link in today’s energy transformation. That’s why I’ve been advocating for more than 20 years in this area exclusively for an integral approach to solving that issue (and all others at strategic levels) because we see a lot of wandering and dead ends.

Your work is greatly inspired by the work and character of Nikola Tesla. Can you tell us a little more about that?
For more than two decades I have been preparing to present the T.E.S.L.A. Algorithm, and they are now in front of us. It is a new matrix of integrated development of society based on the synergy of five fields, i.e. the letters of the acronym: Technology, Education, Science, Love, and Activism. You know, today we live in several parallel realities, if I may say so.

At the same time as the official policy prescribes its strategies and laws, we simultaneously have incredible growth and examples of the so-called. 1,400 cities in transition and 4,800 supplementary currencies, from Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Finland, to India and the USA. Innovative models exist, and not only do they exist, but they also produce sustainable results.

I will share with you another important piece of information. Seven of the 10 profiles that are on the Forbes list of the most sought-after jobs today did not exist just ten years ago. So a serious reform of education is needed, especially formal education. As it is today, informal education now shares the same share with formal education in the process of educating young people in order to prepare them for business and life.

On the other hand, the dead end we reached by throwing out Ether as the fifth element and the most important integrative factor, just like ether physics, is now coming back to us like a boomerang. The year 1920 and Albert Einstein’s lecture in the Dutch city of Leiden, in which he testified with his authority that the Ether does not exist, and separated it into space-time dimensions, dangerously brought us to where we are today.

The re-liberation of the Ether, the new development of etheric physics, and everything else that can be built on the basis of the fifth element is my priority today, and not only mine but also that of an increasing number of Teslans around the world – that is, people who share the values ​​and knowledge established and defined by Nikola Tesla.

I spoke about this at Harvard for the first time in 2015, and then in Zagreb, and you can see the effects, more and more, of how many of us there are and what we can do. All my knowledge and experience as a pioneer at the world level in the field of Strategic Positioning today I compose through Quantum management in the form of Algorithm T.E.S.L.A. which, in my opinion, is essential for today’s managers and all those who intend to manage an organization today.

In your lectures, do you connect digital transformation with this energy transformation?
Yes, constantly. Integral observation of things is, as I said, the only correct way of strategic action for me, and that is because it allows viewing from multiple perspectives all the processes that at a certain moment break down on the way of planning.

Today, it is the combination of digital and energy transformation that is our comparative advantage as a region, born from the relationship between wisdom and youth. And if we are all wise enough to strengthen and strengthen this domain, we will receive a lot of attention and support from all the leading economies of the world, because this is and will be a field of work needed by everyone who wants to harmonize their growth as states and societies.

Do we even have the infrastructure for such changes in the Balkans or Southeast Europe?
Excellent question. This current disconnect between strategic goals and tactical steps may be costing us dearly now. The biggest challenge currently in the field of energy is balancing with energy lobbies. The processes we live through should first be understood, and then acted upon. On this path, diagnostics are of the utmost importance.

If we know where we are right now and where we want to go, the path to that goal is greatly facilitated. Therefore, this serious period of transformation should be used as soon as possible and all innovators, academic structures, and experts should be invited to join forces in formulating new solutions in the field of infrastructure, but looking at it as an important and integrative element of the overall economic, industrial and consumer system, and not as a separate entity.

What do you think is the main path of transformation? How much and what kind of role do politics and the profession have, and what and what kind of role do entrepreneurs and citizens play?
The policy should define the framework and provide full support, the profession should provide it with real, accurate, and usable data in response to the question of how, entrepreneurs should communicate with them what challenges and obstacles they face on this path of transformation, and citizens’ demands for a safe and healthy life. That is why the golden rule of any strategy is the 3K rule: communication, coordination, and cooperation.

Are there more real leaders in the world? Namely, you are also a board member of the Swiss foundation Stars, whose role is precisely the education and upbringing of new world leaders.
There are no longer so many visionary statesmen who are capable of sharing that vision with the people and then presenting it together. And who is the leader today? A person who carries the characteristics of inspiration with his own personality, vision, ability to realize it, knowledge, and competence.

Leaders are people who inspire others by personal example because they know how, and this recognition among young people today encourages the development of new areas of development that we did not even think about until just ten years ago.

Will we ever again see leaders in the form in which they existed until recently? Young people carry with them some new things, energies, and desires…
We won’t, that’s already obvious. Young people who carry the greatest energy of the development potential of society today need to be awakened much more by new ways of communication, and of course, with all due respect to social networks, develop themselves much more in terms of vocabulary and applied knowledge.

If they want it, I’m sure they will find teachers along the way. My project of economic connection of the region and the world T²: TESLA SQUARE with the slogan: A place where youth has a say is also in the name of this.

You live between Belgrade and Paris, and you do business on four continents. What are the main differences between Southeastern and Western Europe when we talk about the culture of life and business?

I believe I will not make a mistake if I list the following determinants: orderliness, definition, accuracy, understanding of the essence and difference between the word business and the word business, knowledge of the place of power and decision-makers in Western Europe in relation to, on the other hand, politically determined and defined decisions, the so-called of business, those business catchphrases, such as no problem, we’ll do it easily and similar.

Issues such as illegal dumps, entrances to buildings that cry out for renovation, parks, and the environment in the west are a matter of personal culture and behavior of the individual, and the community should provide a framework, both legally and financially, by which these issues are resolved. However, the growth of creative creativity in the Southeast and increased inventiveness are also very visible.

Considering everything you do and the large number of people you talk to and meet, how do you see the world in the next ten years, considering all the transformations we’ve already started going through?
It will be the way we want it to be, that’s clear. I believe that everything in life is a matter of measure and intention. If you have a clear intention, you will find the measure by which you want to make it a reality. It’s like that in business, it’s like that in life.

In my performances, lectures, and columns, I regularly invite people to activism, to more clearly define the goals and values ​​of their lives, just like to know themselves. This observation of the micro-macro relationship is extremely important for each person in order to determine his position. Only by knowing himself can a person make correct decisions and choices. Then he knows what he wants and what he doesn’t want.

With this, he clearly sets the direction of his path and, above all, bears the responsibility for those choices and decisions. A healthy individual thereby creates a healthy community, awareness of the importance of all of us is very important because everyone has some value and qualities that they incorporate into the overall quality of society’s life. In that name, listen to yourself, your environment, and nature.

In that trinity are all the answers. As far as the world is concerned, multipolarity is its new phase, which is already seriously looming on the horizon, and certainly leads to the balance of forces and potentials that we need for the further development of humanity.

Author: Ivana Belić

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