The Snowball is the center of optimism. It is a group of over 75 active young people between 25 and 40 years of age, employed in Slovenian and international companies and the public sector, brought together by a common vision – to make Slovenia a country of optimism and opportunity, with a high quality of life. The Snowball group has no program or structure, but has the desire, energy and the ambition of youth to co-create the world, Slovenia and “keep pushing the snowball” with excellent ideas.
Members of Snowball have all completed the AmCham Young ProfessionalsTM program. Since 2014, they have been striving to actively speak out, propose and co-create concrete proposals that will enable key shifts in society. Members of Snowball are developing incisive and bold ideas for the future, acting as a generator of ideas on how to make Slovenia a country of optimism and opportunity. They are active, are participating and contributing, and are connecting with other stakeholders. Ideas developed by Snowball are not owned by anyone; they are joint ideas, generating the spark for the environment and creating support networks that can develop and realize such ideas.
Snowball has successfully presented its ideas to the general public using various channels and has established dialogue with the representative of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia.
After sharing a “pizza and beer” with the Minister of Public Administration and the Deputy Prime Minister Boris Koprivnikar, Snowball introduced the initiative for the Partnership for Change project. The program began as a pilot employee exchange program between the public and private sectors, and then expanded in three rounds to 8 ministries, 46 companies and 120 people participating in the exchange, identifying five pressing problems in public administration, with subsequent solutions identified and implemented. Program participants thus push the boundaries together, break down stereotypes and create positive stories, which are also recognized abroad, as numerous countries also wish to implement this program. This year, the Partnership for Change program is entering its fourth round, becoming a national cooperation platform.
Snowball representatives also introduced the initiative to make Slovenia the green reference country in digital Europe, which was also adopted by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. With the initiative, the Snowball group hoped to highlight Slovenia as a country of optimism and opportunity, with positive changes only possible with the cooperation and open dialogue between business, government, science and civil society. Only in this way can we create an environment open to digital society, enabling growth and development, and raising the quality of living standards for all citizens.
At the start of 2016, Snowball representatives and the young people from other business organizations met with Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia Miro Cerar and presented the position of the youth on innovativeness and the importance of talent. Snowball believes in cooperation and that improved communication between all stakeholders could change many things, and is also promoting increased participation of all generations.
The Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy invited Snowball representatives to help prepare Strategy 2050, a new strategic document defining long-term vision and development strategy of Slovenia.
Snowball 1.0 in 2017
This year, the Snowball group focused on two key topics:
a) Future of Work
The Future of Work group focused on transformations in work places and employment. Snowball identified the factors dictating work places and work activity in the future. In cooperation with the Faculty of Economics in Ljubljana, they prepared detailed calculations of the changes. We can expect new developments in digitalization and AI development, changes in demographics, globalization, and other disruptors to greatly affect the labor market. Great changes are expected in the next five years, so we have to react quickly.
As part of the project, Snowball is striving to inform the general public about the forecasts for the future, thus contributing to greater readiness of Slovenia for the upcoming changes. The group prepared specific reform proposals for education, social system and tax legislation, which it will present to key public sector and business representatives.
b) Green Entrepreneur (tourism, energy industry, agriculture)
Snowball believes that pristine Slovenian nature is the greatest competitive advantage of Slovenia. Snowball members therefore research new business models in green, sustainable and circular economy. Green Entrepreneur group members developed a Green Village prototype, which is sustainable and functions using the circular principle. It meets the needs of local population, visitors and tourists, and strives for cohabitation. The Green Village combines mobility, agriculture, energy industry, gastronomy, culture, accommodations and tourist offering.
Snowball 2.0 focuses on talents. We have defined what talent is and what is needed for their realization. We designed a prototype of a country, encouraging for talents, and looked for a solution on how to provide a suitable work environment for talents in Slovenia, how to keep them at home, and how to attract them back to Slovenia.
The leaders of Snowball
From 2014 to 2017: Petra Kocjan
From 2017 to 2018: Jan Dobrilovič
Work of the Future team: Primož Ramovš
Green Entrepreneur team: Primož Rojac
Snowball 2.0: Nana Šumrada Slavnič
The Snowball Council has primarily an advisory role. It is tasked with providing help in program development, raising its quality and identifying synergies with other programs and projects. The Council includes three co-authors of the AmCham Young ProfessionalsTM program, President of AmCham Slovenia at the time when the Snowball initiative started, and each year’s winner of the AmCham Young Professionals program – AmCham Top Potential of the Year.