SHIFT Conference

At the centre of Mikser Festival 2019 is the three-day international Shift conference. The conference brings together important local and European experts and changemakers who pave the way for a more sustainable and circular future, as well as representatives of relevant local institutions that will tackle the topic of circular economy in Serbia.

The conference which is an essential part of the 10th anniversary of Mikser Festival, is a result of a collaboration with United Nations Development Program – UNDP Serbia. This is one of the first public activities with the goal of initiating a Circular Economy Platform in Serbia. This platform will have a multilayered approach – to start an open public debate between experts and decision-makers, to make the topic of circular economy more accessible to the general public, to involve the media in the process of changing mindsets and practices necessary to develop a more sustainable culture of living and acting. The overall goal is to protect and regenerate the environment and the endangered natural resources.

The encounter of relevant actors who represent different aspects of the society, and bring diverse angles of addressing the same challenges is envisioned as a working process. During the Festival the outcomes of this process will be thoroughly followed and recorded, and the conclusions will be formulated in a document summarizing recommendations for the circular economy roadmap in Serbia. Together, Mikser and UNDP will submit the document to the Ministry of environmental protection with the goal of involving as many stakeholders as possible in the process of developing strategic national documents in the field of circular economy. Mikser Festival directs special attention to the importance of early involvement of science and technology innovators, as well as the creative sector in the development of innovations necessary for the transition towards a circular societal model. As opposed to the linear economy models where such involvement comes late or is not present, in circular economy this individuals are essential for the process.

The first day of the conference – Friday, May 24th – is dedicated to the local diagnostics and mapping of the current situation regarding the most pressing issues. From waste management in several areas (plastic, food, textile), to the potential of democratization of renewable energy sources such as solar energy and the greatly neglected importance of green infrastructure and water resources in urban surroundings.

On the second day of the conference – Saturday, May 25th – brings valuable European experiences from pioneering countries in the field of circular economy and sustainable development, such as Finland, Slovenia and the Netherlands. These countries were among the first to develop their national Circular Economy Roadmaps that facilitate the transition from a linnear to a circular economy model. These actions has brought them to the Mikser Festival as partners and inspiration models. With the goal of sharing their reach experience and expertise with colleagues from Serbia and the Balkan region who are about to embark on the process of developing similar documents, leaders of European circular change will address the audience through several formats – lectures, discussions and workshops.

The last day of the conference – Sunday, May 26th – will be dedicated to establishing connections and sharing good practice examples when forming partnerships among the public, private, scientific and creative sectors. These partnerships will enable finding solutions to the challenges defined during the first day of the conference. The debate about the role of media in the overall change of paradigm for more responsible individual and collective understanding and acting is no coincidence. This conversation will sumarise the impressions and next steps, emphasizing the empowerment of citizens to seek information and be a more active corrective factor in policy making when it comes to our environment.

The crown jewel of Shift Conference is without doubt the Circulathon – a parallel working session that will take place on the last day of the conference. Here, relevant local actors and European experts in the field of circular economy, supported by Mikser and UNDP, will try defining first guidelines for the development of a Circular Economy Roadmap for Serbia. The outcomes of this session will also be a part of the final document with recommendations that will be delivered to the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

Thanks to a new strategic partnership, the Shift conference will take place in the Museum of Science and Technology in 51, Dobračina street – one of the main locations of the Festival.

A detailed program of the conference is available here.

The entrance to the conference is free with a mandatory electronic ticket reservation for both morning and afternoon sessions of all three days. Tickets can be booked here.