One of the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe 2017: Social Entrepreneurs
He defines himself as a “vremigrant” (temporary emigrant) from Berlin, Germany, and Sofia, Bulgaria.
There is no definition of such a word as “vremigrant” in the dictionary. Would you help explaining it?
The word came to me years ago in a Berlin kitchen. For me it is the correct name for the modern-day emigrants. The “time-migrants” are extremely mobile and adaptable temporary migrants; they could be students who are abroad to study for a few years, professionals who found a better job away from home, migrant workers, seasonal workers in richer countries. These people do not belong only to a physical location; they are part of networks of relatives, friends or causes. Social media, the low prices of phones, the low-cost flights have changed our lives so much that in reality the “time-migrants” spend almost as much time with their loved ones and learn about what is happening in their homeland as if they were physically living there.
What sort of people are Berliners and do you find it easy to find your place among them?
In Berlin, I think that everyone can at the same time fit easily and be different. The city, its neighborhoods and its inhabitants, is as colorful as a patchwork blanket. It is an absolute smorgasbord of artists, entrepreneurs, sullen East Berliners, well-dressed smiling retired West Berliners, young immigrants from Spain and Portugal, the always festive students, “German Turks”, poorly dressed Russians and Poles, and of course the thousands of government officials and diplomats. For the young generation, to be a Berliner is more of an attitude. I personally do not know anyone who was born in Berlin.
To what extent do the people you are surrounded with help one realise his or her full potential?
It is of crucial significance to always have more successful people around you than yourself, or more experienced people in your community from whom to learn, and to set goals for yourself (a job, successful projects) slightly above your real abilities.
If the right environment is not there, it can be created.
The actual physical environment is definitely less significant nowadays.
How are good ideas born?
There is no perfect recipe, but a mandatory element in all my ideas is the realization that for the problems and irritants that we are faced with every day, we are the ones to find the solutions.
You are a person who works on many projects simultaneously – you go to university, you work, coordinate projects, you have your spare time. How do you manage all that?
I get up late and go to bed late.
My daily life is rather hectic, so definitely sticking to a strict routine is not the answer.
I work in the evenings and on weekends.
I have no hobbies in the traditional meaning of the word because working on my causes is what gives me strength and is what I am interested in.
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