My TEDx speech: TecHumanity

TecHumanity (original)

I guess that almost everyone in the world, ever, as a child, has been ask what do you want to be or what do you want to do when you grow up. Remember what was your answer to that question when you were, let’s say, six or seven years old and when your teacher asked that. So, can you remember that – your answer, at the of six or seven – and how many of you, please raise your hands, how many of you are doing exactly the same job as you wanted as a six-year-old? Well, just a few of you…

As a child, early, as a very young child I wanted to be a painter and that was actually my childhood dream and at the age of 12 I sterted getting courses from painters and other art professionals in order to improve my skills and to learn how to paint and draw. So, by the end of my 4th grade of highschool I was taking those courses and when I graduated from highschool I actually didn’t want to go to the academy of fine arts because my idea was that I already knew how to paint and draw and what I didn’t know was how to sell those paintings. So, this is highschool me, preparing one of my very first exhibitions and I was already into that business and actually into those activities, but I wanted to transform it into business. So, I enrolled the college where I could have classes of economy, finance, marketing and so on, so I was actually doing it and enjoying it because I also had courses of fine arts I could combine with it.

So I really enjoyed my studies, I started to love economy and finance and after the first year of studies all students from my college were obliged to three months of work experience, not only in order to get some money – to earn some money that studens actually needed – and not even to just get some working habbits that students needed even more, but also because we actually needed to see in which direction we want to develop our careers in future and also to see what courses to take in the following years. So I actually chose banking because the idea of banking was very interesting to me because I’ve a passion in mathematics and finance and I really love working with numbers, so it was very interesting that there’s a possibility, but also I liked the idea that in future I saw myself as someone who could create economic and financial policies in order to help local economy to prosper in terms of helping entrepreneurs, small business and even artists to get the access to finance. So my idea was to get hired – me, in a bank – which I did, actually.

I was hired by a bank, one of the leading ones at that time and most of my colleagues were people over the age of 60, most of them vere very experienced bankers, people with the big knowledge of banking who were perfect people to learn from. It was 2004 and not so many people in our environment had the possibility to use computers for banking purposes. So I was coming every morning to work with my laptop where I had installed not only Excel, but also Minitab, a statistical program that actually helped us do all the reports very fast, so I really enjoyed the fact that I was learning from them how to do the banking business and the people who spent whole their lives working in the banks still had the chance to learn something from me, the one who was actually doing her very first job but is still helping somebody to get the job done faster, so I really loved my job and sharing all that knowledge with the colleagues who were even three times older than me and the whole idea that we were actually sharing not only knowledge, but also respect.

So, everything was perfect until one day my boss came to the office and gave me the list of the clients who actually had the biggest debt toward bank and he told me: “Try to contact them and to warn them, because they’re late with their payments” and so I checked the banking database, I got their contacts from there and started calling one by one. Some of them answered the phone and told: “ok, thank you very much for reminding me, I almost forgot the due date” and “I will make my payment these days”. Some of them explained that they actually had some financial issues and that they will come to the bank in the next few days just to see the possibilities for reprogramming… and one man answered the phone and told me that he recently lost the member of the family and that it is not the time to think about the credit.

I told that to my boss and I explained him what was happenning… and he told me: “look, the fact that he cannot think about credit is not the response because we are not charity institution and we cannot be that sensitive”… and at that moment I felt like I was doing something that is comletely wrong, something that is completely unfair. The job that I liked to that moment very much I started hating. I started hating my boss, I hated my bank, I even hated myself… for allowing myself to do that. However, I continued coming to work every morning with the same working habbits and still with the willingness to learn something from it, but when my contract ended, because I had to go back to the studies, my boss told me that actually he was very sorry that I had to leave, that he understood that I had to enroll the second year, but that he wants me back next year.

And I said: “I will think about it”. I will think about it not only… this was actually the fact that I knew that I will never ever again step into that office back… but actually I didn’t lie. It was the promise to myself to think about… to rethink… about what will go on in my life in future. So, as a painter I had to rethink the role of a creative soul in a world that is so strict and seemed so cruel to me. Also, I was perceiving things from my perspective and have seen that a painter can actually find no place in the bank because… I was seeing the things from my perspective checking for example how all those paintings that were all around the bank were putted in the balance sheets of the bank – and what I saw actually was that since there were all bought on the auction, they were… those prices were calculated in the banking balance sheets in a way that they are not reflecting the price that those paintings are quoted in the galleries, which means that what’s in the banking balance sheet doesn’t actually correspond with real market prices which made me think even more about the whole thing – and think about all those items that are not only in some banking balances… balance sheets of the bank, but also in those balance sheets and the documents of all other financial institutions, such as stock exchange markets and others, central banks, governments, funds and so on.

So, there are so many things, such as commissions, shares, dividends, other prices that they are charging that way, futures and so on that are all made up. And if you can really accept it – the fact that so many things are made up and artificial in the financial world – you can live with it. The thing was actually that the one thing that was very interesting for me was commission – the one that is being charged every time one single transaction is being performed and every day on Earth we charge so many transaction costs commissions that they have the value of all the resources that the human world has in some sense and from that perspective and for me it was very interested to pay attention at the euro – the euro, as a single European currency that I remembered that once I heard that it was actually invented in order to connect all the countries by not having a commission on a currency exchange. It was so challenging for me that, because of that and in order to make some academic researches, I also enroled the studies of the European Union Law and my banking background helped me European Central Bank policies for granted. So…

I was researching all those possibilities to have one global currency. The idea about global currency was so interesting for me that actually I was trying to rethink how actually the world would look like and how many… how much money will be saved if we had only one currency in the world… and I know that probably for some of you it might sound like some verse from John Lennon’s song “Imagine”, but actually it is something that is possible if there is a compromiss about it. So I continued doing some researches, some other activities in my passion for mathematics and finance, trying to find solutions; I wrote so many thesis, I wrote articles and even published a handbook on how to apply some policies as a response to irregularities of finance.

And there was one thing that actually interested me the most, but everything started one rainy afternoon in November 2012 when I actually was checking several websites that I usually checked  in order to see something new and interesting because in the eve of financial crisis in 2008 – yes, that wasn’t the perfect timing for opening and for starting the new business, but I did it, and from that moment I was actually struggling to find some new possibilities to earn money in a financial world but in terms of, for example, providing some financial services for my clients that were waiting to get the new information. So at that time I was checking the technological sector that was the most inspiring for me and I was checking how innovations of the companies are actually shifting the share prices of those companies up and down so I was giving the advices to my clients what to sell and buy in that terms. And when I saw several articles about not only bitcoin, but also blockchain technology and cryprocurrencies as such, I was interested in researching it even more.

At that moment I started thinking how actually it would be to apply whole this technology in some other fields. I wasn’t one of those persons who just wanted to go into the bitcoin world and earn from switching of its price. I actually started to research how many of the possibilities it can get, because at the very beginning when the bitcoin was introduced to me its cost was so… so small that if I invested several hundreds of euros at that time I would be a millionaire by now – which I’m not. That doesn’t mean that I actually don’t like money, but the thing is that I don’t think that money should come fast and over night just when you invest some money and do nothing with it. I believe in the process of “earning by doing” and it was actually inspiring for me to research. So when I started teaching about it on several universities and institutes I started and exploring even more and answered to all those questions that were posed to me that made me research for and at that topic.

When I started researching it I actually saw that blockchain is very similar to my primary job – it is very similar to arts because the rules of it are so simple that therefore it can be compared to arts – because, first of all – it’s fair, and it’s simple – it’s simple for people who use it – it has very simple rules, very few rules that are pretty simple, but looks actually very complex to the people who are not involved into it and who are trying to understand it, but are actually rejecting its nature that it’s something that it’s very fair. So I was doing the paintings all the time and I never stopped, but actually the thing is that blockchain inspired me that much that I even stopped painting for a moment when I was trying to research how actually it would be if, for example, this type of technology would be applied on some other levels.

I was thinking, first of all, of the beginning of my career experience how, for example, there are so many actions of cruelty in the human nature, in business relations and in relations towards the clients, so the thing was actually that I was trying to find out what all the people that do not even get the basic level of respect or the truth, or even the minimum of justice could be helped by this type of technology – because it offers prosperity – there is a possibility to get justice from it because everything is transparent, everything is fair and everything that is going on through this process is actually visible, so there are so many legal issues that could be solved via this designed platform because it actually offers the possibility to be fair towards one that you have some relations to. And it’s also securing human rights in that way because the more justice there exists the more human rights are respected.

And I was comming back to the beginning of my story where I was thinking how actually this was similar to the idea – the very first idea that I had about my career. So in reseraching this type of technology, that seemes like a response to all negativity in the financial world that we’ve seen starting from the global economic crisis 2008 until now we actually see how one technology is actually being developed in the same principles as art is being developed from the beginning of the history, and it was my very big lesson to myself and at that moment I realised that my childhood dream was the best business advice that I had and that not following your childhood dream and abandoning it is actually the biggest mistake one might make, because it makes you all for a lifteime doing something that you shouldn’t do and doing something that you are not comfortable with.

So if many of you made a mistake in that way try to remember your childhood dream that actually was something that should be your guideline in the future, no matter how old you are and no matter which profession you choose and if you still cannot accept it let’s make sure that your children do not make the same mistake.

⚪️ ⚫️ 🔴 ⚪️ ⚫️ 🔴 ⚪️ ⚫️ 🔴

⚪️ ⚫️ 🔴 ⚪️ ⚫️ 🔴 ⚪️ ⚫️ 🔴

TecHumanity by Ana Nives Radovic on TEDx Budva, April 14th 2018.

TecHumanity (prevod govora)

Pretpostavljam da je gotovo svima na svijetu, oduvijek, kao djeci, bilo postavljeno pitanje šta žele da budu ili šta žele da rade kad odrastu. Sjetite se kakav je bio vaš odgovor na to pitanje kada ste imali, recimo, šest ili sedam godina i kada vas je to pitao učitelj. Dakle, da li se sjećate šta ste na to pitanje odgovorili sa šest-sedam godina – a koliko od vas, podignite ruke, koliko od vas radi isti posao koji ste poželjeli kao šestogodišnjak? Pa, samo nekoliko od vas…

Veoma rano sam poželjela da se bavim slikarstvom, što je zapravo bio moj san iz dejtinjstva, a već s 12 godina počela sam da uzimam časove od slikara i drugih umjetničkih stručnjaka kako bih poboljšala vještine i naučila kako da slikam i crtam. Na te časove išla sam sve do kraja srednje škole i kad sam završila gimnaziju zapravo nisam ni poželjela da odem na likovnu akademiju, jer sam shvatila da već dovoljno dobro znam da slikam i crtam, no ono što nisam znala bilo je kako da prodam svoje radove. Ovo na slici sam ja kao srednjoškolka dok pripremam jednu od prvih izložbi, jer sam tad već radila takve aktivnosti i željela da ih pretvorim u biznis. Zbog toga sam upisala koledž na kojem sam imala časove ekonomije, finansija, marketinga i tako dalje, tako da sam zapravo učeći to uživala što sam s tim mogla kombinovati predmete poput likovne umjetnosti.

Zbog toga sam uživala studirajući, a kroz sve to sam zavoljela ekonomiju i finansije. Nakon prve godine studija svi studenti koledža imali su obavezu da za tri mjeseca steknu radno iskustvo, ne samo da bismo zaradili novac, koji je studentima zaista potreban, niti samo da bismo stekli radne navike, koje su studentima bile još potrebnije, već da bismo zapravo vidjeli u kojem pravcu želimo da se razvija naša buduća karijera i koje predmete da odaberemo na narednim godinama studija. Tako sam odabrala da radim u banci zato što mi je ideja o bankarstvu bila jako zanimljiva jer sam strastveni ljubitelj matematike i finansijama, pa stvarno volim da radim sa brojevima, tako da je zapravo bilo vrlo interesantno što postoji ta mogućnost, a takođe mi se i dopadala ideja da ću u budućnosti sebe vidjeti kao nekoga ko bi mogao da stvori ekonomsku i finansijsku politiku kako bi pomogao lokalnoj ekonomiji da pomogne preduzetnicima, malom biznisu, pa čak i umetnicima da dobiju pristup finansijama. Dakle, moja ideja je bila da se angažujem – u banci – što sam zapravo učinila.

Zaposlila sam se u banci, jednoj od vodećih u to vrijeme, a većina mojih kolega bili su ljudi s više od 60 godina, većina njih veoma iskusni bankari, ljudi s velikim znanjem o bankarstvu, savršeni da se od njih uči. Bila je to 2004. i nije bilo previše ljudi u našem okruženju koji su znali da se koriste računarom u bankarske svrhe. Zbog toga sam svakog jutra dolazila na posao s laptopom na kojem sam imala instaliran ne samo Excel, već i Minitab, program za statistiku koji nam je zapravo pomagao da izvješatje radimo mnogo brže, tako da sam zaista bila presrećna zbog činjenice da učim kako da obavljam bankarske poslove od nekoga ko je cio radni vijek tu proveo, a da ujedno imam i šansu da njih naučim nešto ja kojoj je ovo prvi posao u životu, ali ipak mogu doprinijeti da se posao brže završava, zbog čega sam obožavala da radim i razmjenjujem znanje s ljudima koji su čak trostruko stariji od mene, kao i cijelu ideju da ne samo da je uzajamno pružanje znanja, već i da postoji međusobno uvažavanje.

Sve je bilo savršeno dok moj šef jednog dana nije ušao u kancelariju donijevši spisak klijenata koji zapravo najviše duguju banci i rekao mi: “pokušaj da ih kontaktiraš i da ih upozoriš, jer kasne s plaćanjem” tako da sam u bazi podataka banke pronašla njihove kontakte i počela da zovem jedno po jedno. Neki su se javili i rekli “ok, havala, što ste me podsjetili, zamalo da zaboravim na rok” i “uplatiću ovih dana”. Neki su objašnjavali da imaju finansijskih poteškoća i da će narednih dana doći u banku da bismo razmotrili mogućnosti reprograma… a jedan čovjek se javo i rekao da je nedavno imao smrtni slučaj u porodici i da nije vrijeme da razmišlja o kreditu.

Rekla sam to šefu, objasnivši mu šta se desilo… od njega sam čula: “vidi, to što on ne može da misli na kredit nije odgovor, jer mi nismo humanitarna ustanova i ne možemo imati takvog osjećaja”. U tom trenutku učinilo mi se da radim nešto što je potpuno pogrešno, nešto što nije nimalo fer. Posao koji sam do tog momenta toliko voljela počela sam da prezirem. Mrzila sam svog šefa, banku, pa čak i sebe što sam to dozvolila. Ipak, nastavila sam dolazim na posao svakog jutra s istim radnim navikama i i dalje sa željom da os dvega nešto završim, no kad mi je ugovor istekao jer sam morala da se vratim na studije, šef mi je rekao da mu je žao što moram da idem, da razumije da treba da se vratim na studije, ali da želim da se vratim iduće godine.

Rekla sam mu: “razmisliću”, iako sam zapravo znala da više nikad u životu neću kročiti u tu kancelariju, no uopšte nisam slagala. To da ću razmisliti bilo je obećanje koje sam dala samoj sebi da ću razmisliti i ponovo razmišljati o tome kako ubuduće želim da živim. Kao slikar morala sam razmisliti o ulozi jednog kreativca u svijetu koji mi je izgledao veoma surovo. Sagledala sam stvari iz sopstvene perspektive i shvatila da u bankama za slikare nema mjesta. Gledajući na stvar iz svog ugla osvrnula sam se i na to kako su sve to slike koje su se nalazile u banci bile uknjižene, budući da su kupljene na aukciji, s cijenama koje ne odražavaju tržišnu vrijednost i ono koliko bi koštale u galerijama, što mi je govorilo da ono što se nalazi u bankovnoj dokumentaciji zapravo ne korespondira sa stvarnim tržišnim vrijednostima, a sve to navelo me na razmišljanje o cijeloj stvari – razmišljanje kako ova pojava nije prisutna samo u bilansima banaka, već i u knjigama drugih finansijskih institucija, poput berzi, centralnih banaka, vlada, fondova i slično.

Stoga, postoji mnogo stvari, poput provizija, akcija, dividendi, drugih troškova koji se tako naplaćuju, fjučersa i sličmo – a oni su svi izmišljeni. Tako da, ako možete to prihvatiti – tu činjenicu da je mnogo toga izmišljenog i vještačkog u finansijskom svijetu – možete živjeti s tim. Stvar je zapravo u tome što mi je jedna stvar tu bila veoma inspirativna, a to je provizija – ono što se naplaćuje svakog puta kada se bilo koja transakcija obavi, pri čemu se svakog dana na Zemlji napravi toliko transakcionih troškova, dostižući vrijednost svih resursa kojima čovječanstvo raspolaže, a upravo na taj način i iz te perspektive zainteresovala sam se za euro – jedinstvenu evropsku valutu za koju sam tada vezivala priču da je osmišljen kako bi povezao zemlje tako što bi bio izbjegnut trošak konverzije novca. To me je inspirilaslo da počnem da se bavim akademskim israživanjem ove teme do te mjere da sam uspisala studije prava Evropske unije, a iskustvo koje sam imala u banci pomagalo mi je da politiku Evropske centralne banke ne uzimam zdravo za gotovo.

Tako sam počela da istražujem mogućnosti stvaranja globalne valute. Ideja o globalnoj valuti bila mi je toliko primamljiva da sam zapravo ponovo počela da razmišljam o tome kako bi svijet u tom slučaju izgledao i koliko bi samo mnogo novca moglo da se uštedi kada bi u svijetu postojala samo jedna valuta… Znam da nekima od vas to moža zvuči kao neki stih pjesme “Imagine” Džona Lenona, ali to je nešto što bi bilo moguće kada bi postojao kompromis. Vratila sam se istraživanju i drugim aktivnostima zbog svoje strasti prema matematici i finansijama, pokušavajući da nađem rješenje – pisala sam teze, članke i čak objavila udžbenik o tome kako primjenjivati pravila kao odgovor na finansijske neregularnosti.

Pojavilo se nešto što me tada veoma zainteresovalo, a sve je počelo jednog kišnog novembarskog popodneva 2012. godine kad sam zapravo provjervala šta je novo na sajtovima koje inače pratim kako bih vidjela nešto novo i interesantno, jer sam uoči finansijske krize 2008. godine – da, znam da to nije bilo idealno vrijeme za pokretanje sopstvenog biznisa – upravo to i uradila i od tog trenutka teško se borila da pronađem nove načine da zaradim novac u oblasti finansija tako što sam pružala informacije klijentima prateći tehnološki sektor koji mi je bio najinspirativniji, jer sam prateći inovacije u tim kompanijama mogla vidjeti rast ili pad cijena njihovih akcija i tako savjetovati šta da se kupi, a šta proda. Tad sam vidjela nekoliko tekstova ne samo o bitcoinu, već o blockchain tehnologiji i kriptovalutama kao takvim, pa sam poželjela da to dodatno proučim.

Počela sam tad da razmišljam o tome kako bi bilo kad bi se cijela ta tehnologija primjenjivala u drugim oblastima. Nisam bila jedna od onih koji su željeli da uđu u svijet bitcoina da bi zaradili novac na promjeni njegove cijene, već sam zapravo počela da istražujem kakve mogućnosti sve to daje, jer sam se prvi put susrela s bitcoinom onda kada je njegova vrijednost bila izuzetno mala i da sam u tom trenutku uložila nekoliko nekoliko stotina eura danas bih bila milioner – a to ipak nisam. Ovo ne znači da ja u stvari ne volim novac, već da ne mislim da je moguće obogatiti se brzo, preko noći, samo tako što se uloži novac i s njim ne radi ništa. Vjerujem u proces “zarade kroz rad” i upravo me to inspirilaslo da se bavim istraživačkim radom. Tako, kad sam počela da predajem na nekoliko univerziteta i instituta još detaljnije sam počela da proučavam ovu oblast kako bih mogla dati odgovore na pitanja koja su mi se postavljala, a to me navelo na dodatno proučavanje ove oblasti.

Kada sam počela istraživanje shvatila sam da je zapravo blockchain veoma sličan mom primarnom poslu – vrlo je sličan umjetnosti jer su pravila vrlo jednostavna i zato se s umjetnošću i može porediti – jer, prije svega, fer je, jednostavan je – jednostavan za ljude koji se time bave jer ima veoma jednostavna pravila – vrlo mali broj vrlo jednostavnih pravila, ali koja se čine veoma kompleksna ljudima kojima to nije blisko, a koji pokušavaju da razumiju, ali odbijaju činjenici da se u njihovoj suštini nalazi nešto što je veoma pravično. Sve ovo vrijeme sam slikala bez prestanka, no u to vrijeme me blockchain inspirisao toliko da sam na trenutak prestala time da se bavim kako bih se posvetila istraživanju kako bi se ova tehnologija mogla primjenjivati na drugim nivoima.

Razmišljala sam, prije svega, o iskustvu s početka karijere i tome kako postoji toliko aktivnosti iz kojih se vidi surovost u ljudskoj prirodi, u poslovnim odnosima i relacijama s klijentom, pa sam tako pokušala da otkrijem kako bi svim onim ljudima koji ostaju bez osnovnog poštovanja ili istine, ili bez trunke pravde bilo moguće pomoći korišćenjem ove tehnologije – jer pruža prosperitet – mogućnost da se radi pravično jer je sve transparentno, sve je fer i sve što se odvija u ovim procesima zapravo je vidljivo, tako da ima mnogo pravnih pitanja koja bi mogla biti riješena preko ove platforme koja zapravo pruža mogućnost da se bude pravičan prema onima sa kojima se imaju određene relacije. Na taj način se obezbjeđuju ljudska prava jer što više pravičnosti postoji ljudska prava su bolje poštovana.

Vraćala sam se na početak moje priče kada sam razmišljala o tome kako je zapravo ovo slično onoj ideji, prvoj ideji koju sam imala o svojoj karijeri. Istražujući ovu vrstu tehnologije, koja je izgledala kao odgovor na sveukupnu negativnost finansijskoh svijeta koju smo vidjeli od globalne ekonomske krize 2008. do danas zapravo smo vidjeli kako se za to vrijeme kroz ovu vrstu tehnologije razvijalo nešto što se kroz umjetnost razvijalo od početka istorije, što je za mene predstavljalo značajnu lekciju, jer sam u tom trenutku shvatila da je moj san iz djetinjstva zapravo bio najbolji poslovni savjet i da ako ne slijedimo san koji smo imali kao djeca ili ga napustimo činimo najveću grešku, jer to čini da se do kraja života bavimo nčim što ne bi trebalo i nečim što nam zapravo ne prija.

Tako da, ako su mnogi od vas napravili tu grešku pokušajte da se prisjetite svog sna iz djetinjstva i neka vam on bude vodilja u budućnosti, bez obzira na to koliko godina imate i koju profesiju ste odabrali, a ako i dalje to ne možete prihvatiti potrudite se barem da vaša djeca ne naprave istu grešku.