- Project 668 was born during your traineeship at the European Commission. What motivated you to start this organization?
We were a group of trainees inspired by Ernesto, who was also a trainee and who I call the “spiritual father” of Project 668. He brought us all together in his living room in April 2012 and although we didn’t know each other very well, we had two things in common: we were concerned about the high youth unemployment rate in Europe and we wanted to actively contribute to the fight of it.
- What are the most interesting and the most challenging parts of being the president of an NGO?
I believe that managing and leading a group of volunteers represents the most interesting and the most challenging part. On the one hand, I always think of it as a privilege to have the opportunity to work with a group of enthusiastic and motivated people; on the other hand, it is what it is – volunteering.
This means that everyone from the team has a job and the volunteering activity comes once everything else is finished. Especially when I made the decision a few years ago to accept a part-time job to be able to dedicate more time to Project 668 it was difficult for me to accept that I always had to wait and be very patient with my team members as they had to work the whole day for their jobs and I couldn’t “steal” more time from them.
However, I still see it as a privilege and am very grateful for this time as I learned a lot about myself and about how to lead a team consisting of volunteers where everybody is (obviously) different but shares a common vision and values.
- You manage an international team of 10 people online, liaise with potential partners, represent your NGO at events and coordinate all on-going activities. What's your advice to women who are just starting their side-hustle? What are your “leadership lessons learned”?
Henry Ford’s quote “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” summarizes very well my “Project 668 leadership journey” so far. It is about truly working together and creating a space where ideas and honest feedback are welcome and you openly communicate about what is going on and decide together where you want to go.
Without a common vision you cannot go anywhere. That’s why my advice to women who want to start an association is that they should first think about what they want to do and what they are ready to give in terms of time and effort.
After that, it might be also a good idea to see if a similar organization is already out there so that they can join an established structure first and if they really want to do something on their own and create something new, I very much encourage them to surround themselves with the right people who share the same vision and are ready to give what is needed to realize it.
+ Your life motto?
“Be yourself; everybody else is already taken.” (Oscar Wilde) It all starts with yourself and without knowing yourself, it is difficult to change or to figure out what you want.
By embracing yourself and by being proud of yourself without being selfish and egocentric, you can achieve plenty of things and don’t need the confirmation or recognition of others.
Lidija Globokar was born in Germany to Slovenian parents. She grew up bilingually and “biculturally”. In 2016, Lidija made it on the first Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list, in the Policy category, for her work on Project 668
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