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This article was published 7/4/2017 (1874 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
At 54, Tatjana Brkic has a lot to feel hopeful about, including the future.
She’s honoured to be part of the upcoming TEDx series in June where she’ll share some of what she’s learned as an entrepreneur and teacher.
"The concept of sharing discoveries, insights and ideas with the broadest possible audience is very appealing to me. TED speakers have enriched my existence and inspired generations of my students," Brkic, a South St. Vital resident, said.
Brkic’s TEDx talk will draw on a three-year project designed to identify profitable business models developed in response to social challenges. Over 400 students from 20 different countries researched, analyzed and interviewed socially innovative entrepreneurs in Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The goal? To find out whether business can be successful in creating social change and improving our environment. Brkic is optimistic.
"My hope is that it would inspire aspiring entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs, particularly those among women, Indigenous people, immigrants and youth. I look forward to the better work that will be created by young people, those I have been fortunate to meet in my classroom, among my daughter’s friends and co-workers. There is a lot of genuine kindness, commitment to society and love for our planet among young people. I am confident that given the opportunity they will create a better society."
Born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, her father was an archeologist and her mother an architect. Brkic started her first business at 17. The young entrepreneur partnered with existing, well-established businesses with ideas that would add value to their services and product lines.
"I proposed to add a gift and games business to my parent’s friend’s business: a match-making agency. Years later I proposed to add visits to cultural events to travel agencies in Belgrade that offered guided tours for foreign tourists."
Brkic started teaching at Red River College 15 years ago when her daughter was three years old.
"I always wanted to be in academia, I love interacting with young people and teaching was always something I wanted to pursue. RRC was one of the rare organizations in the city that had a daycare for employee children," she said.
Brkic came to Winnipeg to work on business and sustainable development for International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Later at Red River College, she conducted research to find out if there were any businesses focused on solving social and environmental issues.
TEDxWinnipeg takes place June 6, 2017 at the RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg. For more information, visit https://tedxwinnipeg.ca/
St. Boniface community correspondent
Janine LeGal is a community correspondent for St. Boniface who also writes the These Old Houses column for our Community Homes section.