TED is a worldwide conference series created under the slogan “ideas worth spreading”. TEDx Sofia University, where “x” stands for independently organized event, annually hosts speakers from different backgrounds who share their interests, ideas and experiences under the umbrella of the global TED initiative. At a TEDx event, video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a smaller group, focusing on topics such as technology, education, design and beyond.
Since the summer of 2018, I have the chance to lead the National Student House under the Ministry of Education and Science of Republic of Bulgaria as its Executive Director. The Student House is a unique educational and cultural center with 115 years of history, created out of the voluntary work, donations and other contributions, coming from an entire generation of students and academicians. What a great example of social entrepreneurship at its best!
Inside the video (which unfortunately for the English-speaking audience of this blog is in Bulgarian), I share the story of the Student House through the perspective of not only its executive director, but also of a researcher with interests in the field of open collaboration and social entrepreneurship. First-hand lessons learned are shared at the end of the talk. For those who do not understand Bulgarian, a short overview of the Student House is provided below and a PPT on social entrepreneurship (from another occasion) is made available on my SlideShare. Enjoy watching / reading and reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if the topic sparks an idea for cooperation!
The National Student House is located in the heart of Bulgarian capital – Sofia on “Narodno sabranie” sq. №10, among the Houses of Parliament, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Bulgarian Academy of Science and “Alexandar Nevsky” cathedral. It is situated on the square where the “King Liberator” monument raises.
The building of the National Student House was constructed in 1933. Two years earlier its foundation stone had been laid with the common efforts of all students, university lecturers and active part of the society. Long-lived concept was accomplished. After 30 years of campaigning and fund-raising, Bulgarian student society finally had its own home with a promising future ahead of it. Today, the building is a public state property proclaimed as an architectural monument of culture. In 2018, 85 years since its establishment were celebrated. As an organization, part of the executive branch of the central government, the National Student House has the statute of a governmental body under the Ministry of Education and Science.
Nowadays in the National Student House there are ten public centers and studios, which provide a wide variety of services; there are four spacious halls for rehearsals – for student and youth performances; there’s an art gallery; multi-functional conference halls. Different student groups and organizations are headquartered at the NSH. These are the Academic Folklore Ensemble, the Academic choir “Angel Manolov”, Theatre – studio “Studentina”, the Student Computer Arts Society, the Bulgarian Student Union, AIESEC, the National Student Confederation, the National Assembly of the Student Councils in Republic of Bulgaria, National UNESCO Club for Scientific Expeditions, among others.
Among the noticeable centers in the areas of professional development and technology are:
- The Resource Center for Career Consulting and Professional Development – It holds educational courses, seminars and conferences, delivers free information on educational opportunities, courses, leisure activities, European institutions and programs, funding opportunities. The center is organized in cooperation with the National Student House, Sofia. Over the years the center has develeoped 5 different versions of the CD “Youth Resources in internet” and the online versions as well as a number of materials for career consultants.
- The Center for the Development of Computer Technologies and Arts – It promotes youth and student projects in the field of computer animation, multimedia, electronic and computer music, web design; organizes educational courses, workshops, seminars, conferences and forums in the field of modern media, computer arts and communications. “Computer Space – International Computer Arts Forum” is one of the events that the center organizes annually.
The speaker is a doctoral candidate at the Technical University of Sofia, researching the critical success factors behind open source projects’ stakeholder management (“Критични фактори в управлението на заинтересованите при технологични проекти с отворен код“). He is an author of two books in the field of educational policies and technologies. As part of his doctoral studies, he has specialized in London, Riga, and Brno. Hristian is the founder of the ‘Open Source University’ project, awarded by the President of Republic of Bulgaria with a ‘John Atanasoff’ certificate for technology project with high social significance.