Innovation Explorer 2023: Emre Başkan Interview.
Interviewer: Donika Rizova
1. One of the important topics for you is education. How to make children think innovatively and “get out of their comfort zone”? Isn’t it brave for characters that are still being formed?
I believe, learning is a continuous process and is essential for a meaningful life. It is like oxygen, you need it to survive. A newborn, comes to life with some abilities. For example, he can breath. He can be fed. He can digest. But, above all, he can learn! With this ability only, he can develop his understanding, he can mentally adapt to changing environment and he can become a unique personality. I believe children are great learners. And they learn by experience. They learn a language. They learn how to trust. Of course, they make mistakes. But they know very well how to learn from mistakes. After all, none of us have managed to walk at the first step. To sum up, I believe that children have already the courage to learn, to explore, to think out of the box and able to form their own character. May be, in order to create a generation who can really think innovatively; we, as adults have to change our behaviors and our education mindset. Instead of giving our children some answers, we can provide them an environment of curiosity and learning. Instead of raising children similar to our way of thinking, we can let them stand on their own feet and experiment.
2. The Balkans are said to be the “periphery of Europe”. Is it not encoded in our genes to be at the limit of our possibilities, precisely because of the crossroads we occupy as a geography, a position, a mix between East and West?
This description seems to be a Europe centric description. After all, the periphery can be defined on the basis of a center point. And here, in this definition, Europe is taken as the core point. And the Balkans seems to be the passive voice here. However, I believe, in case we change our perspective and think out of the box our value judgement also may change. Let me give you an example: “The Balkans are the bridge between cultures. Our unique position helps us to see the world and future from a supracultural perspective. And our diverse nature is one of the best qualities we have, as it supports our ability to adapt and change. That is why, it is encoded in our genes to push the limits and shape the future.” Isn’t it a better perspective?
3. And last but not least:Darwin argued that: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change. “ What is the big change we are about to encounter in the next decade? Will it take us out of our comfort zone as people and professionals or will it be an unlearned lesson of the past?
I believe the next decade will 100% force us to step outside of our comfort zone. I believe the main question is this: Am I going to be pushed out of it, or will I take the given step by my own will? Am I going to be a passive element, or will I consciously design the given journey? I believe the ones who are curious, who develop skills that supports their AQ (adaptability quotient), who focus on human literacy in order to understand human nature and who are tech-freindly will have the courage to take the given step out of their comfort zones.