01 Aug 2014
Nadine Abou El-Gheit, Programme Assistant, Energy and Environment
The UN joint programme on Youth Empowerment in Montenegro is trying to apply user-led design so that young people come up with solutions to problems they are facing. Photo: Christian Schwier/UN in Montenegro
Recently, I got a pretty awesome offer: Visit our country offices in Montenegro and Kosovo and see how they’d been doing development differently.
Four weeks later I was in Pristina, then in Podgorica, and here is what I took away from my colleagues:
1. Keep momentum even in the face of disappointments and failures.
New ideas require adjustments and refining. You probably heard how failure is just another stepping stone to success and how Walt Disney, Sidney Poitier, Albert Einstein all failed miserably at the start of their careers. Yet at the first sign of failure, most of us run and erase all tracks. Never be afraid to fail.
2. Don’t innovate for the sake of innovation.
We have an edge over private sector companies that need to invest large sums in innovation: We have access. Access to a pool of technical expertise, good relationships with the governments hosting us, and the ability to convene people from all over the world, by virtue of our neutrality and impartiality. Innovation should only serve to complement this edge.
3. Dare to push the limits and do things differently: Innovation is not just about creating a Facebook page for our projects.
In a recent campaign for social inclusion in Montenegro, the …