Zoran was born in 1968 in Novi Sad, Serbia. He belongs to the first IT middle school generation in Novi Sad.
His first computer was a Commodore 64 and in 1986, He won first prize on national contest in former Yugoslavia with project “Commodore 64 as oscilloscope”. Now he works at Sprint New Technology small IT company. His primary job is developing eHealth solutions. Sprint NT is Intel Technology Provider since 2015.
In June 2015 he decided to start Meetup group for makers ( http://www.meetup.com/makersns/. Since January 2016, he worked as Hackster Ambassador for Serbia (https://www.hackster.io/blog/hacksterambassadorzoran) as part of Hackster Live project.
Now he manages a small team of co-organizers; together, they have decided to establish an Association “Maker” as non-profit and non-government
organization. Their mission is to help and to encourage other maker communities to work in and with Serbia.
How did you end up joining the #maker movement?
My maker journey start from Intel maker website : “What you will make today?”. I was excited with Intel Galileo board and Arduino platform generally. I recognized that as great opportunity for involving young people in new kind of learning. To start I opened small makerspace, bought some boards, sensors and we made some simple and cool things. Some friends heard what I am doing, and they decided to join and help. On other side, Internet of Things rely on billion of small devices. Sharing and collaboration is necessary for Internet of Things revolution. Many entrepreneurs recognize that as big opportunity. We all started to work together, organizing makers workshops, events, school class. After we became Hackster Live member, our events has been extended to seminars and researching workshops.
What do you most value in the innovation/maker environment?
For me, the main value is learning by doing. Nowadays young generation is locked in Facebook and Minecraft space. They don’t use live communication, they don’t make any real thing. I saw that kids now don't play in the physical world, only the virtual world. Researchers found that this produces people without invention. Everyone knows theory but not practice. I think it's important for kids to play and make in the real world. We want to change that in our local community. Push them into group, working together and sharing experience.
What’s the maker movement outlook in your country?
We have strong potential, but we are not organized. Economic situation in Serbia is not very well. But I like to joke that money is not the problem since we don’t have money. When you have money you can buy everything - computers, electronics, products. When you don’t have money you have to find other ways. That situation push people to collaborate and share knowledge. Meetup communities are very popular here and next step is transforming them into real hackerspace or makerspace. This year we organized first Genuino Day and it was very good.
In your opinion, what features in your city/destination/country is more appealing to an innovation-oriented crowd?
I like to work with young people full of ideas and inventions. People from Serbia really enjoy in social events and collaboration. I our history we have many great innovators (Mihajlo Pupin, Nikola Tesla). I like to finish my presentation with Tesla’s vision : “When wireless is fully applied the Earth will be converted into a huge brain”, Colorado Springs, 1900.
You seem to have been able to create such a nurturing environment around your FabLab/makerspace/hackerspace in (your country). What does your audience look like? Who do you mainly target – students, inventors, or… ?
We mainly target students from middle school and university. We have “Internet of Things” class in Gymnasium “Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj” Novi Sad, where we organize weekly workshop for students. In one other middle school we organize “Arduino for beginners” class. Senior makers are mostly student from university and young entrepreneurs.
What do you consider your greatest goal as EMW’s Ambassador?
It would be great to connect Serbian maker community with communities from other countries, especially from neighborhood. We already made maker event together with group from Timisoara Romania. I will work on expanding maker movement to other cities and connecting makerspaces from Serbia. I hope that one day Maker Fair will be organized here in Serbia.
What kind of events are you planning to organize during the EMW?
Our focus will be on two activities : school workshops and conferences about innovative technology.