Place of residence: Traveling often, but currently in Belgrade
Position: Managing Director at WACEO, a Brussels-based nonprofit.
Please describe a day in your life:
My day usually starts with working out, followed by breakfast and coffee. The day is busy with work and meetings, until the evening when I try to spend some quality time either by myself or with my friends.
How many projects are you currently working on? Please describe them
I am mainly engaged with WACEO, but due to the nature of our work, I am constantly involved in different projects that I am helping to get structured as a DAO. However, currently, my main focus is our in-house projects.
We are launching a legal and compliance reserve currency that aims to be a multichain payment and provision method for legal, compliance, risk management, and prevention. The DAO token is added to our reserves as the goal is to have diversified reserves of DAO tokens. The DAOs would be able to swap their tokens against ours and, with that, create their legal reserves.
The WACEO token eliminates the need for using fiat or stable coin payments – because each requires signing a contract with the provider, which aids in the high risk of centralization and adding liabilities to the founder. Using the token removes those potential liabilities, further supports the project’s decentralization, and helps the project stay on the law’s good side.
Our goal is to support the decentralized nature of the environment but install the compliance aspect as a way to protect founders, investors, and anyone who comes to Web3. We provide blockchain-based projects with a framework for compliance, legality, risk management and prevention, and an environment in which they can interact compliantly with TradFi service providers in a centralized manner while maintaining a significant level of decentralization.
Being a woman in tech and blockchain, I’ve had a fair share of experiences when I was looked at differently and unequally for being a woman in the field, and I am not alone. According to various research, around 16% of women are Bitcoin investors, less than 4.13% are female crypto founders, and less than 5% of women are involved in NFT sales. Also, the number of women candidates is very low when looking for legal consultants. As a way to address that and contribute to having more women involved in Web3, we are currently working on an initiative that aims to promote diversity and inclusion in the industry by initiating a community of female legal professionals who will be educated on Web3 and provided with the opportunity to network and create a career opportunity in the community to create a more female-inclusive Web3 environment.
In your opinion, who is the most influential person/company in the world of technology these days?
Elon Musk doesn’t miss a day to get himself in the headlines. He is undoubtedly the most influential currently.
If you can pick one app/product/project existing now that you wish you were involved in, what would it be?
It’s difficult to answer this as new amazing projects are emerging daily. When I think about getting involved in a project, what matters most is that I see myself enjoying being a part of it and believing in its purpose.
How do you see technology evolving in the next ten years?
We already cannot live without technology, and I think in the next ten years, the tech will ‘take over our lives even more. In the next few years, not even a decade, crypto and AI will revolutionize the world we know today and bring about the change that we can’t be aware of today.
What would you like the industry to look like in ten years?
I firmly believe that the future is decentralized. Decentralization allows more freedom and inclusion; employers are becoming more aware that a fancy degree doesn’t guarantee skills and abilities. The pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work, and Web3 is taking it to the next level.
More people are quitting their corporate or in-office jobs to get started remotely, and Web3 is becoming more mainstream, so I believe the natural stream of events is the higher adoption of the blockchain industry, and in 10 years from now, a good portion of the world will live on a chain and with a different mindset.
What are the three characteristics you have that make you successful in tech?
I found my passion for tech quite accidentally. I finished law school, went traveling, and when looking for some online work, I got involved as a legal adviser in a tech startup and never left tech or startups.
To succeed in this line of business, you must have a grind, a can-do attitude, and persistence. It gets more challenging many times than it gets easy, and you must have the drive to overcome those challenges and see every failure as a learning.
What is the most difficult thing you had to deal with during your career?
As an introvert (even though at first I wouldn’t appeal as one), I find it challenging to deal and communicate with people, understand their needs and respond. Getting out of my comfort zone more than once was a really difficult thing to do, but at the same time, it was a speedy self-growth, and I would recommend that to anyone. Just jump; you’re going to land.
What is your greatest achievement up until today?
Every day being more than I was yesterday.
What do you wish yourself with respect to your career?
I wish to become an advocate for Women in Web3 and help more people get educated on the endless possibilities of Web3 and what it brings.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I see myself traveling, meeting amazing women and men, and educating on DAOs and decentralization.
What is your next goal?
We successfully launched our projects, both the token and the Women project. Both have great potential to impact the environment as a whole.
What tip do you have for people who want to start out in the tech world?
Do it! Don’t think – just do it! If you believe that your place is to be in the tech industry, just jump straight into it and get yourself a seat at the table. Google, watch YouTube, there are so many resources available online that you can quickly learn many tools from that would ease your move to tech. Don’t be afraid not to know something, be afraid not to ask questions or look for resources yourself to improve on the matter.
If you could say something to your younger self what would it be?
Travel more. Worry less. Have more fun. Don’t limit exploring.
What do you think non-tech people around (family, friends) think you do?
(laugh) They don’t really get what I do, so ‘work with crypto’ is their main understanding.
What is the invention of the century in your eyes?
Hard to pick, considering all the advancements. Smartphones, laptops, wifi, blockchain…
What can’t you do without? (app/product…)
My phone, laptop, and my Swatch.
Which famous person would you like to have dinner with and why?
Elon Musk. He is a very unusual person and would love to have a chance and talk to a mind like that.
Where would you like to travel next?
I am thinking of heading to Asia and traveling around for several months.
If you were asked to stay on a deserted island for 6 months, what 3 things would you take with you?
Starlink, laptop, phone (and a solar generator to charge all this).
Do you have a person who influences or motivates you?
No one specific. I follow successful women and men and listen to their learnings.
What is the greatest miss? (you thought it will never work, but it turned out to be a great success)
Being an entrepreneur, even though you have a strong belief in the things you do, you still fear the possibility of failure and what comes next, for both small and big things. I can’t single out one event. Instead, celebrate them all.
What did you dream of creating/inventing/doing as a child?
I mostly dreamed about traveling a lot and being a criminal lawyer.
How did covid-19 change the way people view technological development?
I think that people have become more aware of what tech can bring and how it can facilitate our lives. Before the pandemic, many people thought working from home was impossible, that they wouldn’t be able to handle it, and that office work was the only way to work.
I’ve been working online since 2016, and I know the amount of questions and explanations I had to give in order to help people understand that working from home is an actual thing and how I could never see myself working from an office. Fast forward to today, two years after the pandemic – people are quitting their jobs if remote or at least hybrid is not workplace culture.
Technology has evolved a lot, and I believe that many people just started understanding its potential, while we aren’t even halfway through.