My Cumulus PLUS+ Story by Biljana Jovic

Representing University of Belgrade, Serbia
Faculty of Forestry, Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture
Participated in the Cumulus Conference: “Around the Campfire: Resilience and Intelligence”.
May 27 – June 1, 2019 in Rovaniemi, Finland hosted by University of Lapland.

The best thing was feeling that atmosphere was not competitive but extremely supportive and in that way all participants feel very good and welcome to join workshops or discussions that were held in very interesting and innovative ways.

My communication with Cumulus association started in away that I was kindly invited to join International Reviewer Board. That was great pleasure and honor for me. I found so interesting to review first poster, later paper session submission. During this reviewing process I become more curious about Cumulus Conferences since papers and posters were on very high quality level and super interesting since so close to my field of research in multidisciplinary area. So I decided to apply for Grant and become one of the extremely lucky one between my new 3 friends from Ghana, Uruguay and Argentina.

My second visit to beautiful Finland started from Belgrade to lovely Helsinki where I participated preconference event at Aalto University and it was really super interesting experience since we have guided tour to Aalto University Studio’s as well as Campus tour and all of us who participated were completely happy over there with polite and very nice introductions and presentation from our Aalto University host.

Tomorrow extraordinary Conference in Rovaniemi starts with City Hall welcome Reception. It was super nice to see so many people there from 51 countries and more than 500 participants. Wow! Never participated on such big Conference, really super amazing experience. Feeling was like I belong here long time ago and that I’m more than welcome to join such great association. Next day morning keynote, at super nice Campus of the University of Lapland, was Liisa Holmberg and she had absolutely wonderful presentation which make me more than interested to attend post conference days at magical Inari post conference tour. During that day I visited New Members Fair that makes me wondering how nice it could be to be in their role and to start work hard on make that come true in next period of time. Really hoping that University of Belgrade will be soon participant at New Members Fair at one of the next Cumulus Conferences. Art exhibition Opening by Faculty of Art and Design was great, restaurant Petronella is such great exhibition space. Randomly I visited paper sessions and working groups as well as joining design conversation. During workshops it was more than interesting to meet and exchange ideas with colleagues from different disciplines and to hear and learn so many new things, different approaches in finding ideas for solutions in very different topics. The best thing was feeling that atmosphere was not competitive but supportive and in that way all participants feel very good and welcome to join workshops or discussions that were held in very interesting and innovative ways.

Poster session was very, very nice and I completely enjoy. Best poster winner from Tokyo University of Technology was amazing but it must be really hard for jury to decide the best one between so many beautifuly presented high quality posters exhibited over there. I was very lucky to be there also on presentation of the paper who won best paper award. Title of that paper: “Empathy for Resilience” done by authors from Politecnico di Milano attracted me strongly and I completely enjoyed during the excellent presentation. During the fantastic Conference Diner winners were announced as well as members of Executive Board and New Cumulus President. All that lovely people I have opportunity to meet and talk with them in very friendly atmosphere. Laavu trip Around Campfire even on rainy day was super exciting with my new friends from all around globe. Yes, we had a lot of fun despite weather conditions. But more than beautiful nature and all organization was absolutely perfect.

Highlighted for many of my new friends with whom I have a lot of fun during coffee breaks, delicious lunches and all very nice events during my stay in heart touching city of Rovaniemi was keynote speak of Professor Tom Jones from Swansea University:”The Robots are Coming – Be Afraid” which open so many discussions should we really be afraid or not? That was super interesting to heard so many different opinions and what we should take care of…still thinking about that…

Rovaniemi experience was absolutely great and it was hard to say good buy to my very large new friends but hopefully we will meet soon on next Cumulus Conference and in the meantime stay in touch trough different social media groups and in our heart and mind we are very well connected, that is something that can not be denied for sure.

Than trip to Inari started and lot of people form Rovaniemi Conference participated but we also have quite a lot of new faces who make our trip to Inari unforgettable. We have presentations in the bus during our trip so we came to Inari very well prepared to enjoy in collaboration during the workshop that was hold there. Sami people and culture amazed me. Visiting Sami Museum Siida was more than super interesting. I must share, additionally, something that stay in my heart forever when Lady Ana was singing to us during the Dinner at Kultahovi, shows to all of us way how people could be so close connected to nature. She was using only her beautiful and strong voice and her songs were melodies that stays in heart of all of us who have that pleasure to heard that beautiful songs singing by Anna voice of nature. Our facilitator Lady Paivi Tahkokallio made workshop so intellectually stimulating that we have very nice results in super relaxed friendly atmosphere.

Really learned so much during this absolutely enjoyable second Finland experience and new friends from Cumulus association are so nice, polite and lovely people so I’m really hardly waiting to meet them again.

I would like to point out that this was one of the greatest experience in my life, meeting so open minded association and I must give my sinecure huge gratitude to organizers and Cumulus association for this grant and opportunity to be one of Cumulusians. That is really great pleasure and honor for me and I really hope for next opportunity to cooperate more with great people I just met in Helsinki, Rovaniemi and Inari. Love to all, individually and as a group and many, many thanks, once again.

PhD Biljana Jovic,MSc,Dipl.eng.,
Docent, University of Belgrade, Serbia
Faculty of Forestry
Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture
email: biljana.jovic@sfb.bg.ac.rs

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