My name is Leina and these are my superpowers:
- a polymath (interdisciplinary knowledge worker), sense-maker and systems thinker under constant construction,
- a doer weirdly passionate about creating and ticking off tasks on a to-do list,
- an aspiring workflow and problem-solving wizard, fluent in translating work into tasks,
- an Internet and tech policy enthusiast from Brussels public policy bubble,
- a strategist for learning organizations and advocate for learning societies,
- a therapist for organizations (collaboration facilitator) and individuals (psychotherapist & coach),
- a natural social alchemist with a passion for community and capacity building.
“My motivation comes from a deep curiosity about systems and how to improve their function.”
These are my fundamental questions keeping me awake when they’re not making me dream:
- How to organize ways of working that actually…work! How we can organise workflows that actually…flow! How to facilitate the continuum of Continuous Process Improvement?
- How can tech, (digital) social innovation, and new ways of organising, address the challenges of our time? Did we integrate the functional “old” patterns into the current paradigm before starting to chase the innovation rainbow?
- How to empower learning organizations and life-long learning individuals on a long development path: learning – implementation – habit change? How do we design for a learning society, do we want to do that and if so, who is the owner of that task?
- How to manage organisational change and harvest collective intelligence toward that change to inform better decisions and governance?
- How to do “the inside job” managing “the longing for belonging” in agile, geographically-distributed teams and other challenges of online working culture to include onboarding and integration?
- How to enable connected, borderless, a limitless Internet that creates limitless opportunities and progress for all?
- How to build civic capacity for the 21st century, enable public participation & collaboration, and nurture relationships across a wide range of stakeholders?
My Professional Quest for Effective Collaboration and Continuous Improvement
“I work each day to find the traction, discovering where and how we can organize ways of working that actually…work! How we can organise workflows that actually…flow!”
Right now, I am working on applying these aspirational principles by providing Community Development and Project Coordination services, helping businesses, start-ups, and NGOs to manage: communities (online and offline), events, communications, projects, campaigns, multiple stakeholders, and operations.
In my current consultancy work, I use a skill set combining specialities from Human Resources, Project Management, Customer Care, including:
- Participative leadership;
- Conflict resolution;
- Transpersonal counseling;
- Employee engagement;
“My diverse experiences have prepared me for facilitating finely-tuned, cross-functional collaborations.”
My Personal Quest for Expanded Knowledge and Professional passion for Learning and Development
“My perfect Monday begins with the feeling of thriving in the complexity of the unknown – an unknown which wants to emerge in our collective consciousness as knowledge. I begin my day indulging in the lifelong vision quest known as learning”.
My formal education resulted in three Masters Degrees: Psychology, Sociology, and Communications.
Less formally, I am an interdisciplinary, lifelong learner and a passionate researcher on the following topics:
- Learning and Development (Education/skills for the future, Collective Intelligence, Knowledge Management)
- Tech (Digital transformation, Digital rights, Digital Collaboration, Digital Social Innovation, Decentralised Web, Open Source, Tech Policy)
- Governance in business and society/politics (Networked Organisations, Collaboration, Participatory Democracy, Democracy at work, Change Management, Collaborative Economy)
- Sustainable Development, Social Innovation, and related leading-edge fields.
I explore those topics in an informal, international cohort of other versatile knowledge workers and change-makers. We are dedicated to continuous improvement, connectivity, and above all, impact (social, political and economic) as part of our organisational DNA. My allies include OuiShare; P2P Foundation; Mozilla Foundation, The Good Lobby; European Digital Rights; Internet Society, Fair Coop; Commonomia, and many other organisations, entities and individuals.
„All of the people, all of the internet all of the time“ The Web Foundation
„The Internet is for everyone“ The Internet Society
In the Public Policy domain, I am actively engaged:
as a Tech Policy Advisor on these issues: Copyright, privacy, net neutrality, GDPR, and personal data protection and
as an Advocate for Digital inclusion, Open Access, social responsibility in new media, and public participation.
I passionately believe in a connected, borderless, permission-less, limitless Internet that creates opportunity and progress for all (open data, open science or innovation, open code, decentralisation, open source technologies, tech for good).
After several years collaborating with different European digital rights organisations in Brussels (Copyright, privacy, Net Neutrality, GDPR), I founded the first and only Croatian NGO for digital rights, digital social innovation, open access, and e-democracy: Digital DemoCroatia. I am also an author on the Croatian popular ITC portal Netokracija, and a public speaker.
Miracles of living in Brussels: European Commission creating a changemaker😊
For six years (2011-2017) I worked for the European Commission in Brussels. What a fantastic opportunity to be influenced by great minds and visiting lecturers.
One of those thinkers was Frederic Laloux, author of “Reinventing Organisations.” His experience-based advocacy for excellence and efficiency of self-managing systems shaped my view of organisational culture. His insights also inspired my learning how to manage organisational change and harvest collective intelligence toward that change.
As part of a European Commission Participative Leadership (Art of Hosting) Internal Consulting community, I immersed myself in concepts such as Sociocracy and Holacracy, which gave me insights to develop my “superpower” of getting to the core of governance problems.
In 2016, an opportunity to be more engaged within the Digital Single Market framework presented itself. I was introduced to digital social innovation concept through CAPS – The Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation project.
CAPS are expected to support emerging areas to include:
- Open Democracy: enabling citizens’ participation in democratic processes by developing and applying new tools (e.g. voting, online consultation);
- Open Policy Making: better decision making based on open data;
- Collaborative Economy: lending, exchange, swapping made to operate at scale;
- Collaborative Making: developing new ways of manufacturing;
- Collaborative Consumption: rethinking consumerism;
- Environmental Action: collectively acting to save the planet;
- New Collaborative approaches to inclusion, agriculture, health, disaster management.
Open access advocate in a quest for intentional, ordered, strategic and process-based openness
Living in Brussels exposed me to a multitude of deeply inspiring influences through high-level innovative networks. At this point, I was moved to make a personal and professional transition.
I spent several months as a digital nomad, with two months in Bali working in one of the most popular hubs in Southeast Asia, Hubud. Afterwards, I adopted the role of Project Coordinator for the civic organisation Commonomia in Tenerife, promoting the sharing economy, collaborative territories and participative democracy through the event Tenerife Colaborativa- Sharing Islands in conjunction with the local administration and University in La Laguna. I was part of a team organising the summit for the civic innovation think-thank OuiShare, facilitating a gathering in Croatia uniting many young, conscious, curious, smart and fun people from all around the world
“I am a firm believer in OPEN everything: open access, open organizations, open society, open science, and most of all, open minds. However, experience has taught me to believe in openness not by default, but by design.”
Facilitating that deliberate design process has become the sharp focus of my life’s mission. The Mozilla Open Leadership training I am currently attending is providing, just as they describe it, a “matrix of skills and areas of practice, learning, & growth to design for openness in a way that is: intentional, ordered, strategic, process-based, inclusive and open for revision”.
When everything is open by design, people have a clear idea of how to be in an inclusive, collaborative community with others, how to get help, and how to recognise one another and their contributions. In practice, many organizations struggle with gaining the know-how to provide an effective, structured onboarding and work experience in ways that can foster creativity, innovation, and mature stewardship.
I would be delighted to have an offline conversation with you in Ireland.
“Now, after two years of mostly online collaboration I would like to join a team based (physically) in Ireland, where I currently reside.”
I see myself as a potential contributor in an agile team, helping to further develop an interdisciplinary path. I seek a place in a learning organisation engaged in producing impactful ideas and services while facilitating business, community, and individual transitions to collaborative, innovative and human-centered business models.
I can see myself professionally engaged in areas where I have contributed extensively as a volunteer in the past such as: Social Work & Care, Social Innovation, Citizen Participation, Community Building.
As a “gold miner for social capital”, I can equally see myself in a more conservative or traditional corporate setting, surrounded by wonderful, collaborative colleagues.
These are my three major incentives: social (friends and networks), intellectual (theoretical and applied knowledge) and financial (what it says on the tin) capital. If you are interested in exchanging at least two out of those three with me, I would be delighted to have a conversation you.
My recent articles
Then: A little girl was born in a big country which was later broken up into many small countries after a war trumpeted and fanned by nationalism. Now: That little girl has grown up and becomes part of a Cybernation. She says “We are all now part of a Cybernation.”...
Change conference: what is the economic impact of prohibitive tech regulation and how to measure it?
Since 2016 Change has become one of the biggest Croatian software conferences dedicated to enterprise solutions. This year, we’re going even bigger and better, hosting more variety of speakers. What is the economic impact of prohibitive tech regulation and how...
For some people, religion is their passion, and for other is football. For former European Commission employee Leina Meštrović, her religion is – the Internet. Like a missionary with passionate zeal, she left her career in the European capital to start defending...
14. svibnja 2018. u 14:00 sati, na Skupstini Hrvatskog Informatickog Zbora odrzan je STRUČNI DIO: 1.1. Dijana Zoričić, Odvjetnički ured: Bauci GDPR‐a? – informiranje, legitimni interes i razmjernost 1.2. Leina Meštrović, aktivistica za slobodu Interneta i digitalna...
U Hubu 385, u petak, 11. svibnja 2018. u 18 sati održana je proslava osnivanja prve udruge za digitalna prava i digitalnu demokraciju u Hrvatskoj – Digitalna Demokroacija (Digital DemoCroatia). Pokretačica inicijative...
For me, the most memorable moment was as described in EDRi tweet below. This keynote talk reminds us of the thin line between totalism and democracy, portrayed from memories of the boy growing up in Poland under the Marshal law. Who are those bad guys that secret...
My upcoming events