On bringing consciousness into organizations

Eva Nedelková says she is a hybrid: both a nature loving free spirit while simultaneously a driven, hard-working business woman. That is exactly the feeling you get when you talk to her. We spoke to this energetic, positive Slovak woman about her successful corporate career in the Netherlands and the path that led her to setting up two companies with one purpose: creating a positive impact on people and the environment.

Sounds like something you’ve heard a million times before? Well, unlike many others, Eva walks the talk and is quite adamant about her mission. She had found great synergies between helping businesses transform into not only digital and tech-positive organizations, but to do so in a sustainable way that embraces the principles of a circular economy. Why? Because with every fiber of her being, she believes we do not have any other choice.

Grab your tickets to meet Eva Nedelkova in person: www.tickets.ftrnw.org

1. What was the journey that brought you from Slovakia to Amsterdam: and how did you become a founder of two companies there?

Haha, how much time do you have? 🙂

I guess it was destiny… It started many years ago with late night conversations with my brother Dalibor — I remember we both felt there is something „different“ calling, that there was something great for us to do in the world. Back then, I had no idea what this little voice actually was and thought it would be the best to put my energy into studying and career. Needless to say, I was wrong. I did learn a lot though and am very grateful for all the experiences along the way, but I realized I was wasting my life in the ego-driven business world.

I want to bring consciousness into organizations. Because it does matter how we treat our employees, what impact we have on society and hell, it does matter what impact we have on the environment! In other words — at what people & environmental costs are business profits really being made? We should not be having a dialogue about profits but about value: companies should be rewarded by the value they bring to people’s lives and the life of this planet — and money will come naturally. Now, the awesome thing is that we actually have the solutions at hand today! Technology brings us all the means to redesign our business models and to move from ‘hippie ideals’ to conscious, thriving companies. That’s what my businesses are all about — I am very happy to have founded MissionC (www.missionc.nl) with Andrea Orság (Kralikova) to push this mission further into the business world. DigiLeaders is our other label and our main goal is to leverage on the wave of digitalization to bring attention back to the human in organizations: the digital age requires a brand new approach to defining strategy, culture, leadership, talent management and recruitment. The companies that recognize that have a fair chance to still be here in the next 10 years ;).

2. Digital transformation and the circular economy are clearly your two big passions. Why and what synergies do you see between them?

First of all, I love your question! Not many people get the synergy part. Every aspect of our life is being transformed by technology, whether we like it or not. We are all connected through an enormous amount of data: the way we eat, think, make decisions, who we love, how many steps we take, where we go on holidays — our whole life could be painted just by tracking our Google search. Crazy when you think about it for a second ;).

Now, let’s switch to the climate crisis — humanity’s most pressing issue. Technology brings us all the solutions we need to transform into a more sustainable society and I strongly believe that the start-up and business community is creating the momentum for tech-driven “green” products. Let’s take the huge potential of green energy as an example — in 2017, global wind energy capacity rose to 539.6 gigawatts, or about 18 times more than projections for 2010. Even more striking is the rapid progress of solar energy — we have exceeded the projections by 98 times! The adoption of these technologies is even bigger than the adoption of mobile phones, generally considered the fasted digital penetration ever. Imagine the possibilities on the global scale — we don’t need to drill oil in Antarctica (!) — the technologies are right here. The question is, what are we going to do about it?

3. What’s your current relationship with Slovakia? How has the atmosphere and the opportunities changed since you moved to the Netherlands?

I love and cherish Slovakia, its people and beautiful nature. I am extremely happy to see that both technologies and the circular economy are finding a solid place here: there are so many cool businesses and initiatives growing! Having talked to Ivana Males from INCIEN (Institute for Circular economy) recently, I was surprised to find out that Slovakia seems to be further in some aspects of waste management than the Netherlands — such as zero-waste initiatives and plastic-less shopping. I am a notorious optimist so I am happy to see things are changing in our country, yet there is still a long way to go. It will take a couple of generations to wash out our old ways of thinking, political machinery, corruption and mafia practices. I realize it is a complex subject, but it is a part of life for Slovak people. So, how is my relationship to Slovakia? I call it a ‘love-pain’ relationship.

4. What do you consider the biggest a-ha moment of your professional path?

You can do a thousand things to earn money. But you can only do a couple to be happy. And you can only do one to really make a difference. So choose wisely. It’s alright to see work only as a source of income and search a higher fulfillment in other elements of life — as long as you know which street you are taking. If you want to go for magic, pick something you are great at and something you love doing. The rest will come easy.

5. One of FutureNow’s goals is to „humanize“ tech and boost the entrepreneurial spirit of our region. I know you identify with this mission — why do you think it is crucial for everyone to „surf on the tech wave“?

I think everybody will be hit by the “tech wave”. So the question is — are you going to let it overwhelm you and drawn or learn to surf? The fact is that technology is penetrating every aspect of our life. We might like it, we might not. The question is what are we going to do about it? I love to see that FutureNow and other great events like Web Summit are helping us — the young, the old, the tech community & friends — to realize that have the greatest tools in the history at hand and the power to change things. So the decision for every single one of us is — what choices do we make and are we going to use technology to destroy or to create?

Eva will share her insights on digital & conscious organizations and their employees at FutureNow conference on October 24th. We are looking forward to picking her brain within the panel discussion on Talent in Tech.

To see Eva in person, grab a ticket at www.tickets.ftrnw.org