Meet Sara Čortan, our new international coordinator
We’re proud to introduce our new international coordinator, Sara Čortan. She’s hardly new to Social Impact Award (SIA): she coordinated SIA in Serbia for years. She’s now moved on to […]
We’re proud to introduce our new international coordinator, Sara Čortan. She’s hardly new to Social Impact Award (SIA): she coordinated SIA in Serbia for years. She’s now moved on to our international team and is ready to build a strong community of SIA hosts around the world.
We sat down with her to discuss how she first got in touch with the social entrepreneurship sector in Serbia, and what she hopes to bring to her new role. Enjoy!
How did you first get involved in the social entrepreneurship sector?
I had always been interested in the social sector. I studied social work and social policy at university, and started working in that sphere after graduating. A friend told me about a volunteering opportunity at the SIA Summit in 2017, and without knowing anything about social entrepreneurship I decided to help out. The energy was immense. Seeing like-minded people from all over the world come together made it clear that I wanted to be a part of the community. I became a volunteer for Razlivaliste, the SIA Serbia host and became coordinator of the SIA program 2 years later.
You speak about energy. What about the energy made the difference for you here?
I’m always focused on the energy, it’s a guiding principle in my life. The energy in our community is different. It’s young, dynamic, centered around having fun and making a difference. It’s hard to describe, but it’s what got me interested in SIA and what gives me a sense of belonging here.
Your new title is international coordinator. Can you describe this role?
As international coordinator, I am here to enable hosts to deliver the highest quality program possible. To do so, I build connections between countries, share important information and content, as well as nurture a strong community among hosts.
How does your experience as local coordinator in Serbia shape how you approach this new role?
Local hosts have very specific needs, which I’ve personally experienced. Now that I understand the international perspective, I’m well prepared to build tailored support offerings that not only address these personal needs but also create spaces for hosts to grow and learn on their own.
The pandemic has been pretty crazy for you with work. You ran the SIA program and made a career move during Covid-19. How did you handle all of this?
I had lots of personal struggles during the pandemic. I took some courses around personal development and did lots of work on my mental health. This made me realize I spend so much time caring about others that I have a tendency to forget about myself, so i’m working on changing that.
You’re a proud Serbian. What do you think is Serbia’s gift to the world?
Going back to energy, I think Serbia has very unique and beautiful energy. Our country’s struggles have made us resilient, warm, and sometimes a bit crazy, but mostly in a good way. That resilient spirit is very special. Also, our famous liquor Rakia!
You can keep in touch with Sara’s work via Linkedin.
Interested in meeting more members of our team? Check out our recent interview with Lisa Schnägelberger, our SIA Germany coordinator.