Last week (2-4 May, 2012) I had chance (together with two other friends, Shpend Bytyqi and Dren Imeraj) to be part of a Microsoft’s wonderful organization in Brussels, Innovate 4 Good.

[caption id=”attachment_323” align=”aligncenter” width=”640”]Innovate 4 Good - All attendees Innovate 4 Good - All attendees[/caption]

Due to logistics we were last arrived in Brussels, and for this reason we missed first day, but beyond this fact we managed to get most from the event (because second day was main day). It was amazing to see around 150 young people coming from across Europe, almost all of them with impact in their country or community or abroad. Youth panelists were great people that did innovative solutions and earned several prices in different competitions. They shared experience and challenges in their road of success. But without a man who really inspired us with many interesting concepts and totally different perceptions for things (even personally I had before :D ) that event wouldn’t be as great as it was. That guy is Akhtar Badshah. He is the man of the world! He discussed several topics that were mind-blowing (for me, personally) in approaches to several concepts (success, (im)passion, failure, learning, (un)reason etc), I had different opinion before. I think, everybody, even a young person, can learn tons of things from Akhtar, and I can freely say he did great job in event, in directing our discussions and way of thinking in an innovative and inspirational direction.

Having a chance to be part of several presentations from Microsoft guys was also a great part, even that sessions were more marketing oriented than teaching or ‘going deep in concepts’ oriented (this is my opinion).

In meantime we found some time to do a regional group photo :D

[caption id=”attachment_324” align=”aligncenter” width=”640”]Innovate 4 Good - Balkan region attendees (Kosova, Albania, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia) Innovate 4 Good - Balkan region attendees (Kosova, Albania, Macedonia, Slovenia, Croatia)[/caption]

We had a great chance to show our ideas in project that was part of the event. Our team (except from other countries, we (Kosovo) were together with team from Albania) present a solution built up on Kinect that will help deaf people to be an active part of society.

[caption id=”attachment_325” align=”aligncenter” width=”539”]Innovate 4 Good - Project Signect Innovate 4 Good - Project Signect[/caption]

Beyond the fact that Akhtar said (at the end of the event) that our solution was presented somewhere else, we insist (even now :)) that we have something unique and innovative that we didn’t find in searches, before starting to work on project.

This post wouldn’t be complete without mentioning two other great people, John Vassallo – VP EU Affairs Microsoft and Chris Worman who moderated the event with a kind eloquence, and of course great, great, great and kindly people from Microsoft.

Also using this post I want to repeat my concerns (I did also in my comments in a question for John) that Microsoft must be more active in our countries (like Kosova) in programs to support innovation and development of youth. If you want to see just a case for example, for what I am talking about, please read my post on efforts to publish applications in Windows Phone marketplace.

And, after event we had chance (we missed in first day :D) to visit Brussels and taste their great chocolate and visit several interesting places of the city.

[caption id=”attachment_327” align=”aligncenter” width=”640”]Innovate 4 Good - Brussels chocolate Innovate 4 Good - Brussels chocolate :D[/caption]

[caption id=”attachment_326” align=”aligncenter” width=”640”]Innovate 4 Good - Kosovo Team Innovate 4 Good - Kosovo Team[/caption]

So, thanks a lot from Microsoft for this organization and hope to see you again in other great events.