Director of Simbioza Genesis social enterprise
Years in service in the current organisation: 5
Ana Pleško is the director of Simbioza Genesis, social enterprise. She holds a Bachelor degree in Social Work and is currently finishing her Master studies in Informatics Engineering and Communication Technologies. Combining her studies and interest in digitalization, she is active in Youth work, intergenerational cooperation and e-literacy for all generations for the past 10 years in various organizations.
She joined Simbioza team in 2013 as a Project Manager and developed the existing project into a sustainable social business in 2014 with 5 full-time employees. As director, she represents Simbioza in various membership organizations, such as American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia, ALL DIGITAL Network and Slovenian NGO Network – Inclusive Information Society. In 2017, she got elected to represent NGOs in Slovenian Digital Coalition as a board member. She is also a regular speaker at student and professional conferences on the topic of digitalization and e-skills.
Ana Pleško became a project manager and later on the director of the biggest nationwide Slovenian action on encouraging e-literacy among seniors and advanced e-literacy among young people in 2013, with 3000+ volunteers and 5000+ senior participants per year. Since then, she is actively engaged in this topic of promoting inclusive digital society for all generations and represents a true digital ambassador on national level, connecting various stakeholders from public, business and civil sector.
Having developed a project into a social enterprise she stands as a pioneer of best practice for building social impact on digital society and developing an innovative methodology of teaching seniors how to get online. As Simbioza project grew, new initiatives were developed, among them several for empowering youth with less opportunities through digital skills (drop-outs, Roma children). During Ana’s presence, Simbioza received many national and international awards and recognition for devoted work.
LEADERSHIP, COOPERATION, RESOURCE MOBILISATION
Simbioza is one of the biggest volunteer organization as it can mobilize more than 22 thousand people through week-long nationwide actions and connect even more throughout the year. This requires a focused leader with an ear for people and a great team manager. Ana believes in lean management with essentials of building social impact. The recipe for success of Simbioza lies in collaboration, especially among stakeholders that didn’t cooperate beforehand, but now - thanks to Simbioza - they do.
Ana Pleško has proven to be very good at strategic partnerships and positioning Simbioza as an NGO on the highest national level, where Simbioza’s opinion on the topic matters. Ana manages to connect perfectly business sector as financial supporters and public and civil sector as ambassadors, where all three sectors collaborate actively, not only on paper. Supported by responsible and collaborative leadership, Ana represents a changemaker with a vision and passion for an inclusive digital society.
During Ana’s management of Simbioza and its projects, the organization got recognition on both national and international levels: the Citizen of Europe Award, Diploma for social innovation Simbioza by the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology, Nomination of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for United Nations Population Award 2014, Best of the Best Award by American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia, National Award for volunteering 2014 conferred by the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Special Award by the Youth Council in Slovenia, National Award for active role in Youth sector in 2013, and many others.
Joining the Digital Coalition in Slovenia as a Board Member was a consequence of devoted work in the topic of digitalization and passion for empowering people so everybody has the right to participate in modern society and be included in digital society. As a result of Ana’s leadership, Simbioza became a synonym for informal education on the topic of e-literacy.
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