Selma Baltic, fluency in the language of globalization
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” – Albert Einstein
Selma Baltic sometimes feels that the challenges facing her country, Bosnia-Herzegovina, can be summed up by Einstein’s famous observation. Growing up in a post-conflict society exposed Selma and her generation to tensions both obvious and covert that are still simmering in the collective consciousness of her people. Progress is so deadlocked that officials can’t even agree on the designation of national holidays.
With the signing of the Dayton Peace Agreement in 1995, her country’s people hoped to put the effects of a bloody armed conflict behind them and focus on implementing peace and the reconstruction of statehood. Thankfully, the country’s leaders have succeeded in ensuring that the horrors of genocide and widespread destruction will not be repeated, Selma believes. She points out, however, that even with the strong and diversified presence of international community members working hard to help the country stand on its own, the progress has been slow and slight. Old ways of thinking constrain the forward momentum toward what the younger generation sees as vital to the robust development of economic opportunities, the Euro-Atlantic integration.
Selma likes the example of her neighboring countries that have made significant improvements, adopting the necessary reforms that have enabled them to participate fully in international economic and political exchanges. She joins the general public’s growing frustration with the elected leaders of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but, like many smart, energetic, well educated, visionary, and determined individuals of her generation, Selma is helping to forge pathways beyond the old fears and prejudices, opening the future to positive solutions. She particularly wants to exchange experiences with young people from all over the world who share her dedication for creating local conditions for interaction on the international level.
One seemingly minor problem could, if properly addressed, produce a radical shift, Selma believes, and that is the small percentage of her country’s leaders who speak English. Increasing the number of elected officials who speak what she sees as the language of globalization and international cooperation would enable access to vast communication resources, documents, and tools essential to development.
She sees English as so vital to her country’s participation in the modern world that she earned her B.A. in English Language and Literature and became an instructor for both children and adults. One particular challenge arose from a group of five men, all her seniors in age, leading Selma to work through gender-related issues of leadership, employing professionalism, honesty, and dedication in order to cross the traditional assumptions of maturity based on age and gender. Teaching children has helped her to be flexible and to stimulate young minds with humor.
In 2013, she attended a conference as a graduate student that broadened her vision of how she wants to contribute in the future. Through the Young Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia, International youth convened in the Solution Generator Conference in September of that year, focusing on youth in the EU, the digital revolution, its political implications, networking, and international business.
Selma has decided to pursue her master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy, enabling her to expand her domestic-oriented curriculum with an international perspective. She’s especially interested in how her country can encourage research-based independent think-tanks to help advance democracy, problem-solve, employ young scholars and professionals, provide a link between academia and political institutions, and provide alternative viewpoints. Her long-term goal is an international career working with organizations committed to making world a better place.