Our Young Achiever Program 2018 aims to uncover a next wave of 25 exceptional movers, shakers and change-makers aged under 25 who are working or studying in the crowdsourcing sector. And who are already making an impact. We will invite them to our CSW Global 2018 conference in Washington D.C. running 24-28 October.

Applications can be made here, and there is a deadline of September 15.

A Q&A with our own Young Achiever Alex PlamadaCo-ordinating YAP 2018 for Crowdsourcing Week is an exceptional young man of our own from Romania, Alex Plamada. He knows all about how it works and what it takes to be selected as he applied to YAP 2016 and joined us that year at our week-long conference in Brussels, Belgium.

Hi Alex, what were you doing in Romania that fitted with Crowdsourcing Week’s Young Achiever Program in 2016?

Thank you for reminding me about those amazing times. In 2016 I was 18 and about to finish high school. I was already the co-founder and Operations Manager of a local OOTB (Out-Of-The-Box) tourism company called CityID; the co-founder and Manager of a Creative Digital Agency called WePixel , known in Romania as 3IDEI.COM; Editor-in-Chief of a local bilingual (FR – RO) magazine called Phenix;  and had just founded the first French Students Club in Romania together with the French Institute of Iași, where I was President and Co-Founder for almost 2 years. All these companies and projects developed very smoothly and still exist, some on a European level.

I was also involved in a lot of extra-curricular activities like volunteering for local, national and international sports, arts, culture and tourism events.  And I was preparing for life at university. However, I remained in a constant search for anything new and awesome and one day YAP 2016 popped up on Facebook and I was determined not to miss the opportunity! So I applied and was chosen to attend the CSW European Conference in Brussels.

How much of an eye-opener was it for you attend the conference and hear and meet so many speakers and delegates?

Let’s just say it was one of the top things I have ever done.  I had never interacted with so many awesome people and found such an immense quantity of mesmerizing info in one place. It was an amazing five days full of great content from top notch companies and speakers. It was like a brain reboot for me and it was truly life-changing.

I realized the power of individuals and the fact that [in Romania] we were many years behind the rest of the world. It strengthened my inner desire for discovery and gave me a great feeling of hope about the future for my generation.    

How significant was attending CSW Brussels 2016 on your subsequent career path?

Participating at CSW Europe 2016 in Brussels was a door-opener for my career path. All the info that I gathered during the European conference made me realize that I had to raise my game and get even more involved. The world is developing so fast and we all have to stay updated.

After a few months I got in touch with Epi Ludvik, the CEO at Crowdsourcing Week, about staging a conference in Romania in 2018. We got close but it proved too big a challenge, and  Epi offered me the chance to work on the CSW Global 2018 conference this coming October in Washington D.C.

Sounds amazing, anything in the pipeline after DC?

I’m spearheading a brand new project called BOLD Awards, which will take place in Venice, Italy, in April 2019. CSW BOLD Awards will be an event that highlights and rewards amazing projects, individuals and companies that have achieved top outcomes in the sharing economy, crowdsourcing, open innovation and crowdfunding arenas.

Would you say that working in the crowdsourcing and sharing economy sector requires studying any particular education subjects, or is it more about having a particular attitude and mindset?

Rather than educational subjects or functional skills, I’d say it’s most important to be able to apply Empathy, Creativity & Innovation, Adaptability and Problem Solving. These talents can be developed through reading relevant material and joining courses, but I am a firm believer in learning by doing. Unless people expose themselves to situational environments that bring these skills to the forefront, it will be tough to assess themselves and learn where improvements are needed.

Any final words you’d like to close with?

Last but not least, I’d love to let all the young leaders out there know that the most important thing to keep doing is being BOLD and extra-ordinary! Let’s Power Breakthroughs Together, young achievers! Apply here now so that I might meet you in DC!

Thank you Alex.

You will be able to follow the conference through social media at #CSWGlobal18, though we hope you can be in Washington D.C. in person on 24-28 October to hear all the speakers and meet many other members of our Crowdsourcing Week community in North America and from further afield. Tickets are available now for this unique event that won’t be repeated.