Keynote speakers

Ana Draskovic

Business Development Director

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, UK

A Short Biography

Ana is Director, Head of Business Development in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), overlooking business development across 38 countries in Central Asia, CEE and Northern Africa, as well as over 30 FDI countries. Ana is managing Business Development teams in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Dubai, Washington DC and London. She is focused at finding innovative ways of delivering more business across variety of countries and sectors that EBRD operates in.

Previously Ana was Partner, Head of Markets at KPMG, where she joined from CEO role at Serbian Export Credit and Insurance Agency. Ana was also Head of the Representative Office and Vice President for Citibank in Western Balkans, and she also worked at The World Bank, JP Morgan in London, and at the National Bank of Serbia where she was Chief of the Cabinet to the Governor.

Ana holds MA in International Relations from the University of Westminster, and BSc in Economics from Belgrade University. She successfully completed executive education at Cambridge Judge Business School.

The topic and presentation abstract  

Sustainability and Digital after COVID – what is the direction and the pace of the change? 

COVID pandemic had multiple effects on humanity and brought some irreversible changes. We are all more aware than ever of the importance of our environment and our eco-systems, but we also learned that sustainability is not just another cost to the business, it is an immense opportunity as well. Overnight we all turned into digital experts as well, delivering our work on-line which changed the way many businesses now operate and significantly increased demand for digital solutions everywhere, from SMEs to blue chip companies, across the globe. My presentation will try to shed more light on opportunities sustainability and digital are offering and provide some case studies and examples of how different countries and different companies are embracing this change. 

Aleksander Aristovnik, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics and Management in Administration

University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

A Short Biography

Aleksander Aristovnik, PhD, is a professor of Economics and Management in the Public Sector at the Faculty of Public Administration and a professor of Economics at the School of Economics and Business (University of Ljubljana). He is one of the leading researchers in Administrative and Organizational Sciences, with around 100 peer-reviewed articles and more than 3,400 citations (h-index: 28). He is a member of the editorial boards of several indexed international journals (e.g., Public policy and administration research, Administrative sciences, Plos One, Frontiers in Education) and the programme committee of international scientific conferences (e.g., NISPAcee, EGPA…). He has been a leader (or member) of more than 30 national/international projects and an external reviewer of projects/programmes of different research agencies/networks (e.g., Slovenian Research Agency (ARRS), CELSA network). In 2020, he established the Covid-19 Social Science Lab ( to research the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on different aspects of social science where he is leading an international consortium of 150+ academic institutions from over 100 countries. He is the recipient of the Prešeren Award (1998) and the Golden Plaque of the University of Ljubljana (2020) for his outstanding merits in research and for exceptional contributions to strengthening the reputation of the University of Ljubljana.

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The topic and presentation abstract 

Digital Transformation of Public Administration during and after COVID-19 pandemic: some theoretical and empirical insights 

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly reshaped administrative relations and put emphasis on the digital transformation of public administration that is urgently needed to support a sustainable recovery from the pandemic crisis and future sustainable development in the post-pandemic era. Indeed, in unprecedented circumstances like the COVID-19 crisis, public services cannot be suspended and must then be delivered online, relying on the available digital technology. Accordingly, public administration has faced the pressing need to assess its current digital technological capabilities while also having to rapidly deal with technological adoption and solution implementation. In other words, the COVID-19 pandemic may be considered an accelerator of digitalization in the delivery of public services. In the presentation, I will present a bibliometric analysis of recent literature and findings from our international empirical study about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the digitalization of public administration. Furthermore, a theoretical framework for measuring the digital transformation of public administration organizations in the post-pandemic era will be presented and empirically tested on selected public institutions. 


Manuel Mazzara, Ph.D.

Director of Institute of Software Development and Engineering

Innopolis University

A Short Biography

Prof. Dr. Manuel Mazzara is a professor of Computer Science at Innopolis University (Russia) with a research background in Software Engineering, Service-Oriented Architecture, concurrency theory, formal methods, and software verification. He published many relevant and highly cited papers, in particular in the field of Service Engineering and Software Architectures. Manuel received a Ph.D. in computing science from the University of Bologna, Italy, and has collaborated with European and US industries, plus governmental and inter-governmental organizations such as the United Nations, always at the edge between science and software production. The work conducted by Dr. Mazzara and his team in recent years focuses on the development of theories, methods, tools, and programs covering the two major aspects of Software Engineering: the process side, related to how we develop software, and the product side, concerning the results of this process. Currently, Dr. Mazzara is the director of the Institute of Software Development and Engineering and the Head of the International Cooperation Office at Innopolis University.

The topic and presentation abstract

Education after COVID-19 (“Humanity and machines: the future of education”)

The year 2020 has brought life-changing events for many and affected numerous professional sectors. Education has been one of those fields heavily impacted, and institutions have almost worldwide switched to forms of online education, which has become a common practice. With a fourth industrial revolution happening in front of our eyes, some elements of the existing education system are showing themselves as out- dated. However, despite the realization that online teaching is here to stay, frontal classes are a millennia-old practice that cannot be entirely replaced without neglecting human nature. Instead, old and new can coexist, and humanity and machines can cooperate for societal development. In this talk, I present the past, present, and future of education, what we have learned by the experience of teaching online, and how we see and are getting ready for future developments in the field.

Basant Agarwal, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Indian Institute of Information Technology Kota, India


A Short Biography

Dr. Basant Agarwal is working as an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Information Technology Kota (IIIT-Kota), India, which is an Institute of National Importance. He holds a Ph.D. and M.Tech. from Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur, India. He has more than 9 years of experience in research and teaching. He has worked as a Postdoc Research Fellow at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway, under the prestigious ERCIM (European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics) fellowship in 2016. He has also worked as a Research Scientist at Temasek Laboratories, National University of Singapore (NUS), Singapore. He is working on several sponsored research project in the field of artificial intelligence, machine learning which has direct impact on the society. He has published more than 50 research papers in journals of repute. His research interest is in Artificial Intelligence, Text mining, Natural Language Processing, Machine learning, Deep learning, Intelligent Systems and related areas. 

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The topic and presentation abstract

The role of artificial intelligence for the sustainable business in the Post COVID-19 world 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has undeniably influenced the global economy and environment. When it started, companies used a wide array of techniques and solutions to mitigate the damages. One solution that helped these companies the most was Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI touches almost every aspect of our everyday lives and is continuously playing a key role in the rapidly evolving world. AI has already been introduced across different sectors including mobility, education, manufacturing, e-commerce, communication, health, insurance, finance and many more. It plays a key role in technical development of the health field ranging from the autonomous surgical robots, robotic nursing assistants, and automated imaging diagnostics. Moreover, in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, AI offered several opportunities to analyze huge amount of available data for developing various lifesaving breakthrough applications such as developing vaccines within record time, implementing contact-tracing, and analyzing the patterns of spreading of the coronavirus, which helped in curbing the spread of the pandemic. AI-based robots and drones considerably helped in delivery of healthcare systems. AI is also a tool for finding quick ways to bring cures to market, assisting customers in stores, adjusting to new inputs, performing human-like tasks, and enabling the achievement of 134 targets across all 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN). According to the consulting firm PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), the second-largest professional services network globally, AI could boost global GDP by 14% by 2030, which is equivalent to additional 15.7 Trillion dollars. Thus, this makes AI – “the biggest commercial opportunity” in today’s rapidly changing economy. 

The importance of AI and Machine Learning leads us to believe that governments must foster trust in these technologies in order to address future health issues and accomplish the SDGs related to good health and wellbeing. Employers have more reason than ever to hunt for methods to substitute workers with robots, and recent evidence suggests that the same is happening at a rapid rate. The emergence of AI and its increasingly broad impact across various sectors necessitates a review of its impact on achieving the SDGs. According to a new survey “AI in a Post-COVID-19 World” released by The AI Journal, 72 percent of CEOs are optimistic about the role of AI in the future, with the top expectation being that it will improve business operations by up to 74 percent. Also, 55 percent CEOs believe that AI will aid in the development of new business models, and 54 percent believe that AI will enable the development of new products and services. As organizations become more reliant on AI-based systems, the Explainable Sustainable AI was born out of the necessity for deployment of sustainable AI solutions reinforced with human-understandable explanations. 

In this talk, I will be presenting how AI can contribute to achieving SDGs, why AI matters for sustainable businesses and what’s the real value of AI for a business, how businesses are adopting AI technologies, although AI has already been around in the past, why today is the right time to use AI for growth of businesses, and finally, how we can utilize AI for a business. 

Priyanka Harjule, Ph.D.

Assistant professor 

Department of Mathematics 

Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur (MNIT), India 


A Short Biography 

Dr. Priyanka Harjule is currently working as Assistant Professor in the Department of mathematics, MNIT Jaipur. Before Joining MNIT, she worked at Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Kota, as Assistant Professor for two years. During her time at IIIT Kota she has established and set up an e-learning and data analytics lab (elda lab). Currently she is also the coordinator for Centre for e-learning (CeL) at the Information and Communication Centre, MNIT Jaipur. Her research interests include Fractional calculus, Mathematical and statistical Modelling, E-learning, Machine learning and Image Processing. 

In the last two years she has worked and published in reputed Journals on development of fractional derivative masks for texture enhancement of medical images and development of fractional order models for viscoelasticity in lung tissues. She has also published papers related to COVID-19 research which includes mathematical modelling for evolution of COVID-19 pandemic in India, applications of machine learning techniques on analysis of impact of online education on the mental health and anxiety levels of school children and their parents in India and finally investigated the causes and impact of misinformation sharing amongst college students during COVID-19 pandemic in India. She was recently granted a patent (Patent No. 2020103810) on Method for Detecting Fake News from the Australian Government. She has also worked on text classification problems with different machine learning classifiers. She is a lifetime member of Society for Special Functions and their applications (SSFA). 

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The topic and presentation abstract  

Applications of intelligent optimization techniques in sustainability 

As per the current research trends applications of optimization techniques in sustainability have proven to be topics with diverse concepts, elements, and aspects and are the driving force towards attaining the sustainable development goals. The primary objective of optimization techniques is to improvise the overall sustainable management by satisfying the objective functions. Therefore, applications of optimization techniques and algorithms are significant and important to achieve the sustainable development. As per the literature, sustainability is defined to be the technology that meets today’s needs without jeopardizing the future generations’ ability to meet their own needs. 

One of the most important tools to achieve sustainability is Optimization. Mathematically optimization is defined as the selection of the best element with respect to some criterion/restrictions. It is a search process to find the optimum solution for a given network parameters using all feasible solutions. The complex nature of many real-life problems calls for applications of optimization methods to obtain a sustainable solution. Intelligent optimization algorithms are crucial for obtaining solutions to such kinds of problems. Classical optimization methods cannot be used for several complex scientific problems that require solutions with accurate computations and appropriate time. Powerful intelligent optimization techniques based on the natural phenomenon are used in order to design artificial computational methods for solving complex optimization problems. These are called metaheuristic methods. In this talk I will provide an overview of metaheuristic optimizers used in various disciplines for attaining sustainable solutions. I will also provide case studies in which optimization methods are used for managing various issues related to social sciences in post COVID-19 era specifically in India. 

Itana Ristić

Head of Digital Marketing at Banca Intesa

Track keynote speakerDigital Transformation of Financial Industry


Dražen Maravić

UN Development Program
Portfolio manager for inclusive political processes and civic participation

Track keynote speaker – Evidence-Based Public Policy Making in a post-COVID Environment


Branko Subotić

Senior Manager at EY Serbia/BiH/MNE
Technology Risk&Transformation, Cyber Security

Track keynote speakerManaging Digital Transformation Projects Under Discontinuity

April 30, 2022
Deadline for abstract submission
May 20, 2022
Notification of abstract acceptance

June 9, 2022
Deadline for Doctoral Colloquium application
June 5, 2022 Deadline for early-bird registration
June 11, 2022 Deadline for late registration
June 11-14, 2022 Symposium at the Faculty of Organizational Sciences
June 30, 2022 Deadline for paper submission
(Springer LNNS Book Series / National Monograph)
July 30, 2022 Notification of paper acceptance

9 SDGs:

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals web site:

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