Ante Lučić is one of the lecturers that will be attending this year’s Dubrovnik Summer School. He has a master degree in law and business management. Also he is the CEO of A- Link a career consulting and marketing company. Some of his interests are the future of higher education, employment and political communication. In this interview he gave us an overview of his lectures and why he thinks Dubrovnik is an excellent choice for a summer school that focuses on intellectual capital.
1. For starters, can you explain in a couple of sentences what will be the focus of your lectures at Dubrovnik Summer School?
The focus of my lectures will be the economic/business lessons learned from the history of Dubrovnik. We will try to dig deeper into the way the old Ragusans did business and see whether and to what extent we can apply certain concepts in the modern business operations. In order to understand their business practices, we will imitate their diplomatic and smart approach in a role play. The goal is to have a lively discussions about the best business practices, as well as learning how Ragusans benefited from the concept of freedom, and why we should too.
2. What business skills do you expect most students will learn after your lectures?
I hope the students will brush up on their negotiation and argumentation skills. Furthermore, we will see how and what we can learn from history, especially while becoming acquainted with free market economics and business freedom.
3. Except the obvious benefits Dubrovnik offers as a touristic city, are there any other reasons it was chosen as the city to hold a summer school that focuses on intellectual capital?
Whenever one mention’s intellectual capital and the history thereof, Dubrovnik stands out rather naturally. Not only does it have a long tradition of quality education, but it has also been a type of an incubator of intellectual capital, which has served as a backbone of organizational management, business intelligence, economic diplomacy, etc. For instance, the father of Business Intelligence, Stevan Dedijer comes from Dubrovnik, just like Benedikt Kotruljević, the father of accounting and double-entry book keeping. Lots of other successes of Dubrovnik’s historical figures in science, economics and diplomacy are based on the Republic’s strategic approach to growing and maintaining intellectual capital. It is definitely good to learn about intellectual capital at the place which has virtually invented it and championed it for such a long time.
4. This year’s topic of Dubrovnik Summer School is business freedom. How is that topic related to Dubrovnik’s history?
The Latin word for freedom (“liberty”, that is) is Libertas, and one will stumble upon it whenever reading about Dubrovnik’s history. The Ragusan Republic would not have been as successful had they not cherished the concept of freedom, which they fought very hard to preserve, and which they employed in their short and long term politics and businesses. The success story of Dubrovnik is actually the success story of business freedom in the historical context. Dubrovnik was a little superpower in international trade, which functions better if there are not many barriers (i.e. if there is more business freedom).
5. Why do you consider raising awareness about business freedom is important in today’s world?
The best things are those that are created freely and in the environment which is based on the values of freedom. It is sufficient to merely look at modern innovations and disruptive technologies; they come from predominantly free economic environments. Such environments encourage and enhance competition where actors are free to compete about the quality and price of their products, continuously improving both. These processes are what actually drives economies forward. The stronger and freer the economy, the higher the quality of life and the brighter are the future prospects of various societies and communities forming today’s world.
6. Also, what can students themselves do about raising awareness about business freedom and its importance in their own countries?
One of the best ways to promote freedom is to do it simultaneously while promoting entrepreneurship. Having more people involved in (their own) business projects shows them same traces of business freedom in practice and they can easily learn about its importance for economic development. Until you start something of your own, the concept of business freedom can be rather blurry, too theoretical, and even abstract. To raise awareness about anything it is first necessary to learn about it as much as possible. Since learning by doing is the best type of learning, I would advise students to first promote entrepreneurship as such, which will be naturally followed by the growing sentiment for business freedom.
7. In conclusion, do you have any advice you would like to share with students that will be attending this year Dubrovnik Summer School?
Regarding DSS, just like in any educational initiative, most of it is up to you. If you come with the right mindset of wanting to learn something new and valuable, and wanting to contribute something of value to the program – you will surely benefit from it. Be open towards meeting new people, have lots of fun, explore Dubrovnik, swim, and build new friendships – freely, of course!