Growing with the CEF, growing to inspire

November 9, 2021 by Aleksandra Tekijaški

What is time in comparison to countless creative, fulfilled and memorable moments? Asking myself whether ten years with the CEF is a lot or too little makes thus no sense. The CEF and I started our journey in exciting times of our existence. The CEF was on the verge of switching to an international organization, whilst I was ready for changes in so many aspects. When I moved to Ljubljana, my gut told me that it was not just a new job. Being engaged with the CEF proves the saying that creativity needs courage. And creativity at the CEF has transformed and moved so many things forward.

Switching to an international organization, understating our role as a knowledge hub, and approaching work with creativity – the intelligence of having fun – have made my ten years with the CEF matter. Meeting a treasured circle of talented, precious people from many corners of the world, our learning and emotional staff retreats, new beginnings and success-colored departures have made these years memorable. And I believe that many new splendid moments are yet to come.

My transformation with the CEF began from consistent openness: from my then office mate Irena’s open heart upon my arrival to the director’s and her deputy’s open doors for anyone wishing to share new challenges and fresh solutions to open the minds, eyes and senses for themselves and other colleagues.

This transformation has reached its peak every time our partners’ feedback shows satisfaction and results, worth our hard, joint efforts. Our work has always been focused on outcomes and impact that have transformed politics to ownership and sustainability of shared knowledge.

My transformation with CEF was sometimes going in the opposite direction from CEFs, although we were both on good track. When the CEF was transforming into an international organization, I was gradually integrating into the Slovenian society. And when CEF membership grew, my family welcomed a tiny new member.


Growing is a demanding process that takes many lessons and learning from failure. With courage to face it, each lesson takes you a step further. Growing together with the CEF is a productive process, full of life and, naturally, everything that life brings.

What makes the CEF so special for me is its endurance to overcome challenges, humility to forgive, modesty to avoid vanity, self-confidence to recognize victory, maturity for self-reflection and vitality to play and have fun. Entering a two-digit long engagement with the CEF deserves a wish. I wish the CEF and all of us here courage and endurance for creating our inner learning platforms and inspiring others around us.

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