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Positively Sustainable: Polona Hrovat's Vision for a Better Tomorrow

Dr. Desirée Schatzl
Professor of Sustainability & Entrepreneurship

A story of passion, knowledge, and growth.Delve into the story of Polona Hrovat, a Master's Degree learner in Sustainability, Entrepreneurship, and Technology at Tomorrow University.

With a degree in agricultural engineering and a career as a Circular Business Manager, Polona brings a wealth of expertise to her studies. But her journey goes far beyond that.

A true nature enthusiast, mental coach, and devoted mum of two, Polona's passion for impact runs deep. Raised in a family rooted in sustainable agriculture and rural development, Polona has cultivated a profound understanding of the subject from a young age, actively shaping its concept in her homeland of Slovenia. Inspired by nature's mystique, Polona nurtures her energy through gardening, herbal blending, and crafting natural remedies. Her mission: to empower others with a deep respect for nature, people, and self. Polona strives to catalyze personal growth and sustainable living, inspiring a brighter tomorrow.

Polona, Circular Business Manager, nature enthusiast, positivist, and Master's Degree learner at ToU, on her journey to impact.

Gardening and nature are Polona's sanctuary, offering serenity and clarity to her mind and soul.

Bridging gaps: From agricultural engineering to circular innovations 

Polona's unique expertise has always positioned her as a bridge between the two worlds, fostering meaningful connections between profit-driven and purpose-driven business practices. As a mentor, Polona has guided aspiring entrepreneurs in adopting sustainable and circular business models while actively advancing farmers' cooperatives to commercialize their sustainable products and practices effectively. Her versatile capabilities have extended to eco-design projects, enhancing the impact and reach of sustainability initiatives. Currently, Polona holds the positions of Institute Council President and Development Project Manager at KNOF Circular Lab, a registered Slovenian social enterprise dedicated to waste reduction and prevention. Her projects center on upcycling post-consumer and industrial waste, designing sustainable products, and manufacturing a limited series of environmentally friendly goods. By providing sustainable alternatives and promoting the reuse of materials, she facilitates KNOF Circular Lab in driving positive change in Slovenia's waste management practices.

Polona at KNOF Social Lab: Creating art while preventing waste, and don't forget the fun! 

Making sustainability the norm: Breaking free from the social bubble

Polona firmly believes that purpose-driven business practices should become the standard, not the exception. She actively advocates for a critical mass of individuals embracing recycled and upcycled materials and products, fostering the commercialization of socially and environmentally positive practices. Polona also recognizes that the current state of impact-driven business and practices is confined within a bubble, featuring repetitive players and practices. She emphasizes that sustainability cannot become the norm if it remains isolated in this bubble. Recognizing the need to break free from these constraints, Polona stresses the importance of social enterprises engaging with traditional stakeholders and fostering collaboration between different approaches. By transcending the boundaries of the bubble, social businesses can contribute to making sustainability a widespread and integrated part of our collective future.

"The world needs a critical mass of people who actively choose sustainable products and processes. We need to make sustainable practices the norm."

Leading with authenticity: Embrace your potential

Polona leads with authenticity, inspiring sustainable practices and self-development while always maintaining a positive mindset. She envisions a world where sustainability and individual growth intertwine, prioritizing personal and environmental well-being. By fostering open-mindedness and cultivating a deep respect for the community, Polona empowers others to embrace self-awareness and self-mastery. Through her advocacy and guidance, Polona encourages individuals to harness their abilities and contribute to a better tomorrow, beginning with personal growth. Her message is simple: "Know your strengths, nurture them, and let them propel you towards success. By leveraging your abilities, you can shape a better future." 

Polona's mission is to lead with authenticity, helping others to develop sustainably.

Gaining tools and connections for real impact

Polona's transformative journey at Tomorrow University has given her a deep understanding of entrepreneurship and a supportive community of like-minded individuals. These invaluable tools and connections enable her to apply sustainability principles practically, shaping her purpose-driven contributions to society. She states, "At ToU, I'm equipped to make a real difference. Here, I harness the tools and connections to empower tangible impact."

Polona's story highlights the power of passion, purpose, and education, underscoring the profound impact of self-empowerment. Self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-mastery are essential 21st-century competencies that Polona exemplifies. From her background in agricultural engineering to her pivotal role at KNOF Circular Lab, she demonstrates how cultivating these skills can drive lasting positive change in personal and professional pursuits.

Connect with Polona on LinkedIn.

Dr. Desirée Schatzl
Professor of Sustainability & Entrepreneurship
Dr. Desirée Schatzl
Professor of Sustainability & Entrepreneurship

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