Meet our founders

Impact & Innovation, Co-founder & Managing Partner

Bistra Kumbaroska, North Macedonia 

A community innovator, entrepreneur and a poet, Bistra spends her time witnessing and supporting courageous steps made by humans, combining innovative tools for business and impact. In 2008, she became one of the core drivers of a movement in Macedonia that resulted with today's most popular youth portal in CEE Region, Mladi Info. Her passion for entrepreneurship took her on a journey through Europe, Sub-Sahara Africa, and South-East Asia, supporting the creation of meaningful jobs. At the moment she lives in Vienna, Austria. She has been involved in the creation and scaling of more than 5 networks and entities across different industries in CEE and has organized, facilitated and shared her experience at more than 117 international events and conferences so far. Currently, Bistra is based in Vienna.

Communication

& Content, Co-founder

Managing Partner

Christina Forster, Austria

Christina believes that every business, brand or product has a story to tell. And a good one, too.  Her own story started in the field of journalism but already in 2005 she moved from print to online. However, it was only during her 8 years in London when she discovered how Content Marketing, Storytelling and Responsible Communication can enable sustainable success for a business - something that became her biggest passion. Since then Christina is helping clients - ranging from big corporations to small social enterprises - to tell their impact by creating human-centred communication strategies for internal and external use. Throughout her career Christina has worked in the fashion, sports, music but also media and IT industry with companies such as Red Bull, Nivea, Labello, Boden or Cisco Austria. She acts as a cofounder to Heartbeats Innovation & Communication and is also an expert for Digital Marketing in the Impact Hub Vienna. Christina is currently based in Vienna. 

Meet our team and experts

 

Junior Coordinator

Gabriela Buenfil, Mexico

Gabriela is originally a translator and language teacher from the Caribbean region of Mexico who is currently based in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her curiosity for intercultural communication and diversity embarked her on a two-year adventure around the world, including countries like Canada, Western and Central Europe. Whilst exploring the world, her perspective of life and purpose changed completely – and also inspired her to cherish diversity, sustainability and responsibility from a professional perspective.At Heartbeats Innovation & Communication, she is currently functioning as Junior Coordinator and works on the implementation of international projects connected to sustainability, impact and social businesses.

Expert in Strategy & Leadership, Design Thinking

Shawn Ardaiz, California

Shawn looks back on 20 years of experience in Silicon Valley but today his heart beats for leaders and helping them create the conditions for their team to thrive during these uncertain complex and ambiguous times. An expert in design thinking and human-centric design processes, Shawn is convinced that innovation centred in the intelligence of the heart taps into key data we've been ignoring for too long. Shawn has worked with the likes of Intel, Carhartt, Aetana and Cisco Systems on various projects to propel their business into the 21st century, using design thinking techniques. Currently, Sean is based in Vienna and acts as Managing Director of Kokoro.

Expert in Business Development

Vida Jakovljevic, Serbia 

Vida is based in Belgrade and a results-driven professional with 10+ years of experience in implementation of cutting-edge strategic solutions that result in a revenue increase for clients. She has been working in the management consulting and security printing business where she developed the ability to retain strong client relationship by understanding the business needs within various industries, governmental and non-governmental sectors. Vida has also a strong background in project development and writing as well as expertise in new business development in the Balkans and the North Africa region.

Expert in Research & Innovation

Vesna Kuzmanovic, North Macedonia

Vesna is based in Skopje Macedonia and an experienced consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the market research, marketing and advertising industry. She is skilled in Innovation Management, in both explicit and implicit market research tools and techniques (Quantitative and Qualitative explicit and EyeTracking and Facial Coding) Marketing Management, Negotiation, Business Planning, and Sales Management. Vesna also owns an MBA title from Sheffield University and PhD from UN University and is a passionate ambassador for making innovation accessible for everyone. 

Expert in innovation & capacity building

Jose Antonio Morales, Peru/Slovenia

Jose is originally from Peru but has been living in Slovenia for over 15 years. His professional career kicked off in IT but already for the past 20+ years Jose has been working with corporate teams, SMEs and young entrepreneurs, bringing new perspectives, challenging the status quo and sparking innovation. Back in the day, Jose co-founded one of the first international Web communities in Latin America, Exchange Latino, in partnership with Microsoft Peru. While in Slovenia Jose was recognised by Microsoft Corp as one of the 18 Global Partner Area Leads. Today, he is founder of initiatives such as Fear & Fail Global, Aurora Co-working, Lincoln Island Initiatives, Vision of Present and The Glue.

Expert in partnership building and facilitation.

Hayley Lapalme, Canada

Hayley is a dynamic facilitator and systems thinker based in Toronto. Coming from a broad interdisciplinary background, Hayley is a reflexive leader who sees connections and builds strong partnerships. Her talents in writing, community development, and intercultural communication have lead her to produce the “100 Mile Dinner Party” radio documentary for the CBC and support the development of an urban farming business in Toronto. In 2010, Hayley joined the team at My Sustainable Canada and developed a methodology to assess and expand institutional procurement of local food in Ontario. Hayley is a dedicated mentor with the Challenge: Future community of global youth social entrepreneurs and an avid canoeist. 

Intern

Ana Stojanovska, North Macedonia

Ana is a high school student at Algorithm High in Skopje. She is very interested in social media and video editing and is passionate about sustainable fashion and the responsible lifestyle required for fighting the climate crisis. In her free time she enjoys watching TV shows and movies, cooking, but most of all, she loves training cross fit. She is a dog lover and enjoys spending time with her dog Barney, too. After she graduates, Ana plans to study abroad, in the field of new media.

Meet some of our clients & partners

 
ACT

ACT

CIVICUS

CIVICUS

Helvetas

Helvetas

Impact Hub Vienna

Impact Hub Vienna

Describe your image

Center ponovne uporabe

Center ponovne uporabe

Swiss contact

Swiss contact

Innovation for change

Innovation for change

Centre for creativity

Centre for creativity

Tacso

Tacso

Feelif

Feelif

Gradanske Inicijative

Gradanske Inicijative

Fund for Innovation

Fund for Innovation

Business Impact Lab

Business Impact Lab

Globale Verantwortung

Globale Verantwortung

WWF Austria

WWF Austria

GSEN

GSEN

Coolab

Coolab

Euclid Network

Euclid Network

Brainster

Brainster

In love with paper

In love with paper

Startup Guatemala

Startup Guatemala

Lincoln Island Initiatives

Lincoln Island Initiatives

Social Impact Lab

Social Impact Lab

We want to thank ...

 

Igor Delov

- for our logo design and the whole visual identity of Heartbeats Innovation & Communication. See more of Igor's great work on http://www.igordelov.co

Tanja Ribarska

- for the photo editing and photo shootings. For work pieces by Tanja check out Tanja's website on www.tanjafish.wix.com/flyingfish

Erste Bank

- especially to the team of "Mikrokredit" for believing in our mission and supporting us. Visit them on www.erstebank.at

WA_new_edited.png

Wirtschaftagentur Wien

.... especially to Dudu Gencel from Wirtschaftsagentur Wien for her support and ongoing advice.

 

Watch our videos

Certificates & qualifications

 

Certificate GENDER MAINSTREAMING

The certificate for Gender Mainstreaming is EU wide valid.

Certificate PROJECT MANAGEMENT

The international certificate for IPMA Level D is worldwide valid.

Certificate Diversity Management

The certificate for Diversity Management is EU wide valid.

Heartbeats Innovation & Communication - Creating value the responsible way. Email:  office@weareheartbeats.com