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Alice Nell
September 10, 2015

People in Beta: Elizaveta Barsegova

The 4th edition of our annual People in Beta festival is over. But it's not yet the end of PEOPLE in Beta series! We´d love to introduce you to those who normally stay behind the curtain, while making the magic happen. So within upcoming weeks we´ll publish series of interviews with our star festival crew, uncovering who they are and getting some tips and tricks on how to make an awesome event.

We´ll start with Elizaveta Barsegova, who directed the festival this year. She was the magic fairy making sure content, communication, design and operations collide flawlessly, like in a fairytale. After being a part of betahaus crew for 3 years she hugged us goodbye to sail the ocean of startup and art scenes as a freelance event director and curator. But we couldn´t let her leave forever. And so we didn´t! Elizaveta jumped back on board for the summer to make sure People in Beta festival will be the most unforgettable day of the betahaus year. Read on to get the recipe of festival-making and the most empowering life advice.

Which ingredients should go into the pot to make sure the final result is People in Beta Festival?

It´s easy – finely cut herbs which are responsible for entrepreneurial success, add hands-on craft experience, spice it up with good art and music and make sure it´s served in a nice open atmosphere, so that everyone around the table could enjoy the meal whatever their cultural and professional background is. Create the atmosphere of “togetherness” – it´s very good for digestion!

One important extra – if it´s startup gurus or makers, make sure they are up for cooking a tasty meal together. We specifically asked all our speakers to share the practical wisdom rather than tell the story of their glory. And I´m very happy they got the message. At the festival some people were coming up to me, asking if we could host the festival every 3 months or at least every half a year, because they learned so much. And that was the best feedback I could have ever hoped for – to feel that we managed to create an intensive knowledge booster, as all our speakers were happy to take themselves out of focus for the sake of sharing their know-how´s.

Most events are strictly focused on either startups or makers. Why is the festival catering both scenes at once?

Well, because those two should meet. These communities have so much to share and learn from each other, they rarely realize it until they meet.

Each maker should involve a slight touch of entrepreneurial approach into their work – it just makes it easier to make projects financially sustainable. Makers are often resistant to this idea. But once they meet the cool stratup guys in person, and hear their learning, commercial side of the story suddenly becomes more understandable and clearly applicable to what they do. PR or Business Plan or Crowdfunding campaign – are applicable for a little craft atelier as much as they are for a digital App.

On the makers side there´s also much to share. I believe that most people are actually makers at heart. Weather they admit it or not. Craft gives not only the actual skill of making but a general approach to things – empowering people to realize that they can create, twitch, hack stuff around them. It reinforces the space for creativity in your mind even if originally you though it doesn´t exist. You can clearly visualize the joy of this happening when you see an app developer smiling full power with scissors and a piece of pink cardboard in his hands at a papercut workshop.

When you were a kid what did you dream of becoming when you grew up?

I wanted to be a model. Very happy that one didn´t come true.

What’s your favourite way to blow off steam in your free time?

Crafting, for sure. I´m making all sorts of big and small objects for my flat now – from lampshades and vases to tables. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I don´t neglect the idea of shaping it into a job one day. Will have to spare some months a year for events, of course, – I love those ones too.

What quirks or virtues impress you the most in people?

Kindness, honesty and reliability. Those 3 shape an adorable superhuman in my eyes.

What makes you feel lucky to live in this time and place?

My husband. If I was born 4 decades earlier, I´d be a grumpy oldie by now and he would have never married me.

What’s the one thing you would change about the world if you could?

The war. Naively yet honestly - there should be no war…

Tea or coffee?

Tea. Unless it´s two weeks to go till the event.. then RedBull is my devoted companion.

Share your favourite piece of wisdom with us, whether it’s from a well-known hero, your mom or even yourself!

Oh, you´ll have to watch it: “Only one tip for the future”!

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