Stas Cebular

How would you describe your professional journey so far? What is your background, and what sparked your interest in currently working to support political innovation?

I did my Bachelor’s in Sociology and Philosophy back in Slovenia. During that time, I was involved with the student organization of the sociology department. Outside of university, I helped at the magazine for film theory, which also organized educational workshops. These experiences and my education were an excellent basis for my professional journey here in Vienna. Before starting my job at The Innovations in Politics Institute, I worked as a social media manager for two local film festivals, this human world International Human Rights Film Festival and Porn Film Festival Vienna – both dealing with political topics through a cinematic lens. 

I developed a keen interest in politics during high school, where I had ambitious ideas for changing the world. During my Uni years, I realized it is not that simple, and even tiny changes can sometimes have a meaningful impact. This thinking led me to apply for the position at the institute, where I can be a part of something that can lead to changes, however big or small they might be. 

What is your first memory of politics? 

I think my first memory of politics is my parents talking about Janez Drnovšek, the second President of Slovenia. He died shortly after his mandate, and there was a lot of talk about that. I think he is the first politician that I was aware of. I kept mistaking him for another Slovenian politician, Janez Janša, for a long time because they have the same first name, and I thought they looked similar. 

What’s something—big or small—that you’re really good at?

I am pretty confident that I am good at dressing myself and sometimes others. 

The best political joke?

Coming from the Balkans, I don´t think any political joke I know would be appropriate to share here. 

What’s your favourite part of your job? Why is that?

The first one is that it allows me to be creative with the content I produce, which makes for a very dynamic workflow. On social media, it´s never enough just to share information, it has to be presented in a way that appeals to the audience. This leads to a lot of experimentation when it comes to selecting different formats, subjects, tone of voice, etc. It is always interesting to see what works best with a particular audience. 

The second one is working in a great team of like-minded people, who I can always ask for their input and support.  

What’s one thing you’re learning now, and why is it important?

I spend a lot of time learning German. Even though people in Vienna speak English quite well, I think it is essential to learn the local language to navigate the city even better. And I believe learning languages, in general, is essential. 

What’s your favourite movie?

I have a few. One that I would like to highlight is Red Desert (Il deserto rosso) by Michelangelo Antonioni. It is a beautiful portrayal of alienation in the industrialized world that does not aspire to be too moralistic. 

Best advice you’ve ever received?

You should spend less time worrying because you are losing vital time to be actually living.