With innovative methods to sustainable business and development!
KARZEN & KARZEN is a consulting company that works on the revitalization, management and branding of destinations (placebranding), valorization and interpretation of cultural and natural heritage, and the development of integrated tourism products.
In our process of planning, preparation and implementation of projects from EU funds, and the development of studies and plans for the public, private and civil sector, we use individualized approach and innovative business methods that produce quality and sustainable results.
As a boutique consulting company we are proud of our early identification of market needs and customization of services using innovative and now tested online platforms for learning, communication and collaboration (Moodle and others). We have also been using interactive and participatory methodologies such as Design Thinking for many years, which are intended to involve users in the earliest possible stages of planning and co-creating services and / or products.
Precisely because of our flexibility and innovation, for us, this digital transformation, which occurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is just a natural continuation of our previous way of working. Through additional adaptation to new technologies, we can very quickly offer you the service you need, whether you are a municipality, city, county, private company, association, cultural or educational institution. Our services consist of needs analysis and adaptation to a new way of doing business to creating new plans, projects or online content.
I have over 30 years of experience in the field of international, regional and local development while studying and working in the United States and in the past 18 years in Croatia and the broader region. My passion is the area of urban heritage development and revitalization, working with local communities to revive places and destinations. I am also an experienced moderator and facilitator who connects various sectors and builds partnerships. Also, an experienced lecturer and trainer who has prepared and conducted over 300 workshops and individual technical assistance.
You can often meet me in the Nature Park Medvednica just above the City of Zagreb or other mountains where I enjoy hiking and trail running.
I have over 20 years of experience in the field of sustainable development and tourism and significant experience in the development of Outdoor recreation in the USA, Europe, Croatia and the wider region. With experience and knowledge in business planning and marketing, I have significant experience in the preparation and implementation of projects for EU funds and a number of successfully prepared projects EU funds on sustainable outdoor tourism such as "Via Dinarica". For many years, I have been working with a number of clients, including UNDP offices in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. WWF, national parks and protected areas, and other clients and partners.
You can also found me on the hills, but on a mountain bike.
An individualized approach to the successful preparation and implementation of projects.
We provide technical and advisory assistance to national, regional and local authorities, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, regional development agencies, educational and research institutions and civil society organizations in developing strategic and action plans, feasibility studies and cost-benefit analyzes, management plans and projects for EU funds.
Strategic and business planning
These services include the following:
development of strategic and business plans, management plans and marketing plans in cooperation with target users and citizens
e-strategic and e-business planning for local and regional self-government units, private companies, associations and other users in digital business adaptation
consulting in the development of HR management plans through adaptation to the digital way of doing business
Preparation, implementation and evaluation of EU projects
These services include the following:
preparation of projects from the European Structural and Investment Funds and other European Union programs (special emphasis on the Horizon Europe program).
implementation of a project or part of a project funded by EU funds, depending on the needs of a client
evaluation of programs and projects from ESIF and other funds (INTERREG, Creative Europe, Horizon Europe etc.)
Preparation and implementation of innovative
These services include the following:
online video education "from idea to innovative solution" using Design Thinking methods and tools for co-design and co-creation of new products and / or services
e-mentoring for the preparation and implementation of projects for EU funds (from idea to project through mentorship)
other forms of learning (ZOOM webinars, e-mentoring, video conferencing, technical assistance)
coaching in the process of social innovation - development of innovative solutions through co-creation with end users
Urban heritage development (placemaking and placebranding)
These services include the following:
assessment and development of cultural tourist routes and other tourist products
valorization and interpretation of cultural heritage (storytelling, living history, digital interpretation...)
development of natural heritage management plans (for national parks, nature parks, etc.)
preparation of management plans for cultural heritage and brownfield sites
development of strategic and action plans for cultural and other public institutions (local and regional gov.)
development of feasibility studies and cost benefit analysis (tourist and urban infrastructure)
assessment of the condition and construction of bicycle and hiking trails as well as trail and trekking trails
destination management and branding
Below is a description of key projects. Also, for more project-related references, methodologies and opinion, please refer to New Posts/Blog section of this site For a list of all references and projects in the period 2008-2022, please see the document at the following link https://issuu.com/mirnakarzen/docs/karzenikarzendoo_portfolio_jan_2022
Medvednica Outdoor: Medvednica Outdoor Festival and Film Festival
Through the Social Innovation Laboratory, of which we are the founder, we launched the Medvednica Outdoor Festival (MOF) and the Film Festival (MOFF) as part of the wider Medvednica Outdoor platform. The main goal is to promote outdoor sports and recreation, especially for young and old, a healthy lifestyle and strengthen awareness of the protection of the Medvednica Nature Park. Activities include hiking, trail and trek running, orienteering, sport climbing, mountain biking, canicross and canihike and silk dancing, but also film as a medium. The goal is also to develop an outdoor community that brings together all lovers of outdoor activities, from hikers, cyclists and runners to climbers, orienteers and many others.
Development of the Human Resources Development Strategy of the County of Istria 2021-2027
We are in the process of planning and drafting the Strategy for the Development of Human Resources of the County of Istria for the period until 2027. This key document of the County of Istria will define key strategic guidelines and challenges in this period, the most important of which are the outflow of staff, especially in the health and education sectors, but also attracting quality staff in tourism and hospitality through concrete measures and incentives. The process will include a series of discussions, focus groups and workshops to develop a strategic framework and action plan and will run until August 2020.
Development of the Strategy and action plan and the destination brand within the ADRION 5 Senses project
We are engaged by the Zadar County to develop a joint tourism Strategy of the Adriatic-Ionian region, which will result in the development of a new tourism product, the Experience Map. It would unite all five senses: hearing, sight, smell, touch and taste, and through the sounds of color, texture, smells and gastronomic features connect transnationally the areas of the Adriatic-Ionian region. In addition, it is planned to create a common multilingual web platform and to equip and launch exhibition centers by each project partner. The aim of the project is to create a sustainable development model of the tourism sector with an emphasis on the development and implementation of a joint strategy for the development of the ADRION 5SENSE brand and its promotion.
Cultural Heritage Management Plan of the City of Benkovac
We are leading the process of evaluation of cultural heritage (tangible and intangible) in the area of the City of Benkovac with a proposal for revitalization and development of cultural and tourist facilities. The result of this process is a Management Plan with a strategic and action plan and categorization of all cultural heritage sites. Photo Homeland Museum Benkovac.
Cultural Development Strategy of the City of Sisak 2018-2022
In cooperation with a partner, the Croatian Society of Cultural Tourism (CroCulTour), we are leading the process of drafting the Strategy for Cultural Development of the City of Sisak in terms of defining the strategic framework, action plan and brand of the city as a cultural and cultural-tourist destination.
In the Strategy, we dealt with issues that directly affect the City of Sisak, ie the image it still has as a former industrial city without an identity: what are the cultural and creative contents, special or specialized enough, which would increase the number of visitors to Sisak? How to refresh the cultural offer and strengthen production? How to attract visitors, how to change the image of the city and valorize the rich historical, cultural and natural heritage? How to combine natural and cultural resources - to capitalize on the position of the city of Sisak due to the close proximity of the Lonjsko Polje Nature Park? What is the niche of cultural creation and production on which the new Sisak brand should be built?
Using participatory methods of involving the public and key stakeholders such as placemaking, we led the process of drafting the Tourism Strategy of the City of Ivanić-Grad until 2020 and the concept of thematic science and education park and museum at the site "Petica".
This project, worth at least 70 million kuna, combines elements of culture and industrial heritage, promotion of the history of oil mining important for the construction of the modern City of Ivanic-Grad, but also education, tourism, sports and recreation. The museum with its program contents would connect the primary function of the museum with the programs of sustainable development of the city and the hinterland, including the programs of the integrated tourist offer.
Branding of continental tourism in Virovitica-Podravina County
We cooperated with Virovitica-Podravina County in the development of the Operational Plan for the development and branding of continental tourism. The emphasis of our work was on examining the current situation and shaping a new tourist offer related to the Drava and Papuk areas, both UNESCO-recognized sites with huge potential for the development of nature tourism (outdoor and cycling).
Study of shaping the cultural and tourist route of Austro-Hungarian fortifications in Pula and Istria
In cooperation with the County of Istria and the architectural firm Penezić & Rogina, we made a Design Study
Regional / European cultural and tourist routes of Austro-Hungarian fortifications in Pula and Istria. As part of this project, we conducted an examination of the current condition of 26 fortifications. We have also prepared a proposal for infrastructural and spatial improvement and new facilities and routes. This study will serve as a basis for further revitalization and interpretation of this undervalued cultural heritage.
The study states that in the wider European context, numerous examples of good practice can be found in the valorisation of fortifications and their integration into everyday life and sustainable development of the local community. There are many examples, from museums, cultural, congress and scientific research centers, through housing and facilities for the needs of the local community to catering facilities, wine shops, hostels and hotels and facilities for mixed recreational, cultural and tourist purposes. Also, there were many opportunities for valorization of Pula's fortifications and their inclusion in European routes, and this was the starting point for proposing new solutions and products.
Each of these fortifications can be an independent tourist product, but their unification can also create the preconditions for creating a more complex product of cultural tourism (thematic tours).
Klis Fortress Management Plan
We conducted a comprehensive analysis of this valuable cultural and historical site and developed a Management Plan, marketing plan and cost-benefit analysis for the phased reconstruction, interpretation and promotion of Klis Fortress.
As part of the project, an international conference "Innovation in Culture - Digital Interpretation of Fortifications", Various Faces of Fortifications was organized. At this innovative meeting, various possibilities of digital interpretation of cultural heritage were presented - innovative solutions that revive localities, present historical events in a new and fresh way, enable the creation of new tourist facilities and a richer offer for different ages and groups of visitors.
As a result, the Municipality of Klis has successfully nominated and received funding for the digital interpretation of the visitor center in which holograms will tell the history of Klis.
Implementation of the HERA Adriatic project (EU-IPA Adriatic fund)
As part of this project, we have developed guidelines for the assessment and development of cultural tourism and the development of cultural and tourist routes in the Adriatic region.
As part of the project, various localities and cultural routes in Europe were assessed, from the olive and chard route to the religious and medieval routes that served to create common steps to create the routes, from story to unique experience.
Development of the Strategy and Action Plan for the Development of Cultural Tourism of the City of Rijeka
In cooperation with key stakeholders of the city of Rijeka, we conducted a survey and analysis of the situation and prepared strategic guidelines for the further development of cultural tourism in the city of Rijeka.
Development of a strategy and action plan and project documentation for the reconstruction of the Osijek Fortress
We have prepared complete project documentation for the reconstruction of the Osijek Fortress in the amount of 30 million kuna and the Strategic and Action Plan for the reconstruction of the historic part of the city of Osijek - Osijek Fortress with proposals for infrastructure and content reconstruction of individual buildings within the Fortress. As a result, the reconstruction of one part of the Fortress is currently underway.