It was the first of its kind in the world. Bring in ten digital nomads with different skills, backgrounds and lifestyles from all over the world. Give them free accommodation for 4 weeks, as well as a social and tour program and attendance at some design thinking workshops. And then work with the local community, city, tourist board and program coordinators to co-create a strategy for Dubrovnik to meet the needs of digital nomads who are taking an ever-increasing interest in spending time in the safe, authentic lifestyle destination that is Croatia.
As a co-organiser of DNIR, along with Saltwater Nomads, the City of Dubrovnik, and the Dubrovnik Tourist Board (the latter funded the project), I can honestly say that I have never been involved in such a thought-provoking project, or hung out with a group of strangers initially, who gelled to form lifelong friendships, as well as a superb vision for the future of Dubrovnik.
Over the next few weeks, we will be exploring the DNIR findings in more detail, having made a start with Beyond the Walls: 4 Weeks in Dubrovnik Not Enough, Say DNIR Digital Nomads.
I caught up with several of them on their last evening to get their overall impressions of the program.
As you can see, it was a fairly relaxed setting for the interviews, with Dutchman Rob very proud to take part in the first paid interview of his life (he got a free beer).
Some great insights, and there are several quick wins that Dubrovnik can implement to move the story along. Mayor Frankovic’s commitment to providing a co-working space at the final press conference was vey encouraging.
Also included here are two interviews with original DNIR, Carolyn Zelikow, who had to withdraw halfway, but spoke to us before she left, and Vanessa Anderson, who replaced her.
For more news and features on digital nomads in Croatia, follow the dedicated TCN section.
Attention now turns to the Croatian capital, with Zagreb Digital Nomad Week & Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador project starting on June 21. More information on the Saltwater Nomads website.