Meet Olumide Gbenro, Founder of Digital Nomad Week

Total Croatia News

Updated on:

The global digital nomad story is gathering pace, and all (some 10,000 pairs) will be on Digital Nomad Week 2021 in early December, when 100 speakers will be addressing some 10,000 virtual attendees from over 120 countries. 


Croatia will have a strong presence from the private sector, with several key figures from the incredible progress over the last 18 months all among the 100 conference speakers. Confirmed so far with a Croatian angle are Jan de Jong, the President of the Digital Nomad Association Croatia and the catalyst for the Croatian digital nomad permit. American Steve Tsentserensky, only the 7th recipient of the permit and a regular conference speaker and viral video maker. Israeli Nimrod Dean Kuchel was a keynote speaker at Zagreb Digital Nomad Week who seemed to have left his heart in the Croatian capital when he took up his post as the Zagreb Digital Nomad Ambassador for September. German Andreas Wil Gerdes who has been advocating remote work strategies for Croatia for some time. And on a personal level, I was delighted to be given the chance to present Croatia’s story from the TCN perspective, having covered the subject for more than two years. 

Time to get out of our Croatian bubble and meet the man behind this global event and find out more about it. 


Olumide Gbenro is a digital nomad pioneer based in Bali, Indonesia who has hosted community events serving 10,000+ digital nomads from around the world over the last 5 years. He is Founder of Digital Nomad Week, Digital Nomad Summit, Digital Nomad Islands, and Digital Nomad Festival.

His work has been covered in prominent publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Business Insider for advocating for digital nomad visas and his continuing work to create sustainable global citizens that give back to the local communities.

Today he is helping governments, cities and organizations attract digital nomads and become better prepared for the future of remote work, today.

1. Digital Nomad Week. Run from Bali but fully remote. 10,000 attendees, 100 speakers, 120 countries. It sounds amazing. Tell us a little bit about the event first, and how you got started.

In 2020 we were supposed to have our first summit in-person in Bali, Indonesia, but due to Covid we had to postpone it. Instead we pivoted into a virtual summit and it was a blessing in disguise because we saw about 1,000 attendees from around the world. This showed me the strong signal I needed to continue creating virtual events for high level networking, learning and socializing for the digital nomad community around the world. 

2. Who is the event aimed at?

We are aiming at both newbies to the remote work world and also experienced leaders who have already achieved complete freedom. There is something for everyone, from our panels with famous digital nomads like Matt Kepnes “Nomadic Matt” and the legendary Rolf Potts, Kristen Wilson, and Gonçalo Hall, founder of the world’s first digital nomad village, the best of the best will be in the (virtual) rooms discussing the future of our population. We also have a mastermind with 6, and 7 figure nomads sharing their latest knowledge on how to achieve complete financial freedom. 

3. Where does Digital Nomad Week rank in terms of global DN conferences?

I really think we’re the best, and I’m not just saying that. No one has ever put together such a formidable lineup of remote work leaders and this is just the start. Next year I will present both a physical Digital Nomad Summit and a massive Digital Nomad Festival later in 2022. 


4. What are your hopes and expectations from this year’s conference?

My real hope is that people find a new home, a place where they can not just get high level learning but also meet new business partners, learn about up and coming digital nomad hubs and also perhaps develop a skill that helps them generate their first or next six figure online business. 

5. You have been a top remote work influencer for some time. How do you see the pattern of change, particularly due to the pandemic? 

I think the pandemic has helped even the savvy remote work leaders decide on lifestyle design they desire to live and to adjust fast. Meaning I choose where I live depending on the rules set forward by the governments in the region that I live. I know so many that left Bali when things became more unstable to go to Mexico. I think in the coming years we will all stay longer in destinations depending on the benefits offered by local governments but we’ll also be much more active with local people and communities to give them more of our time, money and attention. Long gone are the days where you hop from country to country every 2 weeks, it’s just not practical anymore. 

6. Bali has been a remote work capital for a number of years. What is the situation now – are things returning back to normal? 

Things are finally starting to return very slowly but I believe it will return sooner than predicted. Although many have been critical of the response of the Indonesian government I believe they are doing the best they can and with the new law allowing vaccinated people to enter I can see a big bounce back of tourism once the 5-day quarantine is removed. I have already noticed so much more traffic in the popular area of Canggu, Bali.


7. Can we talk a little about Croatia, as that is my primary focus? Your observations on the DN story in Croatia, looking from distance and with your experience on how Croatia is doing on its DN path?

I think from a distance I see the massive efforts Croatia is making. You’ve brought on passionate ambassadors and it’s clear you are putting in a major effort for the community. I know you have critics so my advice is to prove them wrong. Show the community at large you care and all will be well. 

8. What should be the key areas of focus for Croatia as part of next steps?

I think you need people dedicated to staying long term. Find 3-5 new and excited faces who wear “digital nomad” on their sleeve and let them have the remote control. Host events that allow people to socialize and have fun, it’s not all about being serious all the time and I’ve found my best business deals have come from informal relationships. 


9. And finally, what’s next for Olumide Gbenro after Digital Nomad Week?

I now own the domains for Digital Nomad Summit, Digital Nomad Week, Digital Nomad Festival as well as their trademarks. I plan to expand from Bali to other hubs to host the worlds top events. I want to partner with other leaders, this isn’t a competition I don’t believe in that and I welcome the partnership of leaders and local governments who have a genuine heart for our population.

For more information about Digital Nomad Week, and to register, visit the official website.

For the latest news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, visit the dedicated TCN section.

Leave a Comment