"We have found the balance between good quality of life, the environment and time. Learning will help us face the greatest of challenges. We are innovative and we change ideas into acts," reads the 421-word long document of the vision for Slovenia in 2050.
"With trust we can create good relations and build a society of solidarity and tolerance. We are confidently opening Slovenia to partners ready for cooperation. We proudly enrich the global network with our cultural uniqueness," it says.
The document contains five key areas: learning for life, innovative society, trust, quality of life and identity. According to Smerkolj, its aim is to unite all of Slovenia's citizens and to give them a chance to co-create the country's future.
"I am not sending this vision on its way with big words and promises, but with the sincere wish that it would continue its development with co-creators from all segments of our society," said Smerkolj, who has led the vision's project since 2015.
Prime Minister Miro Cerar also attended the presentation and said that without trust, innovation and learning, even government projects cannot live out their full potential.
He said he saw the vision's key areas as "guide posts" leading to self-improvement, the improvement of society and of the state.
The presentation of the vision was also attended by individuals who helped co-shape the document, including Aleksander Doplihar, who established a pro bono clinic for people without medical insurance.
He called for more confidence among citizens, as Slovenians get to the top wherever they go in the world. "People would trust each other more if they got more out of this trust. But it seems that our legislation deals with various problems in a way that forces us to be asocial."
Principal of a secondary school in Celje Gregor Deleja said that Slovenia's future could be beautiful if we learn to listen to youths.
He said that when employing new people, it is expected that candidates have a variety of experience, but this can be an obstacle.
He believes students are open books that are able to think outside the boxes imposed by adults, he said. He called for encouraging communication in primary schools, as he believes it is mostly one-way. In order for teachers to step outside these boxes, they need support from decision-makers and the public, he said.
The draft document of the vision was presented already a year ago, after which it was reviewed and commented by institutional stakeholders and citizens in different parts of the country.
The government office wishes to bring the vision close to the people as a step towards proactive planning of the country's future based on conscious decisions and firm positions.
Moreover, the office points out this is a document that came from the people and is apolitical, which should guarantee its survival even as governments shift.
This vision of what people think life in Slovenia should be like in 2050 will serve as a basis for the government's long-term strategy for 2030, followed by an action plan combining the goals and strategic priorities with a budget.