On her website, Jasna Rokegem describes herself as ‘a young and energetic pioneer in combining innovative fashion and cutting-edge technology’. It comes as no surprise the U.S. Embassy chose her to attend the Globel Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in India as the summit focused on supporting women entrepreneurs. “It was a great opportunity to hear, to discover and to learn about the key entrepreneurial challenges as well as the latest trends and transformations in all different parts of the world.”
Entrepreneurs and investors from around the world gather every year at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES). Through two and a half days of networking, mentoring, and workshops, GES empowers entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas, build partnerships, secure funding, innovate, and find their target customers.
In 2017, when Jasna participated, GES took place in India and focused on women entrepreneurs and the role they play in making communities more prosperous and secure through enterprise. She described her time in India as an incredible trip: “Being in a country as India does give you a lot of insights on how business works. I learned a lot. For me it was a great opportunity to hear, to discover and to learn about the key entrepreneurial challenges in the whole world as well as the latest trends and transformations in all different parts of the world. I crazy networked there, I have followed workshops, went to receptions, dinner shows…”
In the few days of the summit, Jasna builded great relationships. “I even have the feeling we created a little entrepreneurial family with people from the US, Germany, Slovenia and we still see each other. I did a little collaboration with one of them, so I think this is one of the most beautiful and inspiring entrepreneurial events you really can do,” she tells us.
Jasna is the owner of the Jasna Rock lab, where they bridge the gap between technological innovation and wearable future fashion. “Very early on, I started to push the boundaries and to explore what is out there. How can we combine science, technology and fashion? So it developed in creating speculative concepts for future applications. For me, it is really important that fashion is interactive and it has really a functional aspect. You could see it as a crossover between sociology and technology. It becomes really like a living organism on your body,” Jasna tells us.
With her team, she wants to bring emotional intelligence to clothing: “It also has really an extra function in our daily life. Imagine, right now, we are communicating through social media, trough texts, trough pictures on what is up to emoticons, but in the near future, this will be the cave drawings. We will be able to communicate in a totally different way by actually transferring our emotions.”
“Dare to dream big.”
Her dreams have to do with fashion, science and technology, what else. “My personal dream is to go as one of the first artists to the moon with the new prototypes we are working on, which are giving us a possibility to communicate in a totally different way and to pioneer an interplanetary communication between Earth for instance and the Moon or Mars or whatever else we are going to discover.”
In her vision of the future, she sees us wearing only one garment: “Just like the astronauts, because your garment will be able to style and automatically change itself towards your needs, your identity, towards the weather. If it’s raining, no problem, because your textile or your garment has a nano filter on it which makes your textile weather repellent. Like we have one smartphone today, in the future we will have only one garment that is able to change itself and to change form, colour… towards your needs and your identity.”
Next to that, Jasna is also concerned about our earth and climate. “The fashion industry is still the second largest polluting industry in this world and this is really a problem that we can turn around,” she explains. Therefore, Jasna and her team wants to build the most sustainable garments in the world.
In 2018 Jasna was invited to NASA as first Belgian and youngest speaker ever, it is not a surprise that her advice for others is ‘dare to dream big’. “I think it’s very important we put our personal goals high, because I also never expected at an age of 25 I would be at NASA.”
But to achieve these dreams, working together is key: “I really believe if you combine your own expertise with expertise of other people beyond your own industry, if you work crossover industries, you’re able to grow faster and more sustainable.” And that is also the idea behind GES.“I even have the feeling we created a little entrepreneurial family.”