January 24, 2017
2016 was a great year for collaboration in a community built on peer-peer learning and cooperation. These five examples illustrate some of the ways GSEN members are combining ideas and resources to build a more favourable ecosystem for social entrepreneurs.
Paris in November, GSEN members Social Entrepreneurship Akademie (SEA), based in Germany, and Social Entrepreneurs Agency (sea) from Portugal formalise a new partnership to take the interactive introductory workshop ZGI:kompakt (Certificate on Social Innovation) into more Portuguese universities. This proven concept is a two-day intensive workshop designed by SEA. In the long run, SEA aims to run the workshop all over Europe to help a wide pool of students get an insight into social innovation, to generate ideas and put them into practice.
Munich, early 2016, GSEN members Social Entrepreneurship Akademie (SEA) and LifeCo UnLtd South Africa plan a new collaboration that will reach students in four continents at once. Since 2008, the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summer School (GESS) has connected students from all over the world. In 2016, for the first time, it took place on three different continents (specifically Munich, Shanghai and Mexico City). In 2018, the school will be expanded to include South Africa too.
In September, GSEN members Babele (Romania), Sociale Innovatie Fabriek (Belgium) and WWF Switzerland met atop a Swiss mountain to share learnings around peer-peer support for social entrepreneurs. They also invited a few like-minded organisations like thanks & share and BeyondMe. Beyond building personal connections, the group looked at the use of online platforms, alternative currencies (to monitor peer contributions to the community), and how to best run events with enablers.
Jakarta, September 2016, saw the second installment of the ASEANSE2016 conference series, organised by UnLtd Indonesia and in partnership with the ASEAN Foundation, Singapore International Foundation and Sankalp Southeast Asia. GSEN members ChangeFusion (Thailand), CSIP (Vietnam) and Scope UnLtd (Malaysia) were also represented, in an event co-designed to further support and showcase the three social enterprise collaboration projects that emerged from 2016’s first regional gathering in Singapore.
Alongside the showcase, the conference featured roundtables with regional ecosystem leaders and government representatives. Discussions focused on shaping policy, financial and capacity-building support for social enterprises in the ASEAN region through a common regional platform – stay tuned for more updates on this development.
September 2016, Alex Hannant and Helene Malandain from Ākina (New Zealand) met with Kelvin Cheung from UnLtd Hong Kong to discuss the development of their respective ecosystems, and practical matters of helping social entrepreneurs and enterprise go faster. Specific conversations focused on the role of corporate partners and that helping the selling of goods and services was perhaps more valuable than mentor tourism. The Ākina team are keen to get Kelvin down to New Zealand for the Social Enterprise World Forum [September 27th- 29th 2017] to share his insights and practice. Watch this space for more on Akina’s role as SEWF 2017 host and how the network are getting involved.