Minsk to Host a Social Innovation Forum

SOIN Social Innovation School, IBB Dortmund, Impact Hub Odessa, ODB Brussels, planeta.ru

Saturday, January 28, 2017 - 15:00 to 22:00

Minsk, Belarus

On January 28 (Saturday) from 15:00 to 22:00, Minsk will host a Social Innovation Forum. The Forum is initiated by  SOIN Social Innovation School in Eastern Europe in cooperation with Impact Hub network, planeta.ru crowdfunding platform (Russia) and ODB Brussels (Belgium), with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany and IBB Dortmund. The event will include two round tables on development of crowd technologies in Belarus and Eastern Europe, as well as social entrepreneurship as one of the factors of sustainable development. The Forum aims to help participants share experiences and find synergies and opportunities for cooperation between social innovators both within Belarus and in Eastern Europe. Speakers include practitioners and experts from Germany, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine. Leading industry actors, private and public initiatives, experts, including representatives of Belarusian state institutes, are invited to participate.  

Draft programme

15:00  Opening of the Forum

15:15  Round table: "Crowd technologies in Belarus and Eastern Europe: trends, approaches and indicators".

Expert organizations: Ulej, Maesens (Belarus), Great Idea (Ukraine), Planeta (Russia).

16:30  Coffee break

16:45 Round table: "Social entrepreneurship as the key element of sustainable development in Eastern Europe?” 

Expert organizations:  Impact Hub Odessa (Ukraine), "Our Future" Fund (Moscow, Russia), Social Weekend (Minsk, Belarus), Bel Mondo Venture (Minsk, Belarus), ODB Brussels (Brussels, Belgium), SOIN Social Innovation School (Berlin, Germany)

18:30 Dinner

19:30 Pitching: 10 social start-ups from Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, participants of SOIN

21:00 Presentation of certificates to winners of SOIN Accelerator Program 

21:30 Small buffet

The Forum has no participation fee, but the number of spaces available is limited, so please follow this link to register as soon as possible.

Social entrepreneurship and innovation actively contributes to sustainable development of entire regions and nations. Development of social activism, volunteering and creation of social start-ups is important to modernize public life in Belarus and other former Soviet countries, where traditional institutions are not always ready to quickly rise to modern challenges. Entities in the public sector and social entrepreneurs are gaining importance as actors who help people with disabilities integrate into the labour market and have an active social life; promote innovative and sustainable use of resources; create new jobs and involve people in community service projects.

In recent years, new national and international initiatives have appeared, as well as "crowd technology" platforms and accelerator programmes, accumulating unique expertise in development of social innovation.

Within the framework of the Social Innovation Forum, it is planned to hold discussions and share experiences related to development and support of social entrepreneurship in Belarus, Russia, Ukraine and Germany. During the two round tables, experts, mentors and representatives of leading organizations, foundations and schools in this industry will evaluate effectiveness of education and acceleration programmes, discuss opportunities provided by crowd funding and impact investment tools, as well as their impact on sustainable development of the regions. A key element of discussions will be the exchange of opinions on possible synergies and cooperation, both within the country and within the framework of international programs.

Leading industry actors, private and public initiatives, experts, including representatives of Belarusian state institutes, are invited to participate.

Mentors, independent experts, social entrepreneurs and representatives of private venture foundations will take part in the discussions.

At the end of discussions, 10 Soin accelerator programme projects will be presented and winners will receive their certificates.  

School of Social Innovation project was launched in 2015 as part of the programme of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany to develop dialogue between civil societies of the Eastern Partnership countries and Russia. The goal of Soin School is to develop social innovation through a programme of additional education in Eastern  Europe and Germany. In the course of its three stages, young entrepreneurs and activists learn the basics of social entrepreneurship, examine classic cases and experience of their counterparts from Germany and other countries of the European Union, and develop their own start-ups with consultation support from experts. You can find additional information and contacts at the School’s official website.