Having welcomed thousands of refugees in Germany we are gradually facing the challenges of integration. We will have to focus resources and energy on effective and powerful concepts. But we do not have to reinvent the wheel: there are well-established ideas proven in Germany and abroad that can be spread.
Ashoka, together with competent partners, has searched for the most reliable concepts attempting the integration of refugees – from language acquisition and integration into the employment market through to interfaith understanding – in the worldwide Ashoka network.
In a multistage selection process 15 outstanding national and international concepts were identified as especially relevant for Germany. The leaders of these innovative concepts – we call them “Social Entrepreneurs” – get support to spread their solutions in Germany. Therefore we matched them with stakeholders from business, social welfare organizations, politics and administration who are willing to support or adopt the new concepts and brought these players together at the Innovation Conference on Integration.
Here they laid the foundations of strategic partnerships for the scaling of the innovative ideas. In preparation for the conference the Social Entrepreneurs already had advisors working with them on the transferability of their concepts to the German context and subsequent to the conference Social Entrepreneurs and their partners are being accompanied during the implementation process.
The Innovation Conference on Integration shall contribute to the dissemination of international and national innovative and established solutions for the challenges of migration. Therefore Ashoka matches decision makers from business, social welfare organizations, politics and administration with founders of successful social organizations working the topic area of migration – for the scale or the improvement of existing approaches and for mutual inspiration.
FRI 18 MARSAT 19 MAR
Friday, 18 March
Arena Berlin, Eichenstraße 4, 12435 Berlin
Introduction & Stakeholder Lunches
hosted by representatives of the following sectors.
- Foundations (Robert-Bosch-Foundation)
- Social Welfare Organisations (Malteser Werke)
- Business (Zalando)
- Politics & Administration (NN)
- NGOs (Ashoka, switXboard)
- International Organisations (Ashoka, switXboard)
13:00 p.m. – 14:15 p.m.
Welcome &Keynotes, amongst others by
Kilian Kleinschmidt, CEO switXboard and former director of the Zaatari refugee camp
Sebastian Schilgen, CEO of Malteser Werke
14:15 p.m. – 14:30 p.m.
Featured Social Entrepreneurs present their models
14:40 p.m. – 16:20 p.m.
13 parallel expert sessions on scaling projects of the featured Social Entrepreneurs: What is the system change the model intends? What does the model need to reach its full impact in Germany? With whom should the Social Entrepreneur cooperate?
16:20 p.m. – 16:40 p.m.
16:45 p.m. – 17:45 p.m.
Parallel networking sessions on different aspects of integration… for instance:
Education and qualification
17:45 p.m. – 18:30 p.m.
Saturday, 19 March
Robert-Bosch-Stiftung, Franz. Str. 32, 10117 Berlin
19:30 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Parallel workshops offer content and competencies for improving the impact of an organisation‘s work with refugees. The workshops are directed to an expert audience, Social Entrepreneurs and young initiatives:
The different forms of financing (German only)
Scaling: what is that, and am I ready for it? (English on demand)
Impact first (English on demand)
Bottom-up: Promoting best practices from grassroots initiatives (English on demand)
Together with competent partners Ashoka has searched for the most reliable concepts attempting the integration of refugees – from language acquisition and integration into the employment market through to interfaith understanding – in the large worldwide Ashoka network. In a multistage selection process 15 outstanding national and international concepts were identified as especially relevant for Germany and invited to the Innovation Conference on Integration.
In preparation for the conference the Social Entrepreneurs work with McKinsey consultants to ensure the transferability of their concepts for the German context.
With the Association of Self-Funded Communities (ACAF), Abdoulaye Fall addresses basic financial and networking needs of immigrant populations by creating self-sustaining, immigrant-led financial groups.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO ABDOULAYE FALL
The Self-Funded Communities Association (ACAF) is a non-profit organization that aims to fight financial and social exclusion through the creation and follow-up of Self-Funded Communities. The Self-Funded Communities are small communities in which the partners, usually between 10 to 30 people, participate with small amounts of money that make them stakeholders of the group. With the fund created, small loans are offered to the members to help them cover consumption needs and even finance small businesses. Our action is centered in providing the methodology and necessary follow-up to the targeted communities in an approach of self-empowerment.
My proposal aims to contribute to face the issue of financial exclusion through the commitment of German like-minded organizations and individuals. With a significant migrant population, Germany can be an adequate terrain to implement a model that has proven to be effective while potentiating community cohesion.
I will basically present:
1. The Self-Funded Communities as a project that bases its principles on the capacity of people to empower themselves as a way of limiting their dependence on external resources. We dispose of evidences that corroborate that provided with the adequate tools, poor people can solve alone most of the problems they face in daily life in spite of the hard circumstances they go through.
2. Based on the fact that in Europe there is a clear link between immigration and financial exclusion we promote our model of social innovation is appropriate as a low-cost and effective alternative for social inclusion.
3. How the project has succeeded to better the life conditions of different communities independent of their conditions and cultural backgrounds.
I am open to tackle the question with anybody provided they consider assets-building and community empowerment as efficient tools to tackle social problems in Germany: from decision makers of social organizations to public leaders and individuals committed in social innovation.
With Upwardly Global, Nicole Cicerani is opening up professional career opportunities for skilled immigrants at leading companies.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO NICOLE CICERANI
In nearly every immigrant and refugee receiving country, those arriving who are college-educated wind up unemployed or significantly underemployed. We have primarily responded to the 1.8 million immigrants and refugees in the US who fit this description.
Upwardly Global leverages employer partnerships that benefit from access to this talent pool, and provides customized training and support for these new Americans to give them an equal opportunity to find and secure skill appropriate opportunities and achieve their full economic potential in the U.S. The outcome is global talent for employers, culturally competent service providers for diverse communities, and family sustaining incomes for those who were previously unemployed or underemployed.
It’s a moral obligation to allow anything we know or can do to respond to the crisis in Germany and Europe in general.
- What refugees and immigrants with advanced education need to be successful in a professional job search and how companies can better benefit from the talent pool
- How to leverage technology, job search training and tools, and communities of learners and (corporate) volunteers to create solutions that scale.
Anyone who thinks that they can learn from us or benefit. Best places to start are companies like BMW who are already thinking about how to leverage the talent pool of refugees.
Country of activity
USA, Spain, France, Ireland, Nigeria, South Africa, Argentina, Russia and 17 others
With Citymart, Sascha Haselmayer transforms the way cities solve problems, connecting them with new ideas through open challenges to entrepreneurs and citizens. The method has helped more than 50 cities around the world from San Francisco to London and Barcelona to Rio de Janeiro find proven solutions.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO SASCHA HASELMAYER
Citymart transforms the way cities solve problems, connecting them with new ideas through open challenges to entrepreneurs and citizens. Our method has helped more than 50 cities around the world from San Francisco to London and Barcelona to Rio de Janeiro find proven solutions.
Citymart partners with cities to rethink their spending habits so they focus on what problems they need to solve instead of what things they want to buy. Cities will spend money in better ways, create new opportunities for local businesses, and find the best solutions to local problems. Ultimately, we help cities improve the quality of life for all citizens.
Germany is facing a historic challenge that could mark Europe for generations in delivering on its commitment to help refugees fleeing war and persecution – at a scale unprecedented in generations. As a German, I am naturally passionate about my home country leading by example and see a great opportunity in helping cities achieve better results with the limited resources at hand.
We offer to help city governments in Germany with the tools and methods to get inspired by the many solutions created by entrepreneurs, businesses and citizens that can help solve their problems more effectively, and faster. Many cities around the world have experienced that if you open up your problems, and manage them in a collaborative way the many resources available to our cities can be put to more effective use, by focusing on value for the citizen.
Our method is sustainable, since it puts the readily available resources to better use, promoting innovation and creating much higher levels of engagement by citizens who can for the first time understand and participate in how their government is solving problems for the benefit of all.
- City governments
- Partners that may help us adapt our methods and work with cities
More Than Shelters
Country of activity
Jordan, Greece, Nepal, Germany
With More Than Shelters, Daniel Kerber converts refugee camps into dignified places offering chances. He would like to use his international expertise to implement decent conditions for the accomodation of refugees.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO DANIEL KERBER
More Than Shelters is a Hamburg based social enterprise. We realize humanitarian and sustainable housing solutions for people whose everyday reality is determined by situations of crises and conflicts. Those affected are included as experts for their everyday reality and so are offering participative, empowering and inexpensive help for people in need. More Than Shelters constantly aims at creating dignified living environments.
Our concepts are tested internationally and can offer distinct added value for local authorities, operators and refugees in Germany.
We have extensive experiences with housing refugees under decent conditions and now want to contribute these experiences in Germany and Europe. Our service includes modular accommodations, overall planning spaces for social interaction, counseling and support from one source, we have developed complete concepts for halls and open spaces.
- with political decision makers and the Association of German Cities
- with large humanitarian organizations
Johann Olav Koss
Right To Play
Country of activity
National offices in Germany, Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, UK, US program implementation in Benin, Mali, Liberia, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Pakistan, China, Thailand, Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Lebanon, Panama, Canada and US
With Right To Play, Johann Olav Koss uses the power of sport and play for development, health and peace. Johann’s programs bring about behavioral changes and enhance children’s holistic development through the medium of sport.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO JOHANN OLAV KOSS
Right To Play is a global organization using the transformative power of sport and play to educate and empower children facing adversity. It was founded in 2000 by Johann Olav Koss, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur, after he witnessed that adversity first hand in refugee camps and developing countries around the world. Through over 16,000 trained coaches and teachers, Right To Play supports over one million children and youth learn through play to create better futures, while driving lasting social change. The basis of all our programs is the social, emotional, cognitive and physical development of children. Our interventions focus on three main areas: enhancing quality education, transforming health practices and building peaceful communities. Sport and play is at the core of all project activities. Our methodology consists of thousands of fun and interactive games intentionally designed to teach critical life lessons. We can turn a relay race into a lesson about math or a football match into a lesson on communication.
Our mission is to response to children and youth challenges around the world and with the new refugee situation in Germany we believe we can provide support to give long-term solutions to a potentially big problem within Europe. We want to contribute to this solution within Germany as the country in Europe accepting the largest amount of refugees.
Play and sport based learning methodology for integration and engagement of refugee youth. We believe there is a large amount of willingness to make life easier for refugees and that people want to have new citizens become contributing individuals. We believe that our core methodology can facilitate these processes and create strong outcomes. We use the power of play to build life skills, create supportive environments for children and youth to become agents of change and to promote social integration and cohesion in communities.
- Different stakeholders who are involved in working with refugees
- Potential partner organizations who are interested in collaborating with Right To Play and who see an added value of applying Right To Play´s approach in their daily work with refugees (and host communities)
With Refugee Open Ware, David Levin employs advanced technology to improve human rights fulfilment of both refugees and host communities in conflict-affected areas.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO DAVID LEVIN
Refugee Open Ware is a global humanitarian innovation consortium, whose mission is to employ advanced technology to improve human rights fulfilment of both refugees and host communities in conflict-affected areas - technology such as 3D printing, robotics, the internet of things, brain-computer interface and virtual/augmented reality. We seek to save lives, reduce trauma and improve basic needs provision while driving long-term economic development, productivity growth, venture creation and employment generation. Moreover, we aim to reduce the costs of humanitarian relief by providing affected communities with access to advanced manufacturing tools, training, raw materials and access to international experts, especially global open-source hardware and software communities.
In brief, we are building a network of makerspaces / innovation centers in conflict-affected areas that provide training to displaced persons and host communities, while building solutions to the hardest problems that victims of conflict face.
Ours is a journey of moonshot humanitarian innovation, with and for the most violent and unstable areas of the planet.
Germany has the largest number of refugees in Europe, and it also has one of the leading manufacturing industries on the planet. The need for innovative re-settlement strategies is perhaps most acute in Germany, and the resources in the country are, in some respects, unparalleled.
Most importantly, we have experience implementing our ideas over the past 1.5 years with refugees in the Middle East. We have executed pilot R&D projects, including a low-cost, 3D-printed prosthetic hand for a Yemeni refugee, and an open-source echolocation device with haptic feedback for a Syrian refugee who was blinded in the war. Moreover, we have run many workshops on additive manufacturing and physical computing in Jordan, and we have trained a refugee who is now in Berlin on 3D printing, 3D scanning, 3D modeling and coding Arduinos. This experience gives us deep insight into how to leverage the technologies and innovations of the next industrial revolution to improve humanitarian relief and mitigate the European refugee crisis. Finally, I’ve also made the asylum journey with 12 Syrian refugees from the Middle East to Europe, so I’m intimately familiar with this experience.
Time, money, and human resources. We are fighting an epic conflagration with drops of water. We need significant funding to execute the projects we already have on our plate and to scale up further. However, we firmly believe that the world has no choice but to seek solutions for the migration crisis within the context of the next industrial revolution – no choice but to consider the projected technological and economic transformations over the next 10-15 years when developing strategies for the re-settlement of refugees. Both are processes that will unfold in parallel over several decades, and we need to be forward-looking.
Country of activity
USA, starting partnerships in Germany and Australia
With Welcoming America, David Lubell is addressing the fears of residents regarding immigrants. He helps cities to set up welcoming committees who then develop concrete plans to turn residents from fearful to neutral to welcoming.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO DAVID LUBELL
Welcoming America is an internationally acclaimed organization helping local communities adjust to - and seize as an opportunity - demographic change.
We are one of the world's premiere experts in the area of "receiving community engagement", a proven approach that reduces anxiety and increases empathy among long-term residents in communities experiencing rapid growth in their immigrant/ refugee populations.
We envision a world in which every community actively welcomes immigrants and refugees, and sees newcomers as essential assets. We make progress toward our vision by connecting a constantly expanding network of nonprofit and local government members (currently in 85 US communities), and providing these members with intensive support as they develop plans, programs, and policies to transform their communities into inclusive places where everyone’s talents are valued and cultivated.
Beyond our network we partner directly with the White House, through our shared initiative, the Building Welcoming Communities Campaign, which is leveraging the resources of the US federal government to support the Welcoming movement. Additionally, we partner with the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), helping their refugee service providers create a welcoming climate for refugees in cities and towns across the United States.
We are inspired by Germany’s policy stance on welcoming refugees. Nevertheless, because the numbers are so large, there will inevitably be anxiety among the German-born population. Germany is now at the epicenter of the global welcoming movement, and we want to do whatever we can to make sure Germany succeeds.
As German communities begin facilitating the integration of an unprecedented number of refugees, the temptation will be to focus resources entirely on the needs of the newcomers. Ironically, investing solely on items like language classes and job training would ultimately be a mistake. It would be like introducing a seed – in this case the refugee population – into a garden, pouring all nutrients on the seed, and ignoring the need to fertilize the soil. Welcoming America can help German communities go beyond the typical “seed-focused” approach, and focus significant attention engaging the German-born population –the soil – in communities where refugees settle.
We are already working with some prominent German foundations, leading NGO’s, corporations, and parts of the Federal Government. Creating a more solid “welcoming infrastructure” in communities across the country will require the involvement of many more actors from all of these sectors, as well as from the media and academia.
Country of activity
Afghanistan, Germany, Haiti, Ukraine
With Ipso e-care, Inge Missmahl can enable access to profound and culture-specific psychosocial counseling for thousands of refugees – help to overcome their experiences of fleeing or war, and to openly and actively face their new situation in Germany.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO INGE MISSMAHL
Ipso is a charitable, humanitarian organization founded by Inge Missmahl in 2008. Ipso is specialized in psychosocial work and psychological health care, and combines these with the support of local culture and cultural dialogue as means of understanding amongst nations, peace and reconciliation. Ipso activities include the development of concepts for the setup of lasting structures in the realm of psychosocial and psychological health care, local community and cultural work, as well as their implementation, including accompanying research, monitoring and evaluation.
Since 2008 Ipso is primarily active in Afghanistan, and has supported more than 50,000 people with psychosocial counseling in Afghanistan last year. This psychosocial counseling approach was evaluated and is continually aligned with the respective cultural circumstances. The Ipso Management Team consists solely of professional psychologists with long-term experience in project implementation.
In order to reach as many people as possible, independent of local availability, reachable health services and psychosocial counseling, Ipso set up an online video service for psychosocial counseling: this counseling service has been offered very successfully in Afghanistan since mid 2014.
Ipso wants to set up this psychosocial peer-to-peer counseling for refugees in Germany now.
We are convinced that Ipso e-care can significantly contribute to a successful integration of refugees, and will help the further development of an enriching, multi cultural coexistence that is coined by mutual respect of values and rights as well as personal and social responsibility and integrated in a cultural dialogue.
A resource-oriented psychosocial counseling can help people that were exposed to traumatic personal experiences of lack of power and being at someone else’s mercy. These people can learn to experience themselves as self-effective, capable of acting and psychologically stable, and therewith able to actively and openly face their situation in Germany and to help shape it in a positive way. Native-language, psychosocial counseling and fast, uncomplicated accessibility are crucial.
- the circle of experiencing and exercising violence can be broken and a
de-radicalization can be effective.
- Pressure can be taken off the overloaded health system
- Knowledge on humanitarian work won in foreign countries can now contribute to solve our problems here in Germany.
- with decision makers from the fields of politics, economy and the health system
With Singa, Nathanaël Molle is helping refugees to launch ventures and to become powerful ambassadors for the contributions that refugees can make to society.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO NATHANAËL MOLLE
SINGA’s objective is to improve the social and economic integration of refugees in their new host countries through a better support of refugees and through changing the way host societies perceive refugees. One of the ways we have been doing that is through the development of entrepreneurship within refugee communities by mobilizing the host society. Concretely we support a refugee entrepreneur by connecting him with locals who share the same passion and have skills that can not only help him develop his project, but also get a better understanding of the new country he or she is in. This allows the host society to perceive the refugee for what he can actually do and bring to his new country.
Germany has traditionally been one of the main host countries for refugees in Europe. With SINGA in Germany, we have the opportunity to concretely show how refugees can positively impact their new environments when they are given opportunities.
In France SINGA has been working on changing the perspective of a population that mainly views refugees as a problem. Even though the population in Germany has traditionally been more welcoming of refugees, the large scale of recent arrivals has scared many and created a situation in which more and more German citizens are starting to see refugees uniquely as a problem. SINGA’s experience in France, Morocco and Québec can therefore be very useful for Germany.
Integrating such a large number of people will be the major challenge, and in order to do so, Germany will have to innovate. I strongly believe that getting the host communities prepared and involved is the key to success in Germany and SINGA has developed a methodology that will be very useful in this aspect.
With Third Age, Mary Nally is building structures that keep older people engaged in their communities by bridging gaps between generations and disparate populations. In Ireland, she has been mobilising her network of tens of thousands to provide language learning for refugees.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO MARY NALLY
Third Age is an organization that provides opportunities for older people and supports them in overcoming the challenges of ageing.
Fáilte Isteach (Welcome in), a project of Third Age, is a community project that involves older volunteers welcoming migrants to their community through conversational English classes. Fáilte Isteach currently has 83 groups involving over 800 volunteer tutors that welcome 2,700 migrant students each week across Ireland.
Fáilte Isteach has been operating effectively in Ireland for 10 years and we have seen the impact it can have in communities across Ireland. We firmly believe that in light of the current refugee crisis across Europe, this project can offer a simple yet effective solution.
Fáilte Isteach promotes both language learning and integration. It is providing an effective solution to a national challenge at a local level. The project offers local communities the tools to integrate migrants into their community, to teach them language skills but also practical local knowledge, customs and culture. Above all, it alleviates isolation of both the new migrants and all the local older population.
The project is high impact but cost effective and we are very willing to share all of our learnings to help others to grow this project in their local community.
- Organizations currently working with migrants or older people
With University of the People, Shai Reshef provides the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university dedicated to opening access to higher education globally.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO SHAI RESHEF
University of the People (UoPeople) is the world’s first non-profit, tuition-free, accredited online university dedicated to opening access to higher education globally. Using open-source technology and Open Educational Resources, UoPeople is designed to provide access to college studies for qualified high school graduates, despite financial, geographic, societal or personal constraints.
UoPeople offers Associate and Bachelor’s degree programs in Business Administration and Computer Science. UoPeople has partnered with Yale ISP law School for research; New York University (NYU) to accept students; Microsoft for scholarships and employment opportunities and Hewlett-Packard for general support and scholarships for women. The University has enrolled students from 170 different countries and is supported by a network of over 4,000 dedicated volunteers worldwide.
The institution has gained the widespread support of leading academics from leading universities around the world. Its President’s Council, chaired by New York University President John Sexton, includes Emeritus Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University Prof. Sir Colin Lucas, former U.S. Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter, UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks and Nobel Laureate Torsten N. Wiesel among others. UoPeople is supported by The Gates Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, Hewlett Foundation, and companies such as HP, Google, Microsoft, Intel, Western Union, Estee Lauder and many more.
Many refugees and asylum seekers mainly from Syria are migrating to Germany. The challenges they face are great and the conditions may be miserable, but through education, it is possible for their lives to resume and improve. UoPeople offers the unique opportunity for refugees to advance their education and cultivate occupational skills in order to rebuild their futures. This will not only impact the personal circumstances of refugee students, their families and their communities in Germany, but it will also hold significant value for the economic and social development of Germany.
Following recent shocking world events, UoPeople proposes to offer refugees and asylum seekers the opportunity to enroll in higher education through a special scholarship program. Building on UoPeople’s experience with providing refugee assistance programs, this UoPeople project for refugees will accept at least 500 students to study towards full accredited degrees, in spite of their transitory circumstances. UoPeople will admit students to this program to pursue a bachelor’s degree in either Business Administration or Computer Science. Whether the students remain in their host countries, relocate again, or return home, they will be able to continue their studies and qualify for their chosen degree.
With the Interfaith Mediation Centre, the former religious leaders Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye create a peaceful society through non-violence and strategic engagement.
FOUR QUESTIONS TO PASTOR JAMES WUYE
The Interfaith Mediation Centre has been working in the areas of peace building with faith based groups, promoting community dialogue among warring groups through mediation, negotiation, interfaith media dialogue and training of peace advocates across Nigeria and in other parts of the world. The Centre has intervened in many conflict prone communities. At the end of the interventions, peace agreements have been signed by the conflicting groups or communities towards the restoration of peace in those localities and within the groups, among several other initiatives promoting and sustaining peace.
We would like to bring our model of interfaith dialogue and the culture of peace in our communities and to promote the principle of the Golden Rule as a pace setter to actualize the dream of promoting peace and harmony as a yardstick to world peace.
Understanding between faith groups, which we use as a source of inspiration from the use of our scriptural books that promote just peace and the enabling environment for people to have a platform on a regular basis to interact on that will help us understand our differences and how to best address our daily and emerging issues of ideological discussion positively to promote a peaceful coexistence.
I would like to discuss with faith groups, academia, politicians, ethnic groups, funders /donors and media groups.
Ashoka supports outstanding founders of new social organizations, companies and movements worldwide – and gives them an identity as social entrepreneurs. As “Ashoka-Fellows”, they are concentrating on the spreading and further development of their innovative problem-solving approach for social problems: on eye level with other entrepreneurs and embedded into a network of supporters and partners. Fellows include e.g. Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Muhammad Yunus and Kailash Satyarthi. In the past Ashoka has already held successful conferences to find solutions for social problems such as unemployment among youth in Southern Europe.
EVERYONE IS A CHANGEMAKER
is the motto and aim of