Impact News

As a network organization, the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie aims to educate and support social entrepreneurs and innovators. Established in 2010, the institution is a joint initiative of four universities from Munich, Germany. By coaching startups and helping students and professionals to gain entrepreneurial skills to solve global challenges, the SE Akademie embeds the idea of social entrepreneurship in society. Horyou blog interviewed the team spokeswoman Kristina Notz about the network and the social innovation landscape.

SE Akademie is a result of the cooperation between  four German universities
SE Akademie is a result of the cooperation between four German universities

As a social entrepreneurship supporter and accelerator, what would you say are the biggest challenges for a social entrepreneur?

Every entrepreneur faces similar challenges and there are many. We observe that some social entrepreneurs have more difficulties to think and talk about profit, since they are impact-driven. At the same time they need more time to figure out their business model, to find funding, and to convince people and supporters. In the social sector, it is a challenge to find and retain talent, even though it seems to be an attractive working environment at first sight. The ability to stay motivated intrinsically is key.

Are you committed to the Sustainable Development Goals ? Do you address some of the SDGs with your projects?

Yes, we’re using the SDGs in most of our workshops as a starting point to raise people’s awareness and give impulses towards the field they could become active in as a social entrepreneur. Many of the social enterprises we support tackle one of the challenges addressed by the SDGs.

How do you see the future of social entrepreneurship?  

My vision is that all entrepreneurship is social and we can leave out the word “social” and herewith differentiate. The future is that every entrepreneurial activity respects the triple bottom line and bears in mind people, planet, and profit. And I strongly believe this is possible but requires a certain change in mind-set.

Many social entrepreneurs supported by the institution develop SDG-related projects
Many social entrepreneurs supported by the institution develop SDG-related projects

Horyou connects on its social platform thousands of social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and organizations around the world. In your opinion, what’s the importance of social networks for social entrepreneurship and, particularly, for your work?

Social networks offer powerful tools to raise awareness about social entrepreneurship and bring its idea and examples to a broader audience. Platforms like yours are very valuable to the sector since you showcase best practices and role models and inspire others, and ideally turn information into action.

In our work, Social media are our main tool to reach out to and stay in touch with our participants and alumni. We focus as well on offline networks, make people meet and experience the network face to face. They can learn from each other, be inspired by others and exchange ideas and best practices. The flux of ideas, learnings, dreams, and failures contributes a lot to the venture development and success.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

The Swiss Pavillion Expo 2017 Astana is committed to the SDGs. From 13 to 27 July, it develops several activities in order to raise awareness about the challenges of building a better future for the next generations.

Horyou CEO and founder, Yonathan Parienti, with Swiss Pavilion visitors (Photo Swiss pavilion)
Horyou CEO and founder, Yonathan Parienti, with Swiss Pavilion visitors (Photo Swiss pavilion)

The Swiss pavilion, organized by Presence Switzerland, showcases the Confederation as an innovative country with an interactive and surprising exhibition on the issues of energy efficiency, renewable energies and global water management. As part of the Swiss Pavillion, the Swissnex Lab is dedicated to thematic immersion and networking, in order to facilitate bilateral cooperation and academic exchange between Switzerland and Kazakhstan.

One of the activities, Perception Change Project, includes a temporary installation with a wheel of fortune that introduces sustainable development, a Human Library involving innovators and presenting a talk on Education and Innovation with experts and changemakers.

Horyou Team attended an event on Education & Innovation on July 18, 2017, and had the opportunity to hear unique stories from speakers invited by the Perception Change Project in cooperation with partner organizations, notably the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Kazakhstan Institute of Standardization and Certification, the UNICEF Kazakhstan and its Liaison Office in Geneva, the University of Geneva, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). «Horyou Team was excited to see the commitment of the Swiss Pavilion to promoting the sustainable development goals in Astana. We share the same resolve to shape better times to come, and SIGEF 2017 in Kazakhstan will be our initiative during EXPO2017 to support that momentum of awareness and implementation», said Yonathan Parienti, founder and CEO of Horyou.

Horyou team visits the Swiss Pavillion at EXPO2017 in Kazakhstan
Horyou team visits the Swiss Pavillion at EXPO2017 in Kazakhstan

The event was followed by a project called “Human Books”, whereby people shared their stories with the public, creating empathy by touching on topics such as climate change and education in emergency situations and refugee camps. One of the touching stories was Isaac Mustopulo’s, a 15-year old student from Kazakhstan who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and, despite all odds, has finished 8th grade at a local school in Taraz where he excels academically and is actively involved in extracurricular activities. He is an advocate for inclusion and is working on a project that would introduce tutors to public schools for students with disabilities.

“Sustainable Development Goals are not only the UN’s or governments’ business, we all have a role to play in achieving them. The topics related to the SDGs and the work of organisations in Geneva and elsewhere can be illustrated in a playful manner and through storytelling. We are delighted to be a part of Expo 2017 Astana”, said the Head of Project, Aziyadé Poltier-Mutal.

More than 700 people visited the Swiss Pavilion on its first day
More than 700 people visited the Swiss Pavilion on its first day

Finally, the Education & Innovation Talk session opened a dialogue between several thought leaders. Ms Tatiana Aderikhina from the Education and Child Protection at UNICEF shared how an equity–focused and inclusive approach starting from early childhood education can have positive impact toward social inclusion and reduce the numbers of unschooled children. Mr Zhasulan Kenzhegalyiev, a specialist from the International Cooperation Department of the Unified Government Fund of Normative outlined how Astana is leading the way in SmartCities and how this can benefit both the population and the overall sustainability efficiency. Prof Barbara Moser-Mercer, from the University of Geneva, a specialist in higher education in emergency and crises situations, expressed how connected learning builds the knowledge and skills needed to adapt, and how that could prove to be a key factor in the development of higher education for people victims of conflict situations within refugees camps. Ms Ekaterina Perfilyeva, editor in chief of the Open School of Sustainable Development, shared how through volunteering to support facilitation of translation and sharing of knowledge and meaningful information we could advocate a better understanding and implementation of sustainability principles with the Youth.

The overall discussion from the panelists with the audience, outlined the fact that there are numerous synergies and initiatives that could support the achievement of SDG 4, related to Education.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

Fundada em 1985, a Casa Pequeno Davi é uma organização incansável no compromisso com crianças e adolescentes em vulnerabilidade social e em situação de rua. Desde os anos 1990, o trabalho social realizado na capital da Paraíba, João Pessoa, vem se ampliando para atender ao entorno familiar de crianças e adolescentes, atuando também em escolas do bairro do Roger, onde funcionava o lixão metropolitano, e também no estado do Ceará. Hoje, a Casa Pequeno Davi é uma organização que atua nos espaços de formulação de políticas públicas (conselhos, fóruns e redes), conquistando parcerias ao longo do tempo e conquistando a credibilidade da comunidade e da sociedade em geral. Leia mais sobre esse membro ativo da nossa plataforma Horyou!

A Casa Pequeno Davi promove atividades de apoio a crianças e adolescentes na Paraíba e no Ceará
A Casa Pequeno Davi promove atividades de apoio a crianças e adolescentes na Paraíba e no Ceará

Quais são as principais inspirações para o trabalho da Casa Pequeno Davi?

A defesa dos direitos, o respeito à pessoa humana, a ética, a responsabilidade, a transparência, participação, a igualdade e a democracia plena.

Que tipo de impacto a organização deseja causar no mundo?

Uma sociedade justa e responsável, onde os direitos humanos, sobretudo de crianças e adolescentes, sejam respeitados e efetivados.

De que forma as redes sociais e a tecnologia influenciam no dia a dia da organização?

Maior visibilidade da organização por parte da sociedade em geral, possibilitando novas parcerias. Ainda com a possibilidade de inserção do público (crianças, adolescentes e familiares) na chamada inclusão digital por meio dos cursos, oficinas oferecidos pela instituição por meio das parcerias.

Quais foram as principais evoluções da atuação da organização em relação à comunicação e as novas tecnologias?

Visando ampliar sua visibilidade, a organização investiu na comunicação, utilizando todos os meios de comunicação possíveis (site, blog, redes sociais, campanhas e materiais impressos). Hoje, a Casa Pequeno Davi é uma organização de referência na área defesa dos direitos humanos, em especial de crianças e adolescentes no Estado da Paraíba.

A organização faz parcerias para promover atividades variadas com as crianças
A organização faz parcerias para promover atividades variadas com as crianças

Qual a importância de participar de uma rede social do bem social como a Horyou?

No mundo globalizado, a participação em uma rede social com a amplitude da Horyou, é de fundamental importância para ampliar a escala da visibilidade institucional. A conexão com outras organizações, o compartilhamento dos objetivos e das ações fortalece a metodologia do trabalho para o alcance da missão.

Vivemos em uma era de constante transformação. Quais são as mudanças positivas que você deseja para a sua comunidade e para as gerações futuras?

Acreditamos que, em primeiro lugar, precisamos de uma consciência ambiental globalizada porque as gerações futuras dependem do nosso comportamento atual. Não é mais possível conviver com o desrespeito em todos os níveis, seja entre as pessoas, seja com o ambiente em que vivemos.

Estamos contribuindo para a formação cidadã de crianças e adolescentes que são prioridade absoluta, de acordo com o Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente. Esse público precisa ter seus direitos efetivados na prática para que possam ter melhoria na qualidade de vida e um amanhã diferente.

A Horyou é a rede social do bem social. Conectamos e apoiamos iniciativas sociais, empreendedores e cidadãos que promovem a implementação dos Objetivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável da ONU, para que possamos construir um mundo mais harmonioso e inclusivo. Seja a mudança, seja Horyou!

The European Commission launched this week a report which addresses the challenges for the future of Europe regarding innovation and research.

The European Commission event took place in Brussels
The European Commission event took place in Brussels

Over 700 scientists, business leaders and policy makers have gathered this week in Brussels at the conference Research and Innovation – Shaping Our Future, where competitiveness, productivity and value generation were some of the key topics on discussion.

The report, entitled LAB – FAB – APP: Investing in the European Future We Want was initiated by an independent group of leading experts chaired by Pascal Lamy, President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute. The document highlights the idea that part of Europe’s success is due to research and innovation as two thirds of economic growth achieved in the last two decades by industrialised countries are attributed to investments in this area. The document included 11 recommendations that focused on maximising the impact of EU investments in research and innovation in order to increase prosperity and solve the biggest societal challenges on the continent.

Apart from being pretty much focused on policies and research budgeting propositions, the recommendations address some of the Sustainable Development Goals such as education and human rights.

The 11 recommendations for the future of innovation are as follows:

*1. Prioritise research and innovation in the EU while taking them into account in national budgets, with emphasis on a doubling of the budget covering post-2020 EU research and innovation programme

  1. Build a true EU innovation policy that creates future markets

  2. Educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change

  3. Design the EU R&I programme for greater impact

  4. Adopt a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach to address global challenges

  5. Rationalise the EU funding landscape and achieve synergy with structural funds

  6. Simplify further, privilege impact over process

  7. Mobilise and involve citizens

  8. Better align EU and national R&I investment

  9. Make international R&I cooperation a trademark of EU research and innovation

  10. Capture and better communicate impact*

For Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, “Research and Innovation make a big difference to enhancing productivity, boosting competitiveness and tangibly improving our quality of life. Europe is a global scientific powerhouse, but we need to better reap the benefits of this knowledge by turning it into value for the economy and society through innovation.”

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

With a mission statement focusing on childhood cancer support, the Boston-based Richi Foundation has bold objectives via an initiative called Richi Social Entrepreneurs which supports new innovative businesses to generate positive impact in society. Their immersion programs, counselling and sharing of entrepreneurship best practices seek to help shape the future of social innovation. The Horyou blog interviewed Ernest Lara, Executive Director of Richi Social Entrepreneurs.

Richi Immersion Team
Richi Immersion Team

What is Richi Foundation’s mission?

Richi Social Entrepreneurs (RSE) is a Richi Foundation initiative whose mission is to boost startups from around the world that have the potential to generate a substantial positive impact on society, by connecting them with Boston’s innovation key players and helping them take full advantage of this unique innovation ecosystem.

How did The Richi Foundation get started?.

In 2011, the founder’s son, Richi, was diagnosed with an aggressive medulloblastoma. His family, who was living in Spain, brought Richi to Dana Farber, where they literally saved his life. It was then that Richi’s father, Ricardo Garcia, a serial entrepreneur, decided to found the Richi Childhood Cancer Foundation to provide other children with the same opportunity that Richi had. We have built a strategy to raise funds through business units (initiatives) that provide value to society in sectors such as education, innovation & entrepreneurship, and culture. Richi Social Entrepreneurs is one of those initiatives.

You have an immersion program for social entrepreneurs. How does it work?

Our main program at RSE is named Boston Immersion. It is a three-week eye-opening bootcamp in Boston. Startups have the opportunity to embrace best practices from Boston’s unique ecosystem, and to connect and interact with potential clients, investors, strategic partners, and local top notch industry experts who lead them to outstanding synergies.

Social entrepreneurs attend lectures in the immersion program
Social entrepreneurs attending lectures in the immersion program

You have a strong commitment to social entrepreneurship. Can you share some of your projects in this area?

We have worked with very interesting social entrepreneurship projects in our past program editions, which now are RSE Alumni, such as Literates, PIC, and H20 Now. We like to emphasize that, for us, a social entrepreneur is anyone who provides a positive impact to society or environment with his project, being a startup or a traditional for-profit organization. This means that any life sciences or cleantech startup is perfectly eligible to participate in our program.

As a social entrepreneurship supporter and accelerator, what would you say are the biggest challenges for a social entrepreneur?

Generally speaking, for any entrepreneur, some main challenges are: being able to obtain enough deep knowledge about the unmet need the startup wants to address, and finding the correct fit between this unmet need and the value proposition. Additionally, de-risking the project by generating evidences / results to justify that the project is moving towards the right direction is also challenging (partly because of the economic resources needed to prove the assumptions). It’s also essential to convince key stakeholders that they should care about their project (which requires excellent communication skills and strategic focus).

What are the main aspects of a social business you evaluate in order to give it support?

One important thing for us is to make sure that the startup has (or is testing) a business model able to support the organization’s operations and scale globally. Then, we tend to support projects with a high technological or scientific component. And of course, the team is key. It’s key that projects are carried out by complementary teams and supported by experienced sectoral experts.

Entrepreneurs visiting Harvard University
Entrepreneurs visiting Harvard University

How do you see the future of social entrepreneurship?

Every time we see more and more startups trying to provide a positive impact to society or environment with their projects, and this is great. So we think social entrepreneurs will have, every time, more resources and help to boost their businesses.

Horyou connects on its social platform thousands of social entrepreneurs, philanthropists and organizations around the world. In your opinion, what’s the importance of social networks for social entrepreneurship and, particularly, for your work?

Social networks are a great place to learn about new players, resources and influencers. So social networks focused on social entrepreneurs for us is a great tool to meet new projects and stakeholders to collaborate with.

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

From June 30 to July 2, European Youth Awards invite creative minds to join a game marathon at the Technical University of Graz, in Austria.

EYA Game Jam
EYA Game Jam

Why not use technology to discuss social and environmental changes? That’s the challenge presented by the European Youth Awards to the young, creative minds that will be part of EYA Game Jam. The programming competition takes place at the Technical University of Graz, in Austria, and will use tools like virtual reality and 360° to discuss topics like water and family.

The goal is to create game prototypes to address both topics, that are intrinsically connected to the Sustainable Development Goals. Says Kathrin Quatember, EYA spokesperson: “Two of the UN SDGs focus on the topic of water; Goal 6 – Clean water and sanitation and Goal 14 – Life below the sea. By establishing a special category, EYA wants to contribute to the international awareness of treating the “source of life“. Secondly, we try to motivate young innovators and entrepreneurs to develop smart solutions for water related problems and apply for European Youth Awards 2017”. Water should also be the topics of the EYA 2017, she added.

The idea of using virtual reality and tech gadgets in the event stems from the fact that EYA wanted to bring digital technologies to the center of social innovation discussions within the EYA community. “The combination of the Game Jam topics ‘water’ and ‘family’ with VR and 360° technology is thrilling. It enriches the possibilities for the Game Jammers to reach the peak of creativity and opens new possibilities to approach the topics”, said Kathrin.

The competition is open to everyone interested in game and development. EYA partnered with VRCORE, the organizer of the “Global VR Hackathon“ – a worldwide event with regional competitions and a Championship Final in Shanghai at the end of August. Three Winners of the Jam will be invited to the Championship Final – a unique opportunity for the participants to expand their network and learn!

Horyou is the Social Network for Social Good, which connects, supports and promotes social initiatives, entrepreneurs, and citizens who help the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a more harmonious and inclusive world. We invite you to Be the Change, Be Horyou!

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