Just getting started to transform conflict with our US partners
We’ve ended a fantastic week of workshops, discussions, study visits, reflection and much more. But we’ve only just begun an inspiring year of the GATHER Fellowship, and an exciting partnership journey with Seeds of Peace.
US non-profit Seeds of Peace has 25 years of experience of conflict transformation and dialogue. Its social innovation arm, GATHER, is taking this one step further by looking at how to use social innovation to solve conflict issues around the world. We are therefore thrilled to be working with them on this year’s GATHER Fellowship to explore how social entrepreneurship can also be thrown into the mix of creating change.
Using business to do good
At SE Forum, we have many years’ experience of working with social entrepreneurs from all over the world who are solving some of our most pressing problems in society. However, we have little experience of working in conflict regions or with issues and differences that have been brewing for decades or even centuries. And this is how the partnership between SE Forum and Seeds of Peace has come about.
Seeds of Peace has deep knowledge of conflict issues and they have brilliantly been providing young people with the opportunity to meet others, sometimes from ‘the other side’, to see the person behind the conflict. And these young people have been finding solutions, often through social entrepreneurship, which is where we now come in, to complement Seeds of Peace with our expertise in how to create social impact whilst building a thriving business.
Kicking things off
The partnership, and the GATHER Fellowship, kicked off in Stockholm as our 16 selected Fellows gathered to learn, explore and reflect on their own social initiatives as well as those of their peers. The incubator we ran during the week provided them with opportunities to learn from experts in entrepreneurship and leadership.
They met with Swedish parliamentarians to discuss youth politics and integration, and had an exclusive session with Sweden’s former opposition leader Anna Kinberg Batra sharing personal reflections on leadership. They also visited Fryshuset to learn more about the various youth initiatives that are run there and how to reach and empower the most vulnerable in our society. And the week ended with a truly inspiring evening where they pitched their initiatives to a packed Norrsken House alongside Former UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson.
Only the beginning
The incubator week was just the beginning as the Fellows are now back in their home countries to build on their initiatives to transform conflict. They will be working alongside their mentors (many of whom are Swedish) to develop their ideas to grow into thriving social initiatives and businesses to create biggest possible social impact.
Our partnership with Seeds of Peace will continue over the year and we are very much looking forward to supporting the social innovators to achieve their potential.
Photo credit: Stina Svanberg www.stinasvanberg.se