March brought us 16 Fellows, Joe Biden and a Swedish super diplomat
March marked a new adventure for SE Forum where we’ve teamed up with the leading US NGO Seeds of Peace delivering a unique fellowship aimed at using the power of social entrepreneurship and innovation to solve conflict. The crescendo, yet only the beginning of the partnership journey, was an engaging evening where the Swedish super diplomat Jan Eliasson (yes, I believe it’s a fair title for him) and the 16 Fellows brought tears, joy and a sense of urgency to the table.
We’ll come back to the actual event later but now I want to mention a perhaps less glamourous happening that took place in the past month. In my last letter, you could read about the Analytical Review we’ve written together with our Latvian and Belarussian partners. Now we’ve delivered it to the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation. It’s honing in on the importance of collaboration between municipalities and social entrepreneurs to reach greater impact by sharing case studies, country overviews and recommendations. Just like Jan Eliasson said at our event, working horizontal, not in silos, is key for progress and in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.
Three things that stood out
Now, let’s get back to the event. A packed Norrsken House with a guest list of Ambassadors, business leaders, social entrepreneurs and sector experts provided for an evening where people never seemed to want to leave. You can read a more detailed run through of the event here, but for me there were three things that stood out:
- The importance of meeting cross-sector, understanding each other’s strengths, weaknesses and therefore enable new partnerships for greater positive impact.
- The power of meeting entrepreneurs and social influencers with totally different backgrounds and circumstances to one self. It became obvious that in strife, innovation and entrepreneurship play an important role.
- In a life of entrepreneurial challenges, we need to celebrate successes and continue to build a tribe of people who support each other to constantly do better. For the sake of each other, fellow citizens and the world.
In the wake of the event and recent conversations with Seeds of Peace I wrote this little piece about the importance of collaboration. I did it because I’m a strong believer in partnerships and what they can achieve if done right, with trust and shared goals. We’ve just started our journey and I’m excited to see what it can bring. Next step for us is to join Seeds of Peace in New York in May to celebrate their 25 years of being and explore how social entrepreneurship and female empowerment can be drivers of change in conflict regions. With us at the anniversary gala we will have former Vice President Joe Biden along with a whole heap of change makers from different sectors and countries. As I said, it’s a journey that has only begun!
The secret is out
I want to finish where I’ll most likely start next month – with the election of a new board. I’ve just been sent the nomination committee’s suggestion and I’m confident that SE Forum with its new board members will take important steps into an exciting 2018. With that said, and a big thank you to the board members who are stepping down, until next time.
Photo credit: Stina Svanberg (main image) and Tove Nordström (inserted image)