AN UPGRADE FROM STARTERY WARSAW TO DYNAMIC BERLIN
There is always a mix of idealism in the ideas which strive for social changes. A vision of changing the world can be utopic but once you are committed things appear to look more realistic. There is magic in people stories, stories which build bridges to connect people. I have listened to some of these stories at Startery CEE 2016 in Warsaw, I have learned, been inspired and shared my own story because without sharing there is no strengthening.
I was part of Startery CEE 2016, together with other participants from Central and Eastern Europe. 4 days of intensive learning in Design Thinking methodologies organized by the bridge builders SAP and Social Impact Labs, a make it happen environment across society, a dream upgrader program which enhanced my skills of working for my project CODE IN ROSE Albania, an initiative to empower more girls in technology through building knowledge, skill and attitude in a sharing community. From Startery CEE I was lucky to be invited for 2 weeks at Social Impact Lab Berlin.
From Warsaw to dynamic Berlin together with Loveguide, Magikme & Conflict Kitchen. Social changes came through people, and what I found at Social Impact Lab was a whole community committed to Social Betterment. A dynamic and productive co-working space, where information, opportunities and resources are the bridges for many young social entrepreneurs.
Tackling social issues and implementing solutions is just a part of the whole cycle of building a social enterprise. During two weeks, I was able to deepen more my knowledge on Design Thinking and Business Model Generation. We had many sessions including workshops on Business Model, Sales, CSR, Impact Measurement based on Phineo model, and the opportunity to work with mentors who helped us on conceptualizing more the impact measurement of our projects and our business models. I must say that sometimes feedbacks can sharpen your ideas, and help you to analyse results from another perspective. I found it helpful that I was one of the case givers and feedbacks helped me to work more on my project Code in Rose.
Social Impact Lab was for me not just an Idea Upgrader, but a community full of energetic and passionate people working to make a difference in the society we live in. A harmony of collaboration giving power to local initiatives and social innovations. At the end learning experiences are the best because they build skills to be shared with others and the cycle goes on.
But the experience went beyond that. Located on Kreuzberg, we had a taste of this Utopia that exists in Berlin, as the bastion of harmony and coexistence when foreigners can become locals. A visit at Über den Tellerrand kochen, a guided city tour from glances into a fugitive life with Querstadtein. I must say we have seen Berlin through different perspectives.
As a post experience for me, next steps can be a challenge but once you follow your passion things can became easier.
To all the young people out there who are creating and believing on social changes, there will always be an opportunity to build dreams and wings to fly.
By Klea Mërtenika, Co-Founder Code in Rose, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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