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The fourth industrial revolution is well on its way and is generating both enormous economic potential and fears about the future.

(Re)rising populism, nationalism and xenophobia, stagnant youth unemployment, economic uncertainty, millions of people fleeing their home countries,– one can easily get the feeling that Europe is falling apart. The EU and its citizens will have to come up with answers to the question: What does the EU stand for, what are our common values and how do we cope with the challenges our member states and citizens face?

Taking a closer look at the Greek Island of Lesvos demonstrates the local impact of these challenges. Greece itself has faced a severe economic crisis lately. At the same time it was the island of Lesvos where alone within the first six months of 2018 more than 8300 refugees arrived by sea, equaling 20% of the local population of Mytilini. On Lesvos, the number of refugees kept in the so called “hot spots” is currently four times higher than the capacity these camps are designed for. Hundreds of displaced persons have been stuck on the island for months or even years. The current situation has a disastrous impact on the refugees, the local community, Greece, Europe and the world. Through intensive media coverage, Lesvos has become a symbol of a humanitarian crisis. 

On the 9th of May 2019 national leaders from all around Europe are expected to deliver a renewed commitment towards a more united, stronger and more democratic European Union. Our Summit aims to support this message, with representatives of government and non governmental organisations, Universities and research centres, social entrepreneurs and impact investors that will participate in our Summit.

The purpose of our initiative on Lesvos is to catalyse the paradigm of social entrepreneurship and innovation as a major source of wealth and job creation, economic and technological growth and social transformation, inspiring a positive way forward for Europe. The Europe that we all want!

This Summit will facilitate important dialogues and actions as to how we can collectively co-create an inclusive and enabling environment, through which we look to transform the humanitarian challenges into opportunities, inspiring positive change, embracing the 4th Industrial Revolution and creating the #Future of Europe that we all want.

In addition, with our European partners, we aim to show how an inclusive and collaborative network of coworking spaces / creative hubs across Europe, are platforms through which social entrepreneurs convene to invent, make, collaborate and cocreate sustainable and impactful solutions, that accelerate the sustainable developments goals and help stimulate the local economy!

Key issues will be: How can we inspire a positive way forward in Europe? How can we accelerate social impactful tech solutions within our member communities? How can young people participate in this (regardless of the legal status and socio-economic background), developing a sense of self-efficacy and European identity? How can transnational solidarity be deepened within the EU and beyond the European continent? What can local societies do in order to integrate refugees taking into account that they are coping with (economic e.g.) challenges themselves?  

Acceleration of social impactful technologies will not only help privide access to these services, but also help inspire and create sustainable economic foundations on which to build a series of business-driven development programs. 

Event Details:

#EnableEurope: Social Entrepreneurship, Inclusive Collaboration and the Future We All Want

Thursday, 9 May from 15:45 until 21:30

Open Space, 
Tirteou 4
Lesvos, Greece

The theme of our event is #EnableEurope














Thursday, May 9th
Networking and Coffee

Opening Remarks - Europe Day: Why we are here and what we will achieve today

Keynote: Mayor of Lesvos, Spyros Galinos 
Keynote: European Commission, Social Economy and Entrepreneurship, Karel Vanderpoorten 

Inspirational Talks

Insights from UN Policy Guide on Entrepreneurship for Migrants and Refugees - Maastricht University, Jarrod Ormiston

 + Q/A from the Community

Interactive workshop: "Creating an inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystem in Lesvos”
- Pitching Ideas
- Workshopping ideas
- Judging of Ideas Presented


Panel discussion #2: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem on Lesvos Support of coworking space / incubation project / investors

+ Q/A from the Community for Summary Panel

Key Note: To Be Confirmed 

Panel discussion #3: Effect, Impact and Opportunities of Refugees on Local Economy & Civil Society

+ Q/A from the Community for Summary Panel


Final Thoughts on Lesvos and the Social Economy

Concluding remarks
Changemakers Lab enables entrepreneurs and key stakeholders to cooperate and create impactful solutions that solve social challenges #socent #impinv #SDG17
A Visions2Ventures initiative.