During the last 15 years, the interest in social entrepreneurship as a strategy to meet different challenges in society has grown continuously. In different countries it has developed differently, depending on economical, political, social and cultural contexts.
Today, social entrepreneurship has reached a level of maturity, and several more or less global trends can be identified - in research, policymaking and not least in the practice of social entrepreneurship itself.
Fredrik Björk a lecturer in Social Innovation and Environmental Science at the Department for Urban Studies, Malmö University will arrive directly from Sweden to share his knowledge, insights and ideas with Vilnius Community. Fredrik Björk is locally is also engaged as a board member of Yalla Trappan, a social enterprise, and the Center for Public Entrepreneurship, a third sector initiative to support civic entrepreneurial initiatives in the region on Skåne.
In 2014 Björk was part of the team that developed an Agenda for an ecosystem for social innovation in Sweden, an initiative financed by VINNOVA, the Swedish governement’s innovation agency. Some months back, Björk joined the Global Wellbeing Lab, a network of people from different parts of society, and all corners of the world.
The lab focus on how leadership and organisations can develop beyond the narrow metrics of GDP, towards an approach were the wellbeing of people and ecosystems are at the center. The Lab is a joint initiative by the MIT-based Presencing Institute, GIZ’s Global leadership academy and the Gross National Happiness Center in Bhutan.
On the 31st of May a number of social activists from Lithuania (there were JCI Sostine, Demokratine Mokykla and Make Sense representatives as well as others) had a unique chance to participate in a discussion led by Tom Brennan. Our aim was to discuss the ways in which young people can contribute to peace building in our world.
During his exceptional presentation Tom touched upon many essential themes regarding peace building process and one of them was attaching labels to human beings that creates unnecessary barriers on our way to peaceful coexistence. Being affected by media and other factors we start to see people through their status, jobs, and qualifications instead of complex, irreducible and unbreakable entities.
By attaching labels to ourselves, we change our actions and attitudes as well as it creates a particular image how others see us and interact with us.
Different image creation separates individuals by creating normative and cultural differences and obstacles. For example, introducing oneself as a police officer instead of doing a police related job attaches this human being to his job. The same could be said about " I am tired" instead of "feeling tired". It is not a person who could be described as tired, he just feels that way for a particular amount of time. One core characteristic is that we are all human beings. In order to create a peaceful world we need to emphasize this similarity by avoiding artificially created obstacles.
Overall, it was a great discussion that gave me a new perspective on the world we all share and the ideas on how to make it more peaceful.