Gaining new experiences of social innovation in Sweden


From 14th to 21st of May, the Executive Director of the NGO “Poruch” Maria Tyshchenko was doing the traineeship at the Centre of Social Entrepreneurship with the support of the Swedish Institute. The main objective of the training was to experience job shadowing on social innovation and social entrepreneurship, search and analysis of capabilities for developing of the joint training programs and research projects.

It has to be reminded that Sweden is a country successfully implementing sustainable development.

During the training program, Maria Tyschenko visited many interesting institutions, events, seminars and held meetings in the Centre of Social Entrepreneurship, the University of Malmö and public organizations.

The Centre of Public Entrepreneurship, which creates and implements ideas for social development, is now dealing with such issues as problems of urban cities, rural development, quality of public services, volunteering, new social innovations, challenges faced by immigrants in attempt to get a job at the labour market, improving cooperation between higher education institutions and the local community, and, last but not least, development of knowledge on social entrepreneurship and social innovation.  

Project Manager Nils Phillips presented the structure of organization and its activities. Henrik Nilsson, a specialist in refugee integration, explained municipal programs and private public initiatives concerning community development and integration of refugees into a host community.  Magnus Strand is a specialist in the program Radrum (Room of Advice). Also, Maria visited the library. Radrum is the library room where refugees can get free unbiased advice from people of different professions and age, volunteers.

Expert on Swedish policy on sustainable development Petra Flaum told about municipal strategy for sustainable development of Malmö.

During the meeting with Henrik Nilsson, a specialist in refugee integration program, we shared our experience on social cohesion of refugees in Sweden and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine.

Maria visited the community hub where she witnessed such activities as the workshop for needlework, repairing bicycles and other high-quality entertainment.

On invitation of Nils Phillips, a supervisor of job shadowing, the group of students of the course “Social entrepreneurship” participated in discussions of social initiatives.

Lena Andersson, a board member of FIFH, organized excursion to this institution. Maria had a meeting with representatives of non-governmental organization FIFH, which was founded in 1956. The FIFH is known as one of the leading organizations in the world dealing with competitions for athletes with disabilities. In the city of Lund Maria visited the project “The Initiative in Lund”, whose purpose is social entrepreneurship for refugees.

The job shadowing helped increase knowledge and professional qualifications in the wide range of community development issues, as well as enhanced improvements in social services for the community. Nils Phillips and Maria Tyshchenko visited Rostanga, the town in the south of Sweden. The citizens of Rostanga have created a perfect circular economy model via the structure that gets profits for the community needs and sustainable development of the town.

Maria shares her impressions: “Rostanga, located in the south of Sweden, was degrading in 2007. Local residents, who had moved from Malmö, counted up that a local school would be closed in 5 years, due to the demographic crisis and lack in people ready to live in a small village. However, a mobilized community bought 8 old buildings from the city, which are now: a museum of modern art, a café (on the premises of a closed railway station), buildings for the public use of community and a magical national park, and gradually turned the village into a tourist attraction. The town is ready to accept refugees, which can learn Swedish language with volunteers. The community funding is independent of the municipality, grants and external funds, the community is free to create their own development strategy. The power is in unity!”

This model of social and financial mobilization may well be implemented in Ukrainian communities.

The University of Malmö is willing to be a part of society at any level. Regionally, nationally or globally, the function of the University is to make the world better. The main objective of the University is to be an active centre for research, education, and innovations.

Maria held a seminar on “Social Innovation and Community Development in Ukraine” organised by Fredrik Bjork, a professor of the University of Malmö. After presentation Fredrik Bjork organized a tour around the University of Malmö.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Clear understanding of activities and programs of the Centre of Social Entrepreneurship; gaining basic knowledge on social entrepreneurship in Sweden; with colleagues we plan to launch projects and realize ideas concerning development of communities, the University and the NGO; we are building the network and comfortable environment for the future cooperation; obtained knowledge in social innovations will be realized with new partners according to the NGO plans.

Experience and knowledge gained in Sweden are now to be implemented in the current and future projects of the NGO “Poruch”.



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