Freitag, 16. Dezember 2016

Crisis - Opening Future Opportunity Windows

Prior to the two-day conference #SUGermanySummit this year a tiny mockup of a project (not bigger than a shoe box) triggered my curiosity and caught my & our interest.

Rapid First Response Center@rfrc_eu
Mirko Bass, one of the two initiators of this idea, explained the purpose to me and what seemed abstract and small in cardboard became a powerful vision. Having an influx of foreign language speaking refugees also in Dresden a service providing real-time translation services via digital communication technology in a healthcare context. Over the course of the next months, I followed the progress of the project. As TEDxDresden approached in September 2016 in Dresden with the motto "The Social Turn", the idea of inviting Mirko and Harald (the 2nd mastermind of the concept and leading figure behind MLOVE) to Dresden (actually the sister city of Hamburg) came to mind.

What seemed like an obvious project, considering the partners (as seen on the picture on the right), was by no means an easy march through. Corporate projects always have a clear output, and financial return. This idea, as tiny as it seemed in the beginning, had neither. Being an employee at CISCO did not help much to bring it off the ground and visibility it now is attracting. Not only that the Krankenhaus Hamburg-Eppendorf caught interest, the Red Cross and the Dorit und Alexander Otto Stiftung (link to video documentation) but over time networking connections widened and the project caught interest outside Germany. It was Greece, and CISCO's country manager, that led to the involvement of Startupboat.  Soon enough the vision to bring one container to Samos (from where the founder of Startupboat comes from), just several hundred meters away from Turkish mainland, one of entry points of refugees to the European Community became reality.

Here the 'power of connection' becomes reality again. A week ago Mirko sent me notice of an event, as part of the #TLVweek (Tel Aviv Week) at Factory Berlin. Tuesday afternoon at 2pm I found myself in a small street in Berlin near U-Bahn station Bernauer Straße bumping into an arriving participant from Israel searching for the location.

Here you details to the event: Startupboat @ Factory

What happened then, overshot my expectations. Not only hearing about projects like ROC21, Institute for the Future, the Pritzker Prize, Park(ing) Day, Zaatari Refugee Camp (Jordan), National Day of City Hacking, Migration Work and more. Overwhelming to say the least. Connecting these dots, and enabling new developments and take adaptive moves to bring these early stage projects even more so forward into social impact and involving citizens and migrants alike.

Paula of Startupboat
Mirko of RFRC

Where there is a 
vision there is a way

... and doing a final #PresencingStatus on this experience last week:

  • Good - new learning, new contacts, widening the scope
  • Tricky - coping with a cold, power plugs for smartphone rare (as most often)
  • Learned - take opportunities as they open up; Impact Hubs involved (also part of #ulab)
  • Action - connecting people with people in my network (done!), #ShapersUnited (Dresden)

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