From 6 to 9 December, 2018, for the first time in Moscow and Yaroslavl Social Impact Days Forum was held.
More than 40 participants from different European countries went to Yaroslavl to visit the Textil Cultural Center, located in the historic territory of the Great Manufactory, founded by decree of Peter the Great in 1722.
Textil is a project that has become region’s change point and can become a force of potential changes in Yaroslavl and other Russian cities.
Social Impact Days Forum was launched in 2014 upon an initiative of Berlin non-profit organization MitOst, which promotes cultural exchange and an active collaboration of citizens of Europe and surrounding regions; before Russia, the event was hosted by Georgia, Armenia and Ukraine.
The aims of Social Impact Days are to develop and apply social innovations for sustainable urban development (2018’s theme was “Unlocking Communities’ Potential for Collaborative Cities”). All Forum’s decisions are formed in the process of discussions, examination of public spaces and creative sessions, that help to put the right questions and seek the ways: how to change the environment around.
People who came to Russia in 2018 are professionals in various fields. Among them — businessmen, urbanists, organizers of volunteer programs, people from educational, financier and investing spheres. Under the frame of SID in Yaroslavl Andreas Heinecke have the discourse. He is the serial social entrepreneur and journalist, engaged in the integration of the disabled and the elderly people into the social life, his projects “Dialogues in the Dark” and “Dialogues with Time” are known all over the world.
Andreas’s experience is an example of the development of a social franchise for all social entrepreneurs.
“Profit is not the only activities’ motive that makes the ideas viable, — says Jioulnar Asfari, executive director for SOL’ Social Innovation Support Center (one of the organizers of SID in Russia). — Any state as an institution is conservative by nature. And it should be conservative, because its task is to ensure stability. But any innovation and development means ‘unstable’. Innovative ideas and solutions a priori cannot be born in the state machine; this is contrary to its nature. They can come into the world by the help of people, who see the problem, have encountered it and know how to solve it”.
“Social Impact Days Forum is a unique opportunity, literally — to seek solutions all together through the format of open interaction. To search the ways of resolving of countless challenges, that we face in an era of major transformations: public, social and personal”, — emphasize Jioulnar.
Thus, Social Impact Days are not only meetings and discussions, it is tool for positive development, a dialogue between private and public partnerships, and the search for new ways to solve actual problems. Social Impact Days in Russia were held with the support and organization of MitOst, International Alumni Center (Berlin), SOL’ Social Innovation Support Center (Moscow) and Textil Cultural Center (Yaroslavl).