1 day

20+ speakers

100+ attendees

Partnerships for maximizing social impact



The ‘Digital Road to Mannheim’ consists of 8 fully digitized online events. Each roadmap event focusses on a specific topic and aims to connect different Social Economy actors in Europe in a highly interactive format, present best practices and use cases as well as provide first-hand insights in interactive sessions from changemakers all around Europe. The ‘Digital Road to Mannheim’ strengthen the social economy in Europe and harness its contribution to economic development, social inclusion as well as green and digital transitions. 

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10.15 am

Welcome – Live from Mannheim
Manuel Kreitmeir, Host and Chairman – Social Entrepreneurship BW
Björn Pospiech, Mindfulness Coach – Strong People Institute
Ulla Engelmann, Head of Unit – DG GROW, European Commission

10.30 am

To be announced shortly

10.45 am

Parallel Sessions & Insights (60 minutes)

Adoración Mozas Moral, Professor at Department of Business Organization, Marketing and Sociology – University of Jaén
Jelena Matančević, Assistant Professor at the Department for Social Policy, Faculty of Law – University of Zagreb
Rui Pedro Marques, Professor at Higher Institute of Accounting and Administration – University of Aveiro
Carlota Quintão ,Founding member and director – A3S Association
Augusta Ferreira, Professor – University of Aveiro

The institutions of social solidarity have great relevance in the economy, as they develop relevant social and economic activities, supplying needs which are met by neither the State nor the Second Sector. In addition to sustainability, other challenges are currently posed to them, namely the demands both in terms of compliance with legal obligations and accountability, which are extremely high. The duty of transparency leads them to include all stakeholders in decision-making processes and to disclose their performance not only at economic and financial, but also social and environmental levels, enhancing their socially responsible behavior. This session brings together experts from different contexts and levels of application. Thus, enriched by the heterogeneity of experience, the speakers will share their experience and discuss different ways of helping entities to maximize their social impact, either through improving their performance, sustainability, or accountability.

Jeroo Billimoria, Serial Social Entrepreneur and founder of “Catalyst 2030”
Odin Mühlenbein, System change analyst and partner – Ashoka
Katharina Wagner, Engagement manager – McKinsey
Katharina Hinze, Partner – Ashoka

In recent years, the conversation in the social sector has reflected increasing interest in supporting longer-term, more transformative changes – i.e., systems change. Systems change approaches address root causes rather than symptoms by altering, shifting, and transforming behavioral structures, customs, mindsets, power dynamics, and rules, with the intent of solving societal problems and with lasting effects on a local, national, and global level. These approaches require a new level of collaboration. In our session, we want to provide insights into systems thinking and collaborative action and put a spotlight on the role of funders in supporting systems change initiatives. The session is based of the report “Embracing Complexity. Towards a Shared Understanding of Funding Systems Change” published by Ashoka and McKinsey, in cooperation with Skoll Foundation, Schwab Foundation and Catalyst 2030, amongst others.

Bernard Bensaid, CEO – Doctegestio group
Berthold Broll, CEO – Stiftung Liebenau
Benjamin Vitré, Director of development – Doctegestio Sante
Ulrich Dobler, Head Department of Social Politics – Stiftung Liebenau

As highly convinced of the European Idea we believe this is a powerful way to foster the social dimension of the ESM – European Single Market. We are more smart and innovative together. We need innovators and innovative thinking to face the common challenges. That is why we – the Doctegestio group/ France and the Stiftung Liebenau/ Germany – have joined forces to start a knowledge exchange in order to identify and discuss social innovations. Contents of this exchange currently cover the areas of digitalization, and platform solutions for social services, social innovation lab tools to foster social entrepreneur know how for our staff, HR recruiting and corporate sustainability strategies. With a 45 min panel session we will bring up real social economy major challenging issues as well as discussing ways of solving social problems and creating services for people in need of support with examples from our two social organizations.

11.45 am

Main Panel: Presenting results from the sessions

12.00 pm

Lunch break & Parallel Programme

12.00 pm



01.00 pm

Björn Pospiech, Mindfulness Coach – Strong People Institute

01.15 pm

Will be announced shortly

01.30 pm

Parallel Interactive Workshops (90 minutes)

Anna-Patricia Schmiß, Policy Advisor Finance and Impact – German Red Cross
Anna Beck De Francesco, New Financial Instruments, Major Donors & Foundations – Swedish Red Cross
James Magowan, Head of Centre for Social Impact Bonds, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports
Mara Airoldi, Director of the Government Outcomes Lab – University of Oxford
Young-jin Choi, Expert Impact Investing – PHINEO
Lara Seidel, Policy Advisor Finance and Impact – German Red Cross – National Headquarters

Which instruments drive collaboration within organisations but also across sectors? Which role can Social Impact Bonds play in this context? Expert speakers will discuss if and under which circumstances SIBs can promote collaborative ways of working within social sector organisations and between different sectors (public, private and social). Participants will gain theoretical and practical insights into the opportunities and challenges posed by SIBs for better collaboration. Building on the input, the participants will have the opportunity to share and discuss their own experiences with innovative digital, financial and organisational instruments that have promoted inner- and interorganizational collaboration as well as across sectors. The participants will brainstorm challenges to collaboration as well as possible solutions to overcome these. In the process they will gather new ideas and inspiration for boosting collaboration within their organisation and beyond.

Raffaella Scalisi, Senior Advisor – Torino Social Impact

The session will compare some EU cases, provide academic analysis and explore how these forms of cooperation strengthen the innovation capabilities of the partners, letting innovative solutions more likely to emerge than in situations where actors are acting alone without coordination. In addition to the clear advantages (knowledge sharing, advocacy, resources pooling, shared services, joint promotion, etc) local partnership, similarly to clusters mechanisms, lay on high quality synergies and are able to facilitate profitable inner exchanges, boosting solutions and their scalability and replicability. These frameworks have proven their effectiveness during the COVID-19 outbreak emergency, when fast information circulation and quick actors coordination turned to be essential to meet the needs of different communities and people’s groups, and are now playing a key role in the recovery programs.

Victoria Blessing, Steinbeis-Europa-Zentrum

Aspects where social innovations need support include creating the idea, prototyping, branding, business models and funding. The experts who are part of our session are not only experts on collaboration, but are also actively collaborating themselves to bring forward these topics within European projects. The session will both give an overview on different aspects of and ways to support collaboration and how they interlink with each other, and also go into depth in three specific aspects. Those aspects are: collaborative development of innovative social financing instruments, creating temporary innovation spaces for specific societal challenges and how policy measures can support intersectoral collaboration. In order to cover these three aspects in an interactive way, we will conduct a virtual world café with different stations. In a summarizing discussion, we will then reflect together how discuss how those different aspects relate to each other and create synergies.


This session will examine how and why the SSE plays – in a pluralist economy – a transformative role in pursuing the SDGs and highlight the urgency to unlock its potential to tackle the today structural economic, societal, social and environmental crises. Policy recommendations will be discussed to feed into international debate and the European Action Plan for the Social Economy.

03.00 pm

Panel: Workshop Hosts presenting results / Discussion with EU officials
Ulla Engelmann, Head of Unit – DG GROW, European Commission

03.30 pm

Conclusion & The End


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