THE SOCIAL INNOVATION IDEA MAGAZINE
SIDE Magazine - Issue 1 Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief - Riccardo Vide Managing Editor - Ana Rita Lopes Editor’s Assistant - Tuuli Järvinen Content writers: - Agnes Nemeth - Amalie Fuglbjerg Bjerre - Greta Petra Haraszti - Valeria Esteban Caballos Diaz Copy editing: - Heather Pope - Sienna Severns - Jakub Zehaluk Graphics and Layout: - Eszter Nagy - Matilde Virginia Saletta - Riccardo Vide Photography: - Karen Andrea Khouri
SIDE Magazine is a product made by the joint collaboration of all DANSIC21 volunteers and the DANSIC Alumni Network, after 10 years of events. Visit us on our webpage: www.dansic.org Cover and rear design: Riccardo Vide
Contents A message from the Board
A Decade of DANSIC
DANSIC21 through HR
Letters from the Directors
A message from the Board Ana Rita Lopes, John Tran, Riccardo Vide Each year, the Danish Social Innovation Club (DANSIC) renews itself; every year, it welcomes a new board, a new team of volunteers, new partners and a new project. Whilst this constant metamorphosis does not come without challenges, these barriers are overcome due to the motivated and hardworking nature of our team who, despite all setbacks, believe in our mission. This is a thank you to all of those people, without whom this project would not have come to fruition. First of all, we would like to thank the people who have made this project possible, who put everything together and reside at the core of DANSIC21. These are all our volunteers who have invested their personal time and have dedicated themselves to create an event that inspires and makes an impact. They have jumped on board this adventure with little guidance, but with a clear goal/target in mind, and in the end they delivered an outstanding job. Thank you all for making DANSIC21 not only possible but an overwhelming success. Additionally, we would like to issue a huge thank you to all the organisations and individuals
who embarked on this adventure with us and contributed immensely to the quality of this project. These are talented and knowledgeable people within the project fields, who believed in our cause and have been willing to help us, despite receiving little in return. Either as webinar panellists or as judges and mentors, your contribution has been integral and DANSIC21 is grateful to have had you on board. We also wish to thank the Advisory Board for offering guidance, as well as the Board members of DANSIC20, who extensively supported us when we faced organisational and pandemic-related issues, and offered their comfort in the more challenging moments. Lastly, we would like to thank our main sponsors, Tuborgfondet and the University of Copenhagen (KU). DANSIC events are only possible because of institutions like these, who believe in our mission and generously provide the funds to make it happen. It pleases us to know that the support from these organisations is ongoing and that they continue to believe in the impact that young people like us can have on the world.
About DANSIC Agnes Nemeth DANSIC - Danish Social Innovation Club - is a youthbased organisation with the goal of promoting social innovation and entrepreneurship. Each year, through the hard work of a dedicated group of individuals, DANSIC embarks on a project with the goal of working towards solving challenges in the field of social innovation in a creative and professional format. This means that every year DANSIC focuses on a different theme within social innovation. Throughout the past years, DANSIC has engaged in various topics including mindfulness,
sustainable travel, sustainable solutions in the urban environment, and the inclusion of disability in the job market. All projects are driven by passionate volunteers: students or recent graduates from a wide range of professional and cultural backgrounds. Besides the indispensable work of the people behind DANSIC, the projects are carried out in cooperation with external partners that assist us in reaching the goals each Board is setting.
A Decade of DANSIC Riccardo Vide DANSIC started in 2011 after an idea pursued by Steffen Thybo Drostgaard and Lasse Zobel. Over the years, the organisation evolved into what DANSIC is today: an opportunity to shape future entrepreneurs living in Denmark to gain social and professional skills in a startup-like environment. With its rich international environment and network, DANSIC offers merely the starting tools to all volunteers to show at best their talent and resourcefulness. “The DANSIC journey has been an incredible twist of feelings: empowerment, struggle, satisfaction and stress. When I think about it, I am dazzled by DANSIC’s achievements and for being a staple in social innovation in just a decade. I was merely involved in the past two years, but it was enough to open my mind incredibly and think how much passion hundreds of volunteers had contributed to make it a great project. I believe that DANSIC’s success is due to the ambition of many students to test themselves, evolve and learn things outside of their strict competencies. DANSIC was a challenging journey, but it gave us a better understanding of how businesses work, and it provided us with the tools to be successful.” Our first conference involved around 300 Danish people ten years ago. Today we have reached thousands of people across the globe with our events, and we are still on the rise. “I would love to see DANSIC grow even further and gain better reach globally, but the clock is always running against us. It requires a lot of time and energy to fully grasp who we are and what we do, and I think all our past volunteers are conscious about it. Luckily the Board of Directors, the Advisory Board and the rest of our network were always there to help fill in the gaps, but I was amazed that sometimes even some of the partners we reached knew more about DANSIC than us volunteers. Thinking about it now, it could sound scary, but I found it incredibly thrilling. Partnering with someone that already knows who we are always made me smile over the idea that other volunteers did great things in the past. I genuinely think it is because it represents an opportunity to learn for
all of us, new volunteers. We rapidly understood that we could always look back, learn from past mistakes and achievements, and cooperate with old and new partners to build something better. So the goal at the end is not the expansion, and it was never about it. It is about learning and improving.” Learning a bit of our history, Social Sustainability, Impact, and Partnerships were not only the titles of the first events DANSIC promoted. They were the focus that this organisation had during each event and the driving force that structured all our projects. You can find them briefly explained in the following pages. “Throughout the years, DANSIC managed to promote a sustainable impact in most of the Scandinavian society. The DANSIC21 Board couldn’t be more thrilled and honoured to celebrate ten years of efforts by pushing the organisation’s agenda outside of danish borders, conquering the interest of new regions with our project. This project was achievable just thanks to the changes that other incredible members adopted in the past years. We are so grateful that DANSIC transformed into an opportunity for all international students, no matter where they studied or their nationality. We wish the best for our Alumni network, as well as exciting opportunities for every future DANSICer!”
DANSIC21 wants to salute all past volunteers who fully embraced the complexity of this project. We also want to give warm thanks to Viola Mignoli, Vincent Bruin and Jessica Padman Reich, who shared these few lines and brought a bit of their experience. “DANSIC for us was all about the awesome team of volunteers that remained motivated and engaged until the very end despite having to transfer everything online due to the outbreak of COVID19. This is what DANSIC is made of: great people that come together to create something impactful, overcoming the difficulties that arise on the way!”
Through the I&E Student Pool, the University of Copenhagen supports student organisations and enterprising, innovative students to host events that foster an innovation or entrepreneurship aim. Every year, the university allocates DKK 150,000 in funds to student organisations that focus on how students can use their professionalism in practice, and who can engage with their surrounding community. In 2021, the University recognized the impact of COVID-19 on physical activities and committed to supporting student organisations in holding virtual activities. Similarly, KU focused on allocating funds to organisations that experienced a commitment decline due to the pandemic and were attempting a revitalisation in 2021.
Past Events Amalie Fuglbjerg Bjerre DANSIC12 | Sustainable Innovation Social innovation conferences are an inspiring platform for people to ask questions, explore ideas, and establish new relationships. Social innovation, in a general sense, refers to new ideas, products, services, organisations, and/or business models that focus on solving societal and environmental problems. DANSIC’s first-ever conference focused on three core areas within social innovation: 1. Solutions to the future welfare 2. B-BoP – Business at the Bottom of the Pyramid 3. Sustainable Innovation
DANSIC13 | Impact This conference focused on the impact of social innovation. DANSIC13 aspired to contribute with effective improvements/ideas regarding what will benefit parts of the Danish society. The core point focused on getting closer to building a sustainable society through impacts that matter. The conference concluded that the overarching goal is to deliver hundreds of socially burning ideas - small concrete actions for parliamentary politicians and central decision-makers that help to make a positive impact.
DANSIC14 | New Partnerships This year the DANSIC conference was all about the importance of partnerships and cooperation across industries and companies, norms and standards, so they can fully incorporate social innovation into their business models. DANSIC worked to inspire the formation of lasting and productive partnerships, especially since it was and still is the very foundation of the organization, with students from different educations, political standpoints, and countries coming together to collaborate towards a better world.
DANSIC15 | Urban Uplift With this event, DANSIC wanted to explore DANSIC urban uplift as social innovation sets its focus on the socio-economic circumstances of socially disadvantaged housing areas. The Urban uplift conference was a chance to get involved in becoming an active agent, as opposed to just a spectator. Urban Uplift aimed to help socially disadvantaged housing areas through the introduction and implementation of new ideas, such as urban experiments, where the city space is decorated to fully use and exploit the advantages of each district.
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DANSIC20 | Mindfulness X Sustainability In the current climate crisis, this year’s project intended to positively impact young people’s mindset while giving them alternative tools on how to behave more sustainably. With inspiration from the mindfulness and sustainability article by Ericson, Kjønstad and Barstad, DANSIC20 widened the approach of the article and explored the nexus between how to be mindfully sustainable. The project focused not only on product/food consumption but also included general behavioural change, with a series of podcasts rich in talks and activities.
DANSIC19 | Sustainable travel As a society, we love to travel and we are doing so increasingly year on year. But how can we keep exploring the world without damaging it in the process? DANSIC19 wanted to inspire people to make changes in their travel habits by presenting alternative ways to travel, and a more sustainable approach to overcome some of the current constraints of sustainable tourism in Europe.
DANSIC18 | Rethink Ability DANSIC’s ‘RETHINK ABILITY’ Case Competition 2018 put a spotlight on how people with disabilities can be better integrated into the labour market. The goal was to come up with a real and deployable solution for this particular audience.
DANSIC17 | Reimagine Resources Same challenge, new format. No more conferences with social innovation as the years before. DANSIC was behind the movement ‘Reimagine Resources’, which targets dorms in Denmark so that students can come up with innovative initiatives. Young people are taking matters into their own hands and acting on it through four main concepts: EDUCATION, IMPACT, PLAYGROUND and TOOLS.
DANSIC16 | Work Life Lab DANSIC is ever-evolving both as an organization and as a platform. For this reason, the conference locations are also always changing and during this year, the event was hosted in an industrial salt storage in Nordhavn. The main focus of this year was stress. With stress, we often have a hard time finding creative solutions, therefore 30 students focused this year on the societal challenge that stress creates and find sustainable solutions for stress management.
Developing DANSIC21 Riccardo Vide, Ana Rita Lopes The idea for DANSIC21 came up in one of the very first Board meetings back in June 2020. When we first heard about Ambitious Africa’s mission and vision, we realised the potential to pursue our first intercontinental event. The idea of having DANSIC present for the first time outside of Danish borders excited us. From there, we quickly realised that having an event such as a case competition would be an effective way to promote teamwork and interdisciplinary collaboration between all the participants. Immediately after we pitched our idea and received positive feedback from Ambitious Africa, we held onto this abstract idea and started recruiting. We wondered if the Board could pursue the project by substituting themselves to HR. We quickly realised the vital importance of this crew, and we could have not made it until the end without their contribution. Our first hire was the HR Director, who from there coordinated the onboarding of the remaining volunteers following the structure outlined below.
Volunteers Structure The structure of the volunteers was based upon reflections over DANSIC20 who noticed the necessity to have an equally strong team in Communication as well as Events. We also learnt the importance of having HR involved in organizational dynamics. This was the first year where the Board introduced the concept of Departments (as opposed to ‘crews’), to promote synergy between volunteers from different backgrounds and to develop different aspects of their work collaboratively. This decision was also a reflection on the feedback provided by the Finance and HR crews of DANSIC20, who felt somehow isolated from their respective event. Whilst on one hand the creation of departments facilitated peer-learning opportunities and enhanced interaction between volunteers with various responsibilities, having segregated department meetings fostered a division between them. The decision to have separate meetings
THE BOARD VP of COMMUNICATIONS
VP of EVENTS
EVENT DESIGN DIRECTOR
HR SUPPORT DEPARTMENT
for each department was taken as a way to ease the possibility of having physical meetings at the Station, which offered solutions for small gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic. As DANSIC thrives on creating opportunities for social activities where trust and cooperation between team members can be established, the Corona pandemic imposed constant shifts in the structure, slowing the process and hindering intra-department solidarity and collaboration. The departmental division of meetings, combined with the difficulties faced in hiring new students and the lack of definition of a specific topic, were all challenges faced in the construction of the Case Competition. The complexity of this type of event would have benefited a drastic structural alteration in the Events Department than just assigning the bulk of work to a logistic crew, who managed multiple aspects at once. On the other hand, the subdivision of work between two crews in Communications, as a result of the stress that Comms had during DANSIC20, made the workflow easier and more structured. Sometimes this Department faced periods with low moments of work but it was mostly created by the difficulty of implementing the complexity of logistics’ work with the rest of the organisation.
DANSIC Work Structure While the setting up of an annual event required the Events team to focus on DANSIC21, the Communication team has been focusing on the promotion of the organisation and the event. DANSIC is still an emerging organisation despite having established quite a strong impression on the partners we have collaborated with within the previous years. The main struggle we faced was to bring that same recognition to a larger audience, especially to students who are passionate about promoting sustainable change. To tackle it, our Comms team decided to reactivate the blog project, started only in the previous year, while promoting news and trends in sustainability and startup ecosystems that are working within social innovation, sustainability and circularity every week. Our social media channels were utilised to share information about what we do, more than just who we are as an organisation. DANSIC works in a dual environment of fun and professionalism, working with young, aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make an impact by using their skills, learning alongside peers in a fun way and reaching their goals by working in collaboration with industry experts.
The constant discussion over how to present our image presented a challenge to establishing a clear work ethic, not just to our external audience but also internally. This is likely because our volunteers change every year, and it takes time to get accustomed to a new team and a new project. Nonetheless, DANSIC will work on constantly reinforcing the brand, while keeping its flexibility, to highlight the success in our methodology. Event Work Structure Although we were settled on a Case Competition among Nordic and African students, details, like the case problem, were not yet decided, as the Board wished to include other volunteers in the decision-making process. All volunteers were able to brainstorm ideas that diverged from waste management to plastic reduction and contribute with their suggestions. After countless discussions and exchanges of perspectives, the topic of circular economy was decided upon. Despite the good intentions of the Board to allow more participation from the volunteers regarding the decision of the topic, the process did become slightly chaotic and resultantly delayed the process. When this setback was finally overcome, all our volunteers worked to recover the lost time and started to create tangible progress. The incredibly high workload and the short period
created a necessity for logistics to come with quick and easy solutions for reaching success, relying heavily on the efforts of the crew itself. Proactive and independent decisions demonstrated a high commitment, but also marked the incredible difference between how the rest of the crews were working and the difficulties in reaching cooperation. While the other crews were following a working methodology that relied heavily on taking minutes, promoting frequent peer communication and distributing thoughtfully the tasks to all volunteers, logistics couldn’t follow completely the same regimen. This challenge between departments resulted in issues of transparency and communication. We successfully managed to reestablish some sort of cooperation in the last months, but we learned the hard way that more definitions in terms of roles and workload structure, as well as a quicker hiring process, would have made the process smoother and would have avoided some tensions. In the end, contacts were established with potential panellists, judges and mentors; logistics arrangements were settled and the event promotion took off. Efforts from all departments combined to finalise the event and we were extremely proud to deliver DANSIC21.
The Tuborg Foundation was established in 1931 to work for the benefit of society and especially to support the Danish business community. Since 1st October 1991, the fund has been a part of the business fund ‘Carlsbergfondet’, which is the main shareholder in the world’s thirdlargest brewery Carlsberg A/S. In 2019, the fund distributed approx. 59,000,000 KR. The Tuborg Foundation supports young people and organisations that strengthen the youth’s opportunities to live out their dreams and achieve power in community action for the benefit of society and the Danish business community.
DANSIC21 through HR Agnes Nemeth When I joined DANSIC, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. An organisation with the mission of arranging a case competition for Nordic and African students that highlights societal issues. They needed someone to strengthen the HR crew, and I got enrolled to take responsibility for recruitment, motivating volunteers and organising events. Pretty straightforward. But when I first met my fellow ‘DANSICers’ and we had our initial meetings, I realised, and probably I was not alone in this thought, that this journey will be nothing but straightforward. It will be a much more bumpy and messy road than I had imagined. Did that discourage me? Yes! Would I go back in time and still join? Yes! The reason is simple: through my experience at DANSIC I learnt valuable lessons on how to work with different people, how to handle a variety of tasks, and last but not least, I learnt a lot about myself. The HR crew aimed to provide an ideal set-up for our fellow volunteers so that they feel supported through their experience at DANSIC. But how could we achieve this, when even the HR crew itself had our doubts and uncertainties about
DANSIC21? In order to establish and achieve the DANSIC21 objectives, departmental meetings were indispensable. It has most definitely been challenging at times, especially because the coronavirus hindered us from meeting in person, but the HR crew strived to facilitate the online meetings as best as we could. Together with another HR Specialist, we tried to make the online meetings for the communication department members as comfortable as possible. We relied on Zoom friendly icebreakers, and some honest and open conversation topics to enable us to get to know each other and make the meetings more enjoyable. Although I am convinced that we could have developed stronger bonds with each other had the meetings been offline, the online meetings allowed more convenience in terms of practicality as we could save time commuting to a physical location and join the meeting from wherever it suited us. Once we got into the rhythm of online meetings as well as handling and completing tasks, we could focus on initiating social activities, which could
provide our members with an opportunity to get to know each other better and share some fun time. An online brunch, a Zoom Pictionary, and a pub quiz are some of the events that aimed to provide the setting for an inclusive and fun culture at DANSIC. Once COVID-19 restrictions eased, we moved the social events offline. This was also where many volunteers met each other in person for the first time, something which was particularly refreshing after the countless online calls. I am happy that we could finish off DANSIC21 with a courtyard party where we could spend time with each other and celebrate the end of our journey. Whilst it is likely that many members, including myself, had moments of discouragement and experienced a lack of motivation during their time at DANSIC, I am positive that all of us appreciate what we have gained from this journey, in particular the people and network we have gained from the whole experience.
Letters from the Directors EVENTS
DANSIC21 has been an interesting journey, to say the least. With a lot of ups and downs, it has been very challenging, yet rewarding in the end. To see the event successfully completed has been a huge relief. From the logistics perspective, things have been fairly overwhelming for me and my team, with neverending meetings and many responsibilities that fell on our plate. For future DANSICers that are thinking of organising a case competition, I suggest dividing the tasks differently, as the whole experience was less enjoyable for the team members due to the heavy workload and constant stress and time pressure. Another challenging aspect was how the meetings and feedback sessions were organised. A more transparent task overview would have been ideal, but that was time-consuming for me and my team, demanding a lot of our time, on top of all the other things we had to do. I came to cherish proactive, can-do attitudes, members that take initiative on their own, rather than waiting for tasks to be assigned or communicated. This is a very important aspect to be stressed in the future recruitment process, in addition to being supportive, helpful, and mindful team members. I have learned a lot during this journey, and so did my team. DANSIC has been a place to grow and learn – sometimes the hard way.
I joined DANSIC21 in September 2021, when things were getting back to normal after experiencing the first peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The start was exciting, gathering a completely new group of totally different individuals, from various backgrounds but with the same mindset, that together we could overcome all barriers and coordinate a successful two-week event. The ambitions were high from the beginning, and everybody worked and strived for the best, trying to prove to themselves and all others around us that anything is possible when you put passion into what you are doing and believe in your goals. During the nine months I actively participated in DANSIC21 as a Finance Director, I met over 20 bright and hardworking students and graduates, attended over 40 meetings where we collaborated and contributed with our unique skills and knowledge, and spent countless hours searching for collaborations, funds, ideas, and solutions to our daily problems. In every moment, I learned something new about myself, about the importance of communication and collaboration, about how everything is more achievable when working in a team, and about how to stay motivated and faithful to my goal and mission. All in all, being a volunteer in DANSIC21 has pushed my boundaries and has taught me new skills that any young professional could benefit from. It was a fun and challenging learning experience, and a great opportunity to learn about a new topic and to be involved in something that matters.
Joining DANSIC was the oasis we all were looking for during a pandemic that deprived us of social interactions and limited our opportunities. I believe I speak for everyone in my crew when I say that the DANSIC experience has taught us many lessons about ourselves and our planned work as professionals in the field of Human Resources and Organisation. The HR crew consisted of 4 girls with big dreams and one common goal; to select, welcome and assist to the best of our abilities our fellow ‘DANSICers’ in every step of their volunteering journey. When it comes to pointing out the positive and the negative aspects of our collective and individual experiences, it is difficult to draw a clear line and make a distinction between the two. It feels as if the negative situations were there to teach us something and benefit us in the long run. For example, the pandemic was a significant obstacle that contributed to many hardships. Almost all our weekly meetings and social events were online, making it hard for people to connect and build strong relationships. On the other hand, our crew members quickly became the people that everyone could count on, and we are happy to see that friendships were established. On an individual level, the DANSIC experience has helped us in terms of professional growth, allowed us to realise our potential and learn how to deal with uncomfortable situations successfully. Probably, none of the above would have happened if everything was easy and there were no obstacles to overcome. I am grateful for what the past year at DANSIC has taught me about myself and others, and I am beyond proud for what has been accomplished by a diverse group of young people during challenging times.
DANSIC’s year always starts with a clean slate: a new Board, new directors, new volunteers, and a new project. The exciting thing from the start was meeting the new crew and becoming part of a group of students who are willing to spend their free time building a project which was mostly non-existent at the time of joining the group. From coming up with the theme of circularity and deciding which countries would be involved in the case competition, the process of creating the plan from the initial idea was time-consuming yet highly engaging for volunteers to create and brainstorm collaboratively. We were also fortunate that this phase could be carried out face-to-face before Denmark went into lockdown. From the Communication Department’s perspective, however, the longer the innovation phase took, the longer it took to establish what DANSIC’s social media and online presence should look like. The beginning took a lot of patience, but once the ball started rolling, it was a quick and quite difficult process of making sure the design appealed to everyone and creating engaging content for social media. Especially in terms of creating engagement, I can’t stress enough that quality should be prioritised over quantity - and the value of TikTok should not be underestimated! I think future Comms teams would very much benefit from recruiting people who are up to date with social media trends and want to invest time in making videos and quality design content. For me, this has been an interesting learning curve on multiple fronts in developing my professional and personal skills, as well as connecting with people who I would have otherwise never met.
Riky | 27 MSc. Technology Architecture (AAU)
Rita | 23 MSc. Supply Chain Management (CBS)
John | 21 Bachelor. Biology (KU)
“Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable” - Coco Chanel
“Get out of your comfort zone”
“The best thing to do first thing in the morning is to go right back to sleep”
Adelina | 23 MSc. International Business and Politics (CBS)
Alexandra | 27 MSc. Accounting strategy and control (CBS)
Nikoleta | 25 MSc. Psychology (Lund University)
“Teamwork makes the dream work” John Maxwell
“There is a past version of you that is so proud of how far you have come”
“If you don’t like it somewhere, then go somewhere else” - Richard Feynman
Tuuli | 26 MSc. Political Communication (University of Gothenburg)
Karen | 28 MSc. Business Administration and Leadership (RUC)
Amalie | 25 PBA. Sport and Event Management (Cphbusiness)
“Quality over quantity”
“If the thought of something makes you very excited, chase after it”
“To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid”
Valeria | 26 MSc. International Business & Politics (CBS) “El amor marca al individuo pero la muerte aún más, dado que se puede vivir sin amor pero no sin muerte” J. Bucay
Kuba | 24 Top-Up Bachelor. Innovation and Entrepreneurship (Cphbusiness) “Those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who change it” - Steve Jobs
Eszter | 27 MSc. Landscape Architecture (KU)
Anna | 25 MSc. Sustainable Design (AAU)
Sienna | 23 MA. Cognition and Communication (KU)
“Don’t hope for the better, just be better”
“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire” - Jennifer Lee
Rasmus | 21 BSc. Business Administration & Mathematics (CBS) “To live is to change and to be perfect is to have changed often” - Henry Newman
Dylan | 24 MSc. Wind Energy (DTU)
Matilde | 29 MSc. Spatial Design and Society (RUC)
“It was so fun getting to know all of you
and I really learnt a lot”
“Thank you for organizing!”
Stela | 26 PBA. International Sales and Marketing (Sjællands Erhvervsakademi) “Dream big and believe in yourself even if no one else does”
“What I most appreciate about my time at DANSIC is that it has given me a network of smart and bright people”
Mona | 26 MA. Human Resource Management (LBU) “Smile and the world smiles with you” Stanley Gordon West
Heather | 23 MSc. Global Development (KU)
Greta | 24 BA. Global Humanities (RUC)
“Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” - John Lennon
“During the pandemic, DANSIC was such a great way to work and connect with a wonderful group of people on something truly meaningful”
Zizi | 29 PhD. Environmental Science (AU)
Sara | 25 MSc. Migration Studies (KU)
“La fortuna aiuta gli audaci”
find more about us on dansic.org
Agnes | 27 MA. Communication (RUC)
Event Challenge Amalie Fuglbjerg Bjerre, Valeria Esteban Caballos Diaz When the new team of volunteers at DANSIC began to explore the topic for the yearly event, the opportunities seemed endless. Since it is a key part of DANSIC’s mission to promote social innovation, this is a field broad enough to divert the attention of the volunteers in several directions. It became clear, however, from team meetings that we needed to focus not only on a “hot” issue for the event to emerge around, but also to choose something of great relevance for every single person engaged. The pandemic was of course a challenging context to navigate, and while it offered the opportunity to do something different, it also made it apparent that this pandemic was not only a social issue but also an environmental one. Thus, DANSIC had its eureka moment, and it became crystal clear that the topic should revolve around sustainability with a tone of underlying social justice, connecting thereby the social innovation field with the volunteers’ ambition. Specifically, the team chose to devote their time to designing and executing a case competition
on the circular economy for a broader scope of students than ever before; the competition targeted up to 5 African countries and the Nordics (Denmark, Finland, and Sweden), making this an international and ambitious platform. It was through DANSIC’s existing network that Ambitious Africa became our main collaborator – a young initiative with country teams around Africa with a focus on connecting entrepreneurial mindsets across and within Africa. Together with our partner, DANSIC devoted much time to infuse purpose and meaning to the competition. Our desire from the very beginning was to spark cooperation through a competition incentive, with a clear educational and advocacy goal where interdisciplinary efforts are the intersection for innovative efforts to create sustainable solutions for consumption. In that sense, DANSIC’s role was to incubate this knowledge and disseminate it through its platform.
Event Solution Amalie Fuglbjerg Bjerre, Valeria Esteban Caballos Diaz Partnership network: Nordics & Africa It was key to the success of the event to start building a strong partnership network. As such, countless hours went into searching, shortlisting, delegating, contacting and establishing over 10 different partnerships with African and Nordic actors in public and private spheres. Since our partner groups were so varied, the glueing point for us was their degree of involvement and goals concerning the circular economy, as well as considering what role could they play in our network. Network effects are a highly effective means to create new relationships; as such we saw this as an opportunity to not only grow the volunteer’s network but DANSIC’s legacy as well. Webinar series on Circular Economy The crews of volunteers initially wanted to design a series of workshops and webinars, a combined offer for potential participants in the competition as well as a broader audience where all that would be needed for participation was a spark of curiosity and a bit of time. However, as the event was being developed, a webinar educational series was considered to be the best option, since it targeted a broader audience. For the design of the webinars, we dissected aspects of the circular economy, emergent “hot topics” within circularity
from upstream innovation through to product design, circular business models as well as inspirational and case-based “circular stories” told by entrepreneurs. The composition of the speakers was therefore also diverse, ranging from Danish to African companies and/or representatives of organisations such as the African Circular Economy Network by Jocelyne Landry Tsonang - one of two speakers on the Circular Business Models episode. In total, during May we hosted 6 webinars over 2 weeks, finalising the launching of the case on the 21st of May. Handbook The Competition Handbook was a gratifying experience, our collective effort could indeed be made tangible in this final product. The handbook was a special tool to create because it was a collaboration not only across DANSIC but also between DANSIC and the partners acquired for DANSIC21. The purpose of the handbook was to illustrate, summarise and communicate the process of DANSIC21 up until the very case competition: from presenting DANSIC the organisation, through to the introduction of our partners, their organisations and businesses, up until the case competition itself. Check our handbook here.
Webinar Series Greta Petra Haraszti FIRST WEBINAR: The Role of Circularity in Achieving a Net-Zero Economy Camilla Kampmann, Associate Partner for Sustainability Services at IBM Tina Karme, CEO and Co-founder of Sustory Outi Korpinen, Head of Sustainability at Adelante Americas The first part of the webinar was centred around a presentation and discussion by Camilla Kampmann, who shed light on the role of circularity in mitigating climate risks. Later, Tina Karme and Outi Korpinen joined for a panel discussion about new ways of moving the circularity agenda forward. SECOND WEBINAR: Upstream Innovation: Designing Solutions for a Circular Economy Annette Lendal, project MacArthur Foundation
For our second webinar, we were joined by Annette Lendal, a previous member of DANSIC and current project manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, who talked about „Upstream Innovation” and how it can accelerate the adoption of circular solutions. Upstream innovation targets the value creation process and aims at preventing and designing out waste from the very beginning of the product’s life. THIRD WEBINAR: Waste as a Resource: Stories from the business world Joanna Bingham, CEO at Footprints Africa Deborah Nartey, Research Analyst at Footprints Africa During our 3rd webinar, representatives of Footprints Africa shared their insightful business stories from their work done in Africa and talked about ways they are using waste as a resource. Additionally, they discussed the three key implications of using waste as a resource.
designer at Circular Design Nairobi Lili Dreyer, Founder at WAIR Emma Hjortdal, Co-founder and designer at WAIR This webinar introduced the notions of Circular Design and the journey of one of our wonderful partners, WAIR. The speakers explored different ways of designing for the circular economy and possible strategies that can be employed. Moreover, the WAIR team took us through their own circular innovation story and the journey of textile upcycling - from idea to reality. FIFTH WEBINAR: Circular Innovation: Stories Kiera Crowe Pettersson, Co-founder at Big Circle Studios Matthew Edwards, Co-founder at Big Circle Studios Maciej Krol, CEO and Founder of Kombuccino The fifth DANSIC webinar explored business stories that are tapping into circular innovation. We began with Maciej Król, who shared stories of his experience with implementing a circular business model at Kombuccino. Afterwards, Big Circle Studios walked us through their journey and told stories of circularity across the African continent, by first reflecting on how indigenous knowledge can provide us with invaluable insights. SIXTH WEBINAR: Strategies for Circular Business Models Markus Hatting, Co-founder and Researcher at Tekstilrevolutionen Jocelyne Landry Tsonang, Executive Team Member at Africa Circular Economy Network (ACEN)
FOURTH WEBINAR: Circular Design Innovation
In our final webinar, Jocelyne Landry Tsonang told us about her role within ACEN and how they are working towards achieving a Circular Economical Africa. Later on, Markus Hatting gave us an indepth insight into the challenges of going circular from the business perspective and explained a few concrete strategies on how to achieve a circular business model.
Zablon Wekesa, regional coordinator for the African Circular Economy Network (ACEN) and
Look at our webinar series here.
The Ambitious.Africa project is an initiative that aspires to be the bridge between the Nordics and Africa - to connect, inspire, and empower young people, to help them make a change through working together. It initiates and supports youth-led grassroots projects with a great social impact - by adapting the core strengths of the Nordics, the platform aims to spread to all 54 African countries to build a community of young changemakers. Ambitious.Africa supports high-quality education, facilitates sustainable development of entrepreneurship, and increases global wellbeing and happiness.
Sustory is a not-for-profit NGO who empowers different actors to make the transition to a sustainable world. Originated in Finland, they work as businesses advisors and implementation partners where they help to explore, learn, and discover the best practises, tools, and models to completely understand the required transition and adaptation. They offer support to develop implementable realistic plans and to guide the implementation process. Their expertise is formed through collaboration with a broad variety of researchers in combination with their own studies.
IBM is a multinational technology company that produces and sells computer hardware, middleware and software, and provides hosting and consulting services in a range of areas. They have been a key player in the transition to a circular economy. For more than 30 years, the company has operated an IT equipment recovery unit that processes nearly 30,000 devices each week. More than 99% of the end-of-life IT equipment and product waste returned to IBM is reused or recycled. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s mission is to accelerate the transition to a circular economy. The Foundation works across five areas to bring positive economic change on a global level. Engaging with decision-makers from government, business and academia, the Foundation aims to inspire and transmit circular economy thinking. They do this through insights & analysis, learning activities, and collaborative business opportunities. Footprints Africa is piloting a new approach to advance the inclusive development of African economies, in particular looking at the role of the private sector in the environment and community. Starting with 2 sectors in Ghana, Catering and Industrial Waste Management, they are championing business as a force for good and trialling new business models that exemplify this. Simultaneously they are exploring how to drive that positive change at a sector level, based on principles of Circular Economy. WAIR is waste-free fashion. WAIR contributes to the circular fashion industry by utilizing textile waste to create sustainable, modern and unique
sneakers for the conscious consumer. They don’t see used textiles as waste but as a valuable material that they can use to make awesome and sustainable footwear. Big Circle is a social enterprise - one part research lab, one part design studio - co-founded by Kiera and Matthew. The project is firmly rooted in the practices of circular economies and circular design. Holding firm to progressive theories of social and environmental justice, Big Circle proposes calls to action by developing products, reports, and models that speak to sustainable futures for people and the planet. Kombuccino focuses on using coffee grounds to make a tasty, healthy and sustainable nonalcoholic fermented beverage. Their mission is to empower people with knowledge and tools to make and choose fermented products more often. Tekstilrevolutionen is a textile think-tank that works towards creating a positive footprint in the textile industry for the world and those who live on it. To solve the textile industry’s major problems, they need database solutions and independent knowledge from external partners that are working on promoting a circular transition. The Africa Circular Economy Network (ACEN) initiative works towards building a restorative African economy that generates well-being and prosperity. They do this through new forms of economic production and consumption that maintain and regenerate environmental resources.
Competition’s Jury TINA KARME - CEO and Co-Founder at Sustory, Tina’s focus is on the growing demand for sustainable solutions and reporting related to the impact of climate change, the SDGs, and other transformation enablers. Currently, she is the Co-founder and CEO of Sustory (sustory.fi) while expanding her expertise with MSc studies at the UN.
ZABLON WEKESA - Regional organiser at the African Circular Economy Network and designer at Circular Design Nairobi, Zablon has a background in industrial and product design. His strength lies in his broad knowledge of the circular economy, his never-ending perseverance and his enthusiasm which is contagious.
CAMILLA KAMPMANN - Associate Partner in Sustainability Services at IBM, Camilla has over 25 years of experience in the IT industry, but for the past 7 years, she has focused on sustainable business models. Currently, she is building IBM’s Nordic Sustainability Services and in her previous position as Global Vice President of Oracle, she has introduced a circular business model for customers’ obsolete hardware. ANDERS QUITZAU - Innovation Executive & Sustainability Champion at IBM Anders is a research and innovation executive at IBM and is an advocate and ambassador for IBMs research, innovation capabilities and emerging technologies. He speaks about IBM innovation and sustainability at universities and is a keynote speaker at conferences.
ALICE ABAGRE - Corp Programme Manager at Footprints Africa, Alice is keen to support entrepreneurs to make an impact in their field by leveraging the right networks and opportunities for business growth. At Footprints, she provides leadership in the implementation of the B Corp Programme.
APOORVA ARYA - Founder at Circular Innovation Lab, Apoorva is on a mission to foster circular innovation through her work on Circular Innovation Lab. Moreover, she is an Ellen MacArthur Foundation coordinator for India and has a background in Economics and an MSc. in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the University of Copenhagen.
RIKE NEUHOFF - PhD fellow in the Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology at Aalborg University. Her research explores how participatory design approaches can be combined with futuring approaches to support a democratic transition towards Circular Cities. THOR RIGTRUP LARSEN - Programme Manager of the MSc Tech Ent at DTU Entrepreneurship, Thor helped 150+ organisations to develop their products, services, community, culture or business models. Experienced designer and facilitator of hundreds of workshops and events, Thor has also written and produced multiple publications, tools and board games on innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainability which are read and played worldwide.
Competition’s Mentors ANNETTE LENDAL - Circular Economy expert at Ellen MacArthur Foundation and freelance Consultant. Annette is a Project Manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as well as a facilitator of expert input, strategy advice and a host of workshops, presentations & talks on; Circular economy business models, Packaging strategy and Upstream Innovation. She has a background in political science and is a DANSIC Alumni.
ARPIT BHUTANI - COO at Circular Innovation Lab Arpit with a background in Law & Economics. He is also the co-founder and COO at Circular Innovation Lab and was also India’s Coordinator for the United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards as well as a researcher for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
OUTI KORPINEN - As the Head of Sustainability at Adelate Americas, Outi has experience from working with business, government and society, and she can therefore adopt all these various perspectives
ANGELINA NGUNJE - Founder and CEO at Unicorn Valley Technologies, Angelina is a Graphic and Instructional Designer with experience in sustainability platforms and e-learn ecosystems related to developing and increasing awareness of sustainable development concepts.
THERESIA BILOLA - With a PhD in Higher education Management, Policy and Strategic planning, Theresia is an educator and researcher on sustainability and circular economy, working to create awareness on climate change and how to support behavioural change that adapts to and limits climate change at the policy level.
KIERA CROWE PETTERSSON - Co-Founder at Big Circle Studios, Kiera is a certified Ellen MacArthur Foundation Pioneer Programme. She has conducted extensive research and leads Big Circle which uses tenets from doughnut economies, urbanism, radical indigenism, and circular design to prototype speculative research for people and the planet. They aim to use their data and insights to develop products, models, and reports on the future of inclusive sustainability.
To all our partners, thanks again for the support. Congratulations to Team PODASH and its winners of our Circular Challenge James Ayim Damptey, Princess Sherifatu Ibrahim and Eugene Elikem Agbo.
SIDE Magazine - 1st ISSUE -
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a magazine made by
the Danish Social Innovation Club
1st issue of The Social Innovation iDEa Magazine. A publication made by DANSIC - Danish Social Innovation Club
Published on Jul 8, 2021
1st issue of The Social Innovation iDEa Magazine. A publication made by DANSIC - Danish Social Innovation Club