New Economy & Social Innovation Forum

Workshop “Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation & Entrepreneurial Skills"


Malaga, Spain (19.-22. 04.2017): For four days in April the New Economy & Social Innovation Forum (NESI Forum), took place in Malaga, Spain. It was a gathering of sustainability representatives from all over the world to share and exchange knowledge, best-practice and skills. The Biodiversity Foundation of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment organized a training workshop for Spanish aspiring entrepreneurs, bringing in the expertise of successful green enterprises to share their knowledge. was a partner in this activity.


In cooperation with, the Biodiversity Foundation of the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and the Environment organized the workshop “Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation & Entrepreneurial Skills” for 30 selected participants. This activity is co-financed by the European Social Fund. The workshop was divided into three parts: presentation and knowledge sharing by successful green entrepreneurs, round tables in World Café format with different sustainability topics and wrap-up of learnings.



Sonia Castañeda, Director of the Biodiversity Foundation, opened the session introducing what the Foundation does to promote green jobs and green entrepreneurship in Spain, with the support of the European Social Fund.


Alyssa McDonald-Bärtl, founder of Blyss Chocolate GmbH and board member of, made an inspirational session by taking the audience on a journey to her families’ cacao plantations in Papua New Guinea. Luis Morales, also board member of the, outlined the implications, opportunities and chances of a Circular Economy, and on how to grow from a linear business to a circular one. Tessa Wernink, co-founder of Fairphone, made a wonderful presentation by telling the story of the “Fairphone”, the very first sustainable smart phone. The most important values of her company all along the value chain are transparency, creativity, collaboration, optimism and change. Co-founder of OUISHARE, Francesca Pick, taught the participants on “how to build a kick-ass team through servant leadership” and on how to achieve long-term goals by empowering collaboration tools within a business. Jay Tompt of the Totnes REconomy Project, which is about community-supported entrepreneurism, outlined the needed conditions for new economic actors, relationships and models to emerge and flourish. The final presentation was held by Karl Birkhölzer from the Technologie-Netzwerk Berlin. The network promotes research, development and educational projects all related to a social economy. After these inspiring and informative presentations, the workshop moved on to teaching sustainability knowledge needed to successfully found and operate a green business. The session was held in the so-called “World Café Format” encouraging the participants to share their opinions, experiences or ideas concerning specific issues. Each table was facilitated by one of the speakers, working for 15 minutes with each group. The individual topics were financing/funding, social enterprises, how to be a “localist”, new economic/circular business models, servant leadership & empowerment with collaboration tools. Wrapping up, the workshop results – ideas, knowledge, realizations of each table– were shared with the whole audience.

“It was a very inspiring and fruitful workshop, sharing our knowledge with the participants and equally learning from their experiences and hear their aspirations. We wish to thank the NESI organizers, the Biodiversity Foundation and most of all the Speakers for making this such a wonderful experience”, emphasised Juliane Reiber, Manging Director of



Some photos are from Tercera Jornada de #NESIForum

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