I was very lucky, when I had opportunity to participated on two great events related to Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneur, i.e.: Training of Trainer (ToT) on Social Innovation (November 7th-9th) and International Conference on Social Entrepreneurship with the topic : “Fostering and Scaling Social Innovation in Asia” (November 10th-11th). In series with International Conference event, on 11th November we visited 2 companies (Hanoi Creative Hubs and Dao’s Care) and ended with city walking tour guided by Hanoi Kids. These events were held by collaboration between British Council, National Economics University (Hanoi – Vietnam) and University of Northampton (Northampton – UK).
On day 1, the TOT event located in the modern building of National Economics University and it was opened by university officials with varied participants from practitioners and academics related to social innovation and social entrepreneur from several Cities in Vietnam. From Indonesia, the participants are represented by Ati Cahayani (Atmajaya Catholic University), Rora Puspita Sari and myself (Padjadjaran University). Trainer of this training is Prof. Richard Hazenberg, where he is an expert and activist in the field of social innovation from the University of Northampton, UK. On this section, he explained about (1) Social and creative entrepreneurial skills, (2) Introduction of social innovation, (3) Models of social innovation, (4) Pedagogy of social innovation. From his explanation, I got a complete understanding of social innovation and I just found that the social entrepreneur is a part of social innovation. Apart from the academic side, this section also presents speakers from practitioners namely Ms. Pahm Kieu Oanh, the CEO / founder of the Center for Social Initiative Promotion. Since most of participants were Vietnamese, then she decided to spoke with Vietnamese language. Lucky for me, that the commitee have prepared headset tools of English translation which very helpfull for me to enjoy the session. From her, I learned that to be successful, we sometimes need to sacrifice and give all our hearts and attention to our program. Ms. Pahm Kieu Oanh previously worked as a researcher in some agencies, but because she wanted to provide more impact to the community, she resigned and start a consultant in the field of social entreprise. Recently, her consultant has successfully undergone various social programs of entrepreneur, especially poverty alleviation with the development of small and micro business.
Day 2, the event was continued by Prof. Richard Hazenberg which explained: (1) Leading on social innovation, (2) Partnership and collaboration in social innovation, (3) Policy & impact of social innovation, where he showed how to lead, manage, and measure the successful impact of our social innovation activities. Afterwards, the event was colored by a practitioner’s side : a manager of a Coca-Cola company, who explained their company’s Corporate Social Responsibilty (CSR) program in Vietnam, where some of its programs are water supply and facilitate small and micro enterprise learning centers for the community. Interesting discussions with friend when knowing the different forms of CSR Coca Cola are applied in Indonesia which is more in the form of natural disaster donations, or children’s soccer schools. At the end of the session, Prof. Richard Hazenberg accompanies us for group work to design and present how to develop social innovation that fits our respective roles.
Day 3, The event started with the presentation by Prof. Richard Hazenberg on: (1) Finance and accounting for social innovation and (2) Social and creative skills on social innovation. Here he explained the financing models of the program as well as the role of social and creative competence in social innovation. After that, the event was guided by Mr. Brian Spence, an offshore investment broker, where he explained the increasing trend of financial investors in the field of social issues. At the end of the session Prof. Richard Hazenberg divides the class into three major groups: an academician from Indonesia, an academician from Vietnam, and a practitioner from Vietnam. During the session we designed a social Innovation program that will be applied to each of our field. We from the field of Indonesian Academician, plan to include social innovation in our curriculum, also involves all satkeholder in doing it, whether inside or outside the curriculum. The event then ended with conclusion, a synergy plan with various stakeholders and preparation of events for international conference tomorrow.
Day 4, International Conference on Social Entrepreneur with the topic on “Fostering and Scaling Social Innovation in Asia”. The event was started with the exposure of the material by the keynote speaker on “the policy forum: social innovation – an asian view point”. The speakers are from Vietnam, Singapore, British Council – Hongkong, and Korea. Here we described the various forms of policy and its implementation on several countries in Asia. Then the event continued with a panel discussion with the topic: “Social Innovation and Higher Education”, where speakers are university representatives from Indonesia, Canada, UK, Hongkong, and Vietnam. This discussion is about how the academic role in developing social Innovation. After that it was continued with an academic conference event, where the event was divided into 3 classes with 3 different subject topics, and I chose to be participated in the discussion class of: “Fostering the Ecosystem for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. This Conference event was then concluded and closed. In the evening, the event was followed by a networking dinner event, where at the event the conference participants were amazed by Vietnamese drama-dance and musical entertainment, as well as networking session that was guided by cool facilitator.
Day 5, the events was join visit to two companies engaged on social innovation and entrepreneur in Hanoi. The first visit was to Hanoi Creative City. This is a government building that is rented by private parties, in which it focuses on business/startup facilitation in the field of creativity, such as a place for shops, co-working space, creative workshop, etc. On this occasion we had a discussion with one of the owners, and what I remembered most is when I asked him about how they government support to this social innovation effort? and the owner replied firmly: “here the government is not support us, but we are support the government”. 🙂 Second visit was to Dao’s Care Social Enterprise, which is a massage and spa business with specialized raw materials and techniques processed by local people, and most of the therapists are blind. The co-owners explained how hard the challenge of training blind therapists, because it must maintain a balance between empathy with the demands of professional work. After that the event continued with walking city tour guided by Hanoi Kids. This is a association of Hanoi student volunteers who guide the tourists, where their goal is fluent their English and introduce the city and culture of Vietnam to the foreigner. What was interesting about the Hanoi Kids is that these students are so expert on the material of Hanoi city story and its culture, very passionate with their job, and their English were even better than me 🙂 This was what made me enjoy the event and forget all my tired by walking around the city of Hanoi. Curious about the Hanoi Kids, though they are student volunteers, but there is still a serious selection and participants are equipped with professional training for 2 months. No wonder.
That was my activity report during the ToT and International Conference on Social Innovation in Hanoi – Vietnam, 7 – 11 November 2017. What a Great Event, Inspirational People, and Wonderful Place !
Finally, I can conclude that social innovation is a crucial form of competence in the 2020s, therefore it needed to takes effort to socialize, learn and develop the social innovation to the wider community. Since I am from the academics, certainly have the opportunity to put the course of social innovation on our curriculum. In addition, apart from the curriculum, I also have the opportunity to be an initiator of collaborative activities between internal universities as well as external universities (private, community and government) where the form of the program may vary, such as: training, mentoring, seminars, workshops, etc. Cảm ơn bạn ! 🙂
Report by Rivani