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Simultaneous interpretation requested from Spanish, English, French and Italian into English and French


Monday 12 September

01.15 - 02.00 p.m. (Lobby) | Registration & Market place

Participants are invited to bring material about their organisation/initiative to share and discuss with the other participants. Tables will be set up in the foyer for this purpose.

02.00 - 02.15 p.m. (Room 62) | Welcome addresses

  • Adam Shub, Chargé d’Affaires, United States Mission to the European Union
  • Catherine Woollard, Secretary General, ECRE
  • Irena Guidikova, Head of Division and Intercultural Cities Programme Manager, Council of Europe
  • Cristian Pîrvulescu, President of the Permanent Study Group on Immigration and Integration, European Economic and Social Committee

02.15 - 02.45 p.m. (Room 62) | Boldness vs. stuckness

Can we forge an innovation culture, commitment and capacity that can rise to the 21st Century transformational challenge of refugee inclusion in Europe?

  • Eric Young, The Social Projects Studio / Distinguished Visiting Professor of Social Innovation, Ryerson University

02.45 - 03.00 p.m. (Room 62) | Fighting fear with comedy

  • Firas Alshater, Syrian actor and web video producer, Germany

03:00 - 04.30 p.m. (Room 62) | Innovation for a welcoming culture - plenary session

A welcoming environment is the prerequisite for any successful social inclusion. What are in practice the strategies and tools existing or to be developed in order to prepare communities and cities for more inclusiveness?

Moderator: Lynda Ford, Director, ¡Gen Foundation / Australia TechFugees

  • Marta Siciarek, Director of Immigrants Support Center and Coordinator of policy on Immigrants Integration Model, city of Gdansk
  • Yonous Muhammadi, Director, Greek Forum of Refugees
  • Damien Carême, Mayor of Grande-Synthe
  • Dr Alison Strang, Chair, New Scots Strategy Core Group / Senior Research Fellow, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh

04.30 - 04.45 p.m. (Foyer) | Coffee break

04.45 - 05.00 p.m. (Room 62) | Refugee? I hate that word

  • Dawit Friew, Ethiopian, former journalist, refugee in Norway, student in social education and child welfare work at the Norwegian university of science and technology

05:00 - 06.30 p.m. (Room 62) | Pitch presentations

Organisations from around the globe will 'pitch' their inspiring tool, method or policy that has proven to be successful for social integration of refugees.

Moderator: Irini Pari, Member of the Permanent Study Group on Immigration and Integration, European Economic and Social Committee

06:30 - 07.30 p.m. (Atrium, 6th floor) | Networking cocktail and Matchmaking session

During the matchmaking, participants will have the opportunity to express their interests and needs as well as present their skills. The information will be used during the second matchmaking session.

Drinks and snacks will be provided.

Tuesday 13 September

08.15 - 09.00 a.m. (Lobby) | Registration

09.00 - 10.30 a.m. (Room 62) | The added value of technology for refugee inclusion - plenary session

From hackathons to partnerships: A reboot of the tech approach to refugee integration: putting solutions in the hands of refugees & practitioners.

Moderator: Giuseppe luliano, member of Permanent study group on Immigration and Integration, European Economic and Social Commitee

  • Josephine Goube, Global Chief Operating Officer, Techfugees
  • Kilian Kleinschmidt, Global Networker and Humanitarian Expert, Founder of the Innovation and Planning Agency
  • Ahmad Al-Rashid, Syrian activist
  • Ben Mason, Captain of International Projects, Betterplace lab

10.30 - 11.00 a.m. (Foyer) | Coffee break

11.00 a.m. - 01.00 p.m. | Workshops

A more detailed description of the workshops is available below.

  • A - With Us, Not About Us - Making Refugee Participation Real (with interpretation EN/FR/ES/IT) - Room 62
  • B - From Solidarity To Political Change - Room 63
  • C - Housing Crisis Vs. "Refugee Crisis" - Room 3210, 3rd floor
  • D - Boldness Project - Room 3252, 3rd floor
  • E - From Needs To Skills - The Road To Higher Education - Room 2252, 2nd floor

01.00 - 02.00 p.m. (Atrium, 6th floor) | Lunch

02.00 - 04.00 p.m. (Room 62) | Roundtable with private sector - plenary session

When the interests of the private sector meet the needs of refugee inclusion: developing new partnerships and strategies for refugee inclusion into the labour market.

Moderator: Corinne Prince St-Amand, Director General for Integration and Foreign Credential Referral Office, Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

  • Nynke Jansen, Board Member, Refugee Talent Hub, Arcadis
  • Trine Lundgaard Hoffmann, Chief Consultant for career mentoring and internship team, Foreningen Nydansker (Association New Dane)
  • Ove Munch Ovesen, Senior Advisor, Novo Nordisk
  • Marco Cilento, Advisor, European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
  • Séverine Féraud, Deputy Head of European Office, Confederation of German Employers' Associations

04.00 - 04.30 p.m. (Foyer) | Coffee break

04.30 - 05.30 p.m. (Room 62) | Wrap up - plenary session

05.30 - 06.30 p.m. (Atrium, 6th floor) | Matchmaking session 2

Drinks and snacks will be provided.


Each workshop will begin with a presentation of case studies, followed by a discussion amongst participants.

A - With us, not about us - Making refugee participation real (Room 62, with interpreting)

This workshop will look at methods to foster the participation of asylum seekers and refugees in societies from arrival to the granting of citizenship, with a special focus on participatory mechanisms, such as mediation and mentoring.

Moderator: Andras Kovats, Director, Menedek (HU)

Case studies:

  • Elodie Mignard, Scottish Refugee Council (UK)
  • Annasophia Heintze, Advisor to the Mayor in charge of refugee inclusion, City of Erlangen (DE)
  • Rita Finco, Researcher, Paris 13 and Milano Bicocca Unitversity (IT)
B - From solidarity to political change (Room 63)

Over the past year, many citizens have become service providers for front-line humanitarian emergencies but also integration needs. Some choose to join mainstream organisations as volunteers while others have developed their own initiatives. This creates opportunities (fast mobilisation, innovative and entrepreneurial strategies) for better inclusion of refugees within communities but it can also present challenges including to the work of professional organisations and the authorities. This workshop will discuss how traditional asylum/migration stakeholders can open up to citizens' initiatives in order to create structural solutions to attain refugee inclusion.

Moderator: Dani de Torres, Founder, Antirumours Global / Council of Europe expert

Case studies:

  • Thomas Huddleston, Policy Analyst, Migration Policy Group (BE)
  • Barbara Day, Domestic Resettlement Section Chief, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (USA)
  • Sophie Mirow, Project Manager, Refugees Welcome International (DE)
  • Denise Ranson, support to citizens’ initiatives, Ciré (BE)
C - Housing crisis vs. "Refugee crisis" (Room 3210)

The conditions in which people live determine to a great extent their health, well-being and ability to engage in gainful occupation, pursue self-improvement through education and recreation and, as a consequence, attain a decent standard of living. This workshop will analyse challenges and solutions for permanent and adequate housing for refugees in the EU.

Moderator: Huibert Haccoû, IFHP Council Member, International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP).

Case studies:

  • Grethe Gung, Project leader, Bergen's Housing for Refugees (NO)
  • Audrey Vassalli, Project Officer,  Forum Réfugiés cosi (FR)
  • Sorcha Edwards, Secretary General, Housing of Europe (BE)
  • Sam Healy, Refugee Coordinator, Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. U.S. Embassy Belgrade (SRB)
D - Boldness project

This workshop aims to bring together creative people who want to work on innovation on a larger scale to bring about transformative change in the way our communities welcome newcomers. How can we align the efforts of policymakers at all levels of government, tech entrepreneurs, NGOs, schools, health services, researchers, faith-based organisations, foundations, diaspora communities, politicians, and many others?

  • Eric Young, The Social Projects Studio / Distinguished Visiting Professor of Social Innovation, Ryerson University
E - From needs to skills; the road to higher education

Education plays a crucial role in encouraging integration. It allows newcomers to make connections and friendships to build self-esteem, master the language and to secure a better life. This workshop will focus on refugees access to higher education, and how innovative programs can overcome existing barriers.

Moderator: Najib Obaid Babakerkhail, Human Right Activist (FR)

Case studies:

  • Nora Hauptmann, Head of Public Affairs, Kiron Open Higher Education (DE)  
  • Michael Ogubai, Projectlead Corporate Partnerships, UAF- Foundation for Refugee Students (NL)
  • Jules Roussel, RESOME (FR)


2016-09-12 & 13_Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion_Draft agenda