"ChangeMakers'ON" - the place where innovative ideas will be born

By Vytautė Merkytė

Was there a moment in your life you wanted to change people’s lives for good but had no idea how to do it? February 24-26th is the time when you can learn all about it! European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative studies Institute is hosting an international “Useful Usability Disposability“(UUD) project’s conference, which will be held during the “ChangeMakers’ON” event on developing social innovations.

Even though February in Lithuania is cold, if you are into social innovations there is no way you can miss out on “ChangeMakers’ON” held in Kaunas. During the three days conference stakeholders and community leaders, professionals and those from Baltic and Nordic countries will work on social innovation ideas and will be introduced to new tools. Using these tools, participants will learn how to use Erasmus+ programs to bring those ideas to life. The organizers hope that the participants will develop at least three ideas that could use the funds of Erasmus + program and implement a change in our society.

On the first day, the participants will be introduced to good practice and what is going on in social innovation market, and the tools to make their ideas reality. During the other two days, the participants with the help of mentors will work on developing them. The mentors include Director of European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative studies Institute and founder and CEO of Entrepreneurial travel VOYAGE Challenge Simona Šimulytė, Entrepreneurial travel VOYAGE Challenge captain and mentor Saulius Šukaitis, Managing Partner at “bnt attorneys-at-law” (Lithuania) Frank Heeman, Justinas Katkus CEO and Co-Founder of “Blue Ocean Robotics” in Lithuania and also a robotics pioneer in Lithuania, Harvard graduate  Justinas Jarusevičius and Povilas Riauba who started his own business at the age of 11 and at the age of 14 he provided his services to the UK market (he’s now 19 years old). The list of mentors is growing every day.

The conference has already attracted a lot of attention higher education institutions that believe in the value of social innovations. Kaunas university of Technology (KTU) is the social partner of “ChangeMakers’ON”. They will include “ChangeMakers’ON“ event in their formal teaching program and will encourage their scientists to join “ChangeMakers’ON” goal to create social innovations.

European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative studies Institute hopes that “ChangeMakers’ON” event will become an annual event in Lithuania. To achieve this, the “ChangeMakers’ON” has invited Transparency International to invoke the participants’ selection criteria and their ideas evaluation.

The event has attracted international support as well. “ChangeMakers’ON” international partner “Bridge for Billions” in 2013 at Carnegie Mellon University. The platform provides mentorship and tools for bringing ideas to life from anywhere around the world. They are ready to share their knowledge and techniques with the participants of “ChangeMakers‘ON“:

“ChangeMakers’ON” also has governmental support. All of the “ChangeMakers’On” partners recognize that social innovation theme is very relevant and it is important to talk about it.

“Social innovations are important to the state because they meet the needs of certain groups or social needs.

In Lithuania, I think, social innovations are only in the stage of the very beginning. We only have hints of social innovations. Perhaps some of them will develop into real social innovations, will create social value, and generate money.” – said doc. dr. Liutauras Labanauskas of Kazimieras Simonavičius university.

With partners, European Social Entrepreneurship and Social Innovations Institute guarantees that the ideas developed during the “ChangeMakers‘ON“ will have the means to become a reality and improve our lives, even if only a little.

You can register for the event here.

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