The SEMPRE Kick-off Conference on 29 September 2016 in Berlin, Germany was a great success.
We would like to thank all participants and particularly the speakers and panelists for their contributions.
- Prof. Dr. Volker Brinkmann, Kiel University of Applied Sciences - "Innovative Social Economy - A constructive dialogue between social services and civil society"
- Jens Kurnol, German Federal Office for Building (BBSR) - "Social Innovation - A European Territorial Perspective"
- An introduction to Mutcho, a project following an empowerment approach and offering youth and culture activities for newly arrived young people in Norrbotten, Sweden (presented in Workshop on strengths and weaknesses of organisational forms)
In times of demographic change and limited public finances it becomes increasingly difficult for the public sector to maintain a reliable social service infrastructure in rural areas. Outward migration of young and well-qualified people further aggravates this challenge, and vulnerable groups at the risk of poverty and exclusion - such as older people, migrants, people with disabilities, families and single parents - are in danger of being left behind. It is therefore time to rethink the role of public and private social service providers. The project “SEMPRE – Social Empowerment in Rural Areas” explores end-user involvement in service development as one possible path for securing social welfare in rural areas of the Baltic Sea Region.