RaiSE interregional meeting in Budapest: first hand experiences

Blai Collado, Catalan stakeholder from Tandem Social and SBC Barcelona, shares his experience in Budapest. 

As part of Tandem Social (www.tandemsocial.com/en) and Social Business City Barcelona (http://www.sbcbarcelona.org/?lang=en) team, our everyday life involves working side by side with social entrepreneurs that identify social needs and develop business models in order to generate a positive impact that contributes to solve this needs and transform societies. However, we are aware that sometimes we need to have a stopover, raise our sights and reflect on the wood that lies beyond the trees. 

This is why we were so thrilled to be invited as a stakeholder in RaiSE interregional meeting in Budapest by our partner ACCIÓ (www.catalonia.com/en) and even more when we knew that we would also share our experiences with the Bureau of the Third Sector organizations in Catalonia (www.tercersector.cat), a benchmark entity in Catalonia's social sector. The program for the next days was engaging and our luggage was full to bursting with willingness to discover Budapest's ecosystem of social businesses. 

After an initial contact in the afternoon, we finished the first day surprised by a vast and wonderful city. The next two days - where we took part in the Steering Committee Meeting, the Interregional Thematic Workshop and the Study Visits - proved to be a successful way to discover very interesting people, organisations and experiences from all around Europe. The different backgrounds, theories and ideas about social businesses were a priceless source of knowledge that led us to three major findings:

  • (1) intercooperation between public, private and civil society actors is essential to boost social businesses from a public policy perspective;
  • (2) sharing experiences, mistakes and good practices is one of the most effective learning methods in trial and error contexts; and
  • (3) we will need more than an afternoon to descent to the bowels of the history and culture of Budapest (but that would be another kettle of fish). 

Back home, we cannot do other than thank our Catalan partners for this opportunity and wait for the next chance to participate in the project and catch up with the rest of the participants. Until that time, we keep working towards social transformation in the best way we can. 

Blai Collado