Here you will find information on past forums as well as media-related information such as media releases, logos, visuals, and various materials for print.
The SSEF has already been held three times. Find below information about the program, speakers and partners as well as recordings of the last editions.
On May 25, 2023, the social economy gathered once again at the #SSEF - this year at the Progr in Bern.
The diversity of participants reflected the breadth of the social economy and its diverse stakeholders. Thematically, the forum could be divided into four focal points: Education, Communication, Funding and Policy. For this purpose, panels, input sessions and two workshops were held.
SSEF23 | Panel: Young Professionals in the Social Economy
The next generation of social entrepreneurs
Impact and meaningfulness of work has become more important for young professionals. What about this next generation of social entrepreneurs? How can they be promoted and what do they need? How do we inspire more prospective professionals for social entrepreneurship and how do we reach them? One promising option is through educational opportunities. There are already some initiatives in Switzerland and interest is growing. Nevertheless, there is still much potential for development and further opportunities to anchor SocEnt in the educational landscape.
- Emilie Romon Carnegie, Country Director Ashoka
- Frederike Asael, Managing Partner & Co-Founder Impact Hub Bern
- Johanna Aebi, Deputy CEO YES
- Thomas Bratschi, Head of the Center for Environmental Systems and Lecturer ZHAW
Moderation: Nicola Blum, Lecturer on Social Innovation and Circular Economy BFH Bern
SSEF23 | Input: Steward Ownership: The Ownership Structure for a Sustainable Economy
Steward ownership – never heard of it? This Input Talk with Lukas Hotz of Purpose Switzerland explains the principles and potential of the still little-known ownership structure. How it can be implemented in Switzerland and how it enables a responsible way of doing business is what you will learn in this program item.
Together with Daniel Freitag and his case MONoPOLE, legal corporate structures and their significance for entrepreneurs, employees and society will be discussed.
SSEF23 | Case: one11 and Innosuisse
Innosuisse is the Swiss Innovation Agency. By strengthening Swiss science- based innovation and entrepreneurship, Innosuisse contributes to the sustainable economic, social and ecological development on a national and global scale.
The Innosuisse Guide leads you in a few steps to the appropriate funding offer (www.innosuisse.guide).
one11 is a networking platform in favor of a participatory and self-determined society. They bring people of different ages together and network when it comes to affordable and attractive housing, flexible jobs and events.
SSEF23 | Panel: Impact and Communication
Social enterprises pursue a positive social, environmental or cultural impact through their activities. This purpose is also becoming increasingly important for companies from the profit-oriented economy, and a variety of transformation processes are ongoing.
Together with our exciting guests, we want to shed light on the following questions from different perspectives:
How can impact / purpose be plausibly communicated?
Is Focus on Impact only a fair-weather programme or will it remain even if revenues decline?
Is there still a CSR department in the company?
How close is the impact focus to the core business? Where is it on the organization chart?
- Vanessa Rueber, Community, Marketing & Impact Manager, Patagonia
- Rico Travella, Member of the Executive Board, Alternative Bank Switzerland
- Hanna Olzon Åkerström, Founder, Co-CEO & Creative Director, Soeder AG
- Nicholas Hänny, CEO NIKIN
Moderation: Susanne Sugimoto, Editorial Director, The Philanthropist
SSEF23 | Input: Buy Social: Impact-oriented Procurement
Buy Social means: procuring goods from impact driven companies. Thus, the procurement has a positive impact. SENS organized first events where social enterprises presented themselves to corporates and published the first social enterprises business directory. The international label for verified social enterprises and a European action on the topic will give this topic an additional push.
Learn more: https://buysocial.ch/
SSEF23 | Input: About Wemakeit and how the platform was adopted by the community
Céline Fallet explains how Wemakeit AG was fully taken over by the community and the team as owners last year. Thus, the project financing platform is not only for the crowd, but also lives it and is today owned by 5,300 shareholders.
The shares were sold in such a way that no individual interests determine the direction of the platform. Céline tells us exactly how this was done, what the advantages and disadvantages are, and finally answers your questions about it.
SSEF23 | Input: A Look Across Borders – Financing Social Innovation in Germany
Rafael Heim from SEND takes us with his input to the EU and shows which solutions for the financing of social entrepreneurs are developed in the big neighbors.
SSEF23 | Input: How does a funding by the Innovation Fund Association work?
The Innovation Fund Association supports initiatives, companies and projects in the start-up or early stages. It provides equity in the form of investments or grants loans. Thus, projects, institutions and businesses with exemplary character are supported, which have little money but viable structures and a convincing concept.
Roland Baumgartner shares a concrete example of how the support / promotion of the Innovation Fund works.
SSEF23 | Panel: Financing Social Entrepreneurship
The financing of social enterprises is associated with major challenges, as there are few specific financing models or funders in Switzerland. Social entrepreneurs pursue a positive social impact as the purpose of their activity and see financial profit as a means to an end. This is why they often fall through between the usually sharply separated funding pots of classic investors and foundations. In addition, social enterprises use a variety of legal forms – sometimes hybrid forms and combinations – which can make fundraising even more difficult.
One had hoped for venture capital from the financial world (venture philanthropy). But the experience has been disappointing. Why does the financial world show little willingness to take risks in the area of social enterprises? What do donors need from social entrepreneurs that they would use their capital?
How can a stronger cooperation of different actors within the financing ecosystem succeed, for example a consortium financing in which investors and non-profit foundations participate? What is needed?
- Christoph Inauen, Co-Founder, Choba Choba
- Justine Portenier, Managing Director, Social Fabric
- Stefan Schöbi, CEO StiftungSchweiz
- Brigitte Gisler, Member of the Executive Board, Freie Gemeinschaftsbank
Moderation: Robert Schmuki, Co-Founder Con-Sense / Lecturer Philanthropy
SSEF23 | Input: More entrepreneurial collaboration for the benefit of society – a cooperative effort
“Making business an important lever for social change, while respecting people and the biosphere”, this is the mission to which APRÈS has been committed for almost 20 years in Western Switzerland.
Based on this history and experience, we are working in collaboration with national actors such as SENS to develop a political advocacy based on the practices, expertise and demands of our members, and to disseminate it to politicians and economic circles at the federal level.
On the agenda: “one planet” neighbourhoods, digital commons, subscription to local goods and services, and more.
Come and discover our work, findings, and achievements of the last years!
Sponsors & Partners
Gegenwart und Zukunft der Social Economy, Finanzierung von Social Businesses, Social Gastronomy, digitale & monetäre Commons, Purpose Ventures und Soziale Innovation: Das Swiss Social Economy Forum 2022 trat zum zweiten Mal und erneut reichhaltig an aktuellsten Themen auf.
Dieses Mal in hybrider Ausführung, on-und offline, trafen sich Akteur:innen der Social Economy und Interessierte im Kraftwerk in Zürich.
SSEF22 | Panel: Social Innovation
We can solve social problems not only with technical innovations but also with social innovations. Examples of social innovations include new forms of participation, communication and cooperation in areas such as energy, resource efficiency, agriculture or mobility. How do we promote social innovation in Switzerland? What is the relation between technical and social innovation? How do we use social innovations for sustainable business models?
- Annalise Eggimann, Director of Innosuisse
- Patrick Honauer, Social Entrepreneur / Lecturer
- Stefan Schöbi, Head Migros Pioneer Fund
- Prof. Dr. Ingrid Kissling-Näf, Head of Department. Economy BFH / Co-President SIBA
Moderation: Moritz Meyer, Communication Lead One Planet Lab & Impact Hub Zurich
SSEF22 | Panel: Cooperatives in the 21st century
In Switzerland, cooperatives have a tradition as part of the social economy. How can we ensure that the cooperative spirit is passed on to the next generation? What role do cooperatives play in the future corporate world in Switzerland?
- Anja Niedworok, Researcher ETH Zurich
- Lars Kläger, CCO Mobility Genossenschaft
- Thomas Tribelhorn, CEO ADEV Energiegenossenschaft
- Regina Natsch, Vice President SENS
Moderation: Helen Issler, former deputy editor-in-chief SF DRS
SSEF22 | Panel: Present & Future of the Social Economy in Switzerland
What role does the social economy play in Switzerland? What are needs, interests, and barriers of social entrepreneurs? What do these mean for decision-makers in politics, administration and business?
- Rahel Pfister, Mananging Director of SENS
- Christophe Dunand, APRÈS-Geneve
- Lisa Mazzone, Council of States Geneva
- Natalie Laechelt, Policy Analyst OECD
Moderation: Paola Gallo, CEO Jobfactory
SSEF22 | Podium: Financing Social Business
How can social enterprises be better connected with funders & investors? What consulting services do social entrepreneurs need in terms of financing? What role do foundations, banks, the public sector and other players play today and in the future?
- David Brühlmeier, Project Manager Bold.Foundation
- Anja Koenig, DACH Manager European Venture Philanthropy Association
- Diana Schor-Hayoz, KMU-Financing Alternative Bank Schweiz
- Christoph Inauen, Co-Founder Choba Choba AG
Moderation: Nicola Forster, Präsident SGG
Sponsoren & Partner
Im Frühling 2021 wurde das Forum live aus der Halle 7 in Basel gestreamt. Hier wurde erstmals national Relevanz und Status Quo der Social Economy aufgezeigt, um schliesslich über Potenzial und Herausforderungen diskutieren zu können.
Dank digitaler Workshops und Sessions wurde ein interaktives Programm ermöglicht und praxisrelevante Themen angegangen. Mit Blick über die nationalen Grenzen hinweg, wurde zum Ende des Forums der Blick geöffnet und die Schweizer Social Economy in den Europäischen Kontext eingebettet.
SSEF21 | Opening
Opening of the Swiss Social Economy Forum 2021.
The SSEF creates a Switzerland-wide public stage for topics related to impact-oriented management for actors from practice, science, politics and civil society. The social economy and social entrepreneurs make an important contribution to prosperity in Switzerland. The #SSEF contributes to awareness of this sector and improves the framework for the social economy.
SSEF21 | Stories of success
- Barbara Buser, architect and partner Baubüro in situ
- Paola Gallo, CEO Jobfactory
- Ursina Hasler, Communication and Product Development reCIRCLE
Moderation: Lea Grüter
SSEF21 | Intro-Statements
What is the role of the social economy in economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic? What does innovation have to do with the social economy and social entrepreneurship? How can the transformative power of the social economy fully unfold? To what extent do social entrepreneurs have a transformative power for a sustainable and resilient economic system? Where do they see the social economy in ten years? What should policymakers and government agencies do to support the social economy? What is the contribution of science to the social economy? Wie transformieren wir die wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Systeme, wie wir sie bis heute kennen?
- Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights
- Luciana Vaccaro, Vice-President Innosuisse
- Erich Geisser, CEO Changemaker
- Suzanne Wisse-Huizkes, CEO Euclid Network
- Christoph Dunand, Co-Founder APRÈS-GE & Ashoka Senior Fellow
- Anna Athanasopoulou, Head of Unit – Proximity, Social Economy and Creative Industries, European Commission
- Marthe Nyssens, President EMES Research Network for Social Entreprise
- Nora Wilhelm, Co-Founder collaboratio helvetica
SSEF21 | Panel: Social Economy & Social Entrepreneurship in Switzerland
The social economy includes social entrepreneurs, cooperatives, non-profit associations, foundations, and other forms of business. What unites these organizations is a positive social impact as the purpose of their activity. The Social Economy contributes to solving current societal challenges and makes a strong and important contribution to the social and economic well-being of Switzerland. While there is a long-standing tradition of cooperative enterprises in Switzerland, the concept and understanding of social entrepreneurship from the English-speaking world has only arrived in this country in recent years. Awareness of this sector is still low in Switzerland. Time for a fundamental discussion: What role does the social economy play in Switzerland? What is the potential for growth? How does the social economy contribute to solving current societal challenges? What are the challenges for social entrepreneurs in Switzerland? How can these challenges be addressed and which actors are needed?
- Prof. Dr. Georg von Schnurbein, Professor of Foundation Management and Director of the Center for Philantropy Studies (CEPS)
- Anita Wymann, Chairman of the Board of Directors Alternative Bank Switzerland
- Jenny Schäpper-Uster, Co-Founder VillageOffice Cooperative
- Dr. Beni Rohrbach, Reserach and Development SENS
Moderation: Pia Tschannen, founder and collaborator fairness at work
SSEF21 | Panel: Framework conditions for the social economy
The social economy makes an important contribution to prosperity in Switzerland because it combines economic activity with a positive social impact, thus helping to solve current social challenges. While the topic has already made it onto the political agenda in Germany and the EU, for example, and better framework conditions are being created for the sector, awareness of the sector in Switzerland is still low. In a response to a postulate on the subject, the Federal Council writes that “the existing framework conditions for promoting social entrepreneurship in Switzerland are favorable.” However, a survey among social entrepreneurs shows: 60 % of the respondents describe the weak lobby in politics as the biggest and most important hurdle for social entrepreneurship. Together with representatives from politics and practice, we will discuss what framework conditions the social economy needs. How can the social economy develop better in Switzerland? How do we get more social startups established? And: which actors are in demand – governments, parliaments or authorities?
- Melanie Mettler, National Councillor GLP
- Adrian Wiedmer, Managing Director gebana AG
- Nik Gugger, National Councillor EVP
- Samuel Brülisauer, Research Analyst UNRISD
Moderation: Helen Issler, former deputy editor-in-chief DRS
SSEF21 | Panel: Cooperatives as part of the social economy
Cooperatives have a long tradition in Switzerland; alpine cooperatives were already formed in the Middle Ages. Today, more than 8,000 cooperative enterprises in a wide variety of sectors, such as agriculture, housing, banking, trade and insurance, continue the tradition of socially responsible business. Although the principle of cooperative management as the basis of cooperatives has existed for a long time, the idea has lost none of its relevance. On the contrary, with the demand for responsible and sustainable management, the cooperative has proven to be a very good legal form for this: Democratic values, issues around profit, ownership and participation are anchored in the DNA of this legal form. As a result, many new innovative cooperatives are emerging today in the fields of media, renewable energies, community living, gastronomy, mobility or data/IT. Time to bring this form of enterprise into the public spotlight: What role do cooperatives play for prosperity in Switzerland? What is the potential for growth? How can cooperatives contribute to solving current social challenges? What are the challenges for cooperative start-ups in Switzerland?
- Clara Vuillemin, Member of the Board of Directors Project R Genossenschaft
- Andreas Appenzeller, Special Projects ADEV Energy Cooperative
- Max Ruhri, Member of the Executive Board Freie Gemeinschaftsbank Genossenschaft
- Dominik Waser, Founder of rampe21 food cooperative
Regina Natsch Lawyer & Expert for Cooperative Law