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Switchmed Connect 2016 -the annual ‪Mediterranean‬ ‪Green Economy‬ Forum- will take place in Barcelona on October 18-20, 2016. Leading green businesses and ecopreneurs, civil society organisations, policy makers, and financial institutions will gather together to build synergies, exchange knowledge, and scale up eco and social innovations across the Mediterranean region. “Ecopreneurs for the Climate”, we are organizing a workshop on “Sustainable business networks in the Euro-MED region: from best practices to international collaboration”, on October 20th (1:30-3:30 pm, Entrepreneurs Track 6), aiming to achieve 4 concrete goals:
  1. Demonstrate the impact sustainable business networks have on strengthening green economies, with success stories.
  2. Exchange best practices in creating, managing and growing networks of this nature.
  3. Guiding interested parties in the creation and development of new networks.
  4. Exploring opportunities for international cooperation among the networks, defining a common vision, and outlining a roadmap. “Ecopreneurs for the Climate 2016” (#ECO4CLIM16, October 24-30), one of the first concrete joint initiatives underway, will be presented.
An open conclusions report will be prepared and shared with all participants to keep the co-creation going. Continuation meetings to advance the common vision and move joint projects forward, will potentially be held at the COP22 (Nov. 7-18, Marrakesh, Morocco), and at SwitchMed Connect 2017.

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Relevance

Sustainable business networks, usually business associations or federations, constitute a remarkable agent within green economy ecosystems, capable of boosting eco-entrepreneurship, and scaling up the impact of their members by enlarging their social capital, promoting their businesses, stimulating innovation, and bringing their voice to decision makers. In this context, we want to organize a session for managers and members of networks of this kind across the Euro-MED region to exchange best practices and success stories, and look for opportunities of international collaboration. Also, organizations interested in setting up similar networks in their region, or rendering their “traditional” ones more sustainable, are welcome to join the conversation, and will be provided with guidance.


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Speakers

The following managers or members of sustainable business networks across the Euro-MEd region, many of them local partners of SwitchMed.eu, are invited to participate:
  • Juliane Reiber, Interim Director at Ecopreneur.eu -European Sustainable Business Federation-, and Cooperation Manager at UnternehmensGrün e.V., the German Federal Association of Green Business (Germany)
  • Frédéric Benhaim, President at Entreprendre Vert (France).
  • Douja Gharbi, Vice President at CONECT -Confederation of Tunisian Citizen Enterprises- (Tunisia).
  • Abdellah Souhir, President at REMESS -Moroccan Network of Social & Solidarity Economy- (Morocco).
  • Luis Morales and Jesus Iglesias, Directors of Institutional Relations and International Cooperation respectively at ECOVE -Spanish Green Business Association- (Spain).

  • Also, other SwitchMed local partners and representatives of the green economy ecosystems of MENA countries, will be welcome to join the conversarion as well.

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    Format

    Firstly, we will arrange the room in a big circle in the middle, and then chairs all around it. This setting will allow us to establish a peer-to-peer conversation where representatives (managers and members) of the different participating sustainable business networks will introduce themselves and talk about their purpose, work and perspectives for the future. After Q&As with the audience, a second round of interventions will deal with best practices and success stories. Then, we will split up into working groups around key topics concerning typical areas of work of such networks: political advocacy, promotion of members, eco-entrepreneurship, sustainable business innovation, and a special track on advice for setting up new networks or incorporating the sustainable approach into existing ones. Next, we will all gather together once again (circular setting), and a speaker from each group will present their findings and reply to any questions that may arise. Lastly, we will focus on converging, by defining a shared vision for our common Euro-MED region and the role we want to play in it, and outlining a roadmap to implement it, rooted on international collaboration. Conclusions will be harvested and then shared in an working report, in preparation for next meetings and steps: COP22, SwitchMed Connect 2017 …









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