17 May 2019
Press Release: Impact Hub Partners With Robert Bosch Stiftung to Launch BEYOND Divides’ Program

Impact Hubs in Bucharest, Istanbul, Madrid and Ruhr are spearheading a new regional convening program to enable changemakers across Europe to form a more unified, progressive, and collaborative future for all. And to make it happen, they are running the BEYOND Divides program, created and implemented by Impact Hub in partnership with Robert Bosch Stiftung.

The Program

Each local Impact Hub team are simultaneously using BEYOND Divides to set up local learning and action groups consisting of relevant organizations and driven citizens. By enabling local innovators to enhance inclusivity and diversity in their respective areas, each Impact Hub will plant the seeds of change in their own communities by co-learning, co-developing and co-testing solutions to local challenges.

BEYOND Divides is all about working together to develop communities that respect and value each other while creating solutions with, instead of for, those communities. The program empowers people to act for the common good to achieve greater hope and unity, with permanent dialogue and trust.

This will culminate in deep-seated, and long-lasting impact.  

The Process

Each of the 4 participating Impact Hub communities is convening different players in learning and action groups that meet regularly to go through three phases over the course of 1 year ending in March 2020:

  • Discovery

This initial stage of the program gives participants the time, space and connection to scope and analyze their communities’ most prevalent issues, and identify challenges to address for the duration of BEYOND Divides. The aim of these sessions is to spend time discovering the topic, building empathy and co-creating a common vision.

  • Idea Generation

During this stage, participants take part in facilitated sessions, hackdays and field trips to prioritize and draft ideas for impactful solutions, and hone their collective knowledge to maximize impact from the ground up. The goal for this phase is to arrive at practical, co-created implementable ideas for interventions around the chosen topic.

  • Solution Testing

The final stage of BEYOND Divides allows participants to try out their solutions and pilot interventions on a smaller scale, to test the approach and explore if the anticipated results will be reached. The interventions that prove their potential in the pilot will be supported to become operational; either integrated into the participants’ organization or through founding of new initiatives.

The Topics

Topics of focus have been selected by Impact Hubs taking part, based on each community’s specific context and needs such as fighting gentrification, breaking down silos, building bridges, and improving communication between diverse communities.

  • Impact Hub Bucharest: Urban & Rural Divides

Many Romanians feel like the social and political gaps between urban and rural citizens are increasing. Through BEYOND Divides, Impact Hub Bucharest aims to bring these people together to build a long term connection through collaborative entrepreneurial activities.

  • Impact Hub Istanbul: Urban Transformation & Gentrification

With BEYOND Divides, Impact Hub Istanbul seeks to engage with the residents of Kuştepe, who feel marginalized and excluded from opportunities and benefits in the wider society. Lack of education, abject poverty, lack of income-generating jobs, illegal drug trafficking and police brutality are just some of the huge challenges residents are facing. By initiating urban transformation projects with empathy, communication, and trust at their heart, it is expected that there will be progress towards a more unified, and hopeful İstanbul.

  • Impact Hub Madrid: Young People Addressing Madrid’s Community Fragmentation

Impact Hub Madrid uses BEYOND Divides to convene young people facing social, economic and geographical fragmentation, especially those existing between the city’s different communities and neighborhoods. The aim is to create a sense of solidarity and mutual recognition between different “madrilians”, by creating social cohesion and working groups to face community challenges and develop initiatives for them.

  • Impact Hub Ruhr: Creating the Community of tomorrow

Impact Hub Ruhr is aiming to improve the communication between diverse, partly segregated communities in Essen-Altenessen (a neighborhood in Essen). They are using BEYOND Divides to convene a diverse group of locals and interested actors, from different cultural communities in Essen. They will then foster the personal development of the participants by giving them a platform on which to listen, learn, speak and develop solution-oriented thinking.

The Participants

BEYOND Divides calls for about 20 participants in each of the four areas to join forces for the greater good. From everyday citizens to social entrepreneurs and more, this program is made for organizations and people with a passion and interest in societal change for the better. People who have ideas for how to improve their local communities or want to make new connections, learn new skills, build knowledge on how to transform communities.

More specifically, BEYOND Divides is made for:

  • Organizations and individuals who relate to the topic through a professional context in government, NGOs, academia and journalism.
  • Actors that help to shape local realities such as corporates, banks and public service institutions.
  • Community leaders who are deeply involved and active in the local communities.
  • Social entrepreneurs who can enter the program with an idea they’d like to further through the program, or who want to take part to share their entrepreneurial and solution-oriented thinking.
  • Civil society individuals who want to learn, develop personally and change their local realities.

Taking Part

To take part in Beyond Divides, applicants can get in touch directly with a participating Impact Hub:

Stay tuned to the Impact Hub blog and global newsletter to discover what each community deems as one of Europe’s most pressing divisive issues, and follow the participants’ progress as they collaborate, innovate, and break down societal divides in this region-wide collaboration to build a better future, for all.

About Impact Hub

Impact Hub is a global network focused on building communities for impact at scale. With 100+ communities of 16,000+ change-driven entrepreneurs in more than 50 countries across five continents, Impact Hub is one of the world’s largest community and accelerators for positive change.

Impact Hub builds ecosystems to drive collaboration and entrepreneurial innovation around the Global Sustainable Development Goals through locally rooted Impact Hubs, as well as with partners and allied networks.

About Robert Bosch Stiftung

The Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of the major German foundations associated with a private company and has managed the philanthropic bequest of company founder Robert Bosch for over 50 years. The Foundation is divided into areas to support and operate its aid program. In order to pursue the Foundation’s objectives, it promotes external projects and initiates its own projects for developing and running programs.

Within the foundation, 200 employees manage an average of about 800 internal and external projects a year (e.g. Robert-Bosch-Krankenhaus (Robert Bosch Hospital) and the Institut für Geschichte der Medizin der Robert Bosch Stiftung (Institute for the History of Medicine)). The Robert Bosch Stiftung has its headquarters in Stuttgart and an office in Berlin.

About the partnership

The BEYOND Divides’ program builds on our joint experience delivering the BEYOND (un)employment program, including the learnings generated and need to take convening for impact to the next level. While leveraging the skill-sets and connections of local Impact Hubs and the backbone support of Impact Hub Global, this partnership includes the deep knowledge of Robert Bosch Stiftung in the area of social cohesion and international understanding. We feel certain that this collaborative effort and partnership between our organizations will create lasting change in the participating countries and beyond.