Where is Griebnitzsee? A report from Germany’s 4th Vision Summit

Michael Alberg-Seberich

Do you know where Griebnitzsee is? No? This small railway station on the outskirts of Berlin is home to a campus of the University of Potsdam that also hosts the School of Design Thinking. In this innovation hub for academics and entrepreneurs from all over the world, more than 900 social entrepreneurs, managers, academics, administrators and journalists met last week to explore how they can spark ‘a revolution of social innovations’.

The Vision Summit, held 7-9 April, was organized for the fourth time by the Genesis Institute, a Berlin-based social business think-tank. The motto of the conference ‘Don’t wait. Innovate!’ underlined the urgency that the organizers sense. Peter Spiegel, founder of the Genesis Institute, and Franz Alt, a well-known German journalist who facilitated the plenary sessions, again and again hinted at the need to act now. The events in Fukushima were always present in Griebnitzsee. ‘How can we connect renewable energy sources with social innovations, social businesses?’ This was one of the key questions discussed in the conference breaks.

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