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The Enabler Hub

Offline & online Hub (physical space) that will become a hotspot for migrants, social organizations & other sectors who want to contribute

Photo of Ana Maria Alvarez Monge

Written by

What problem does the idea help to solve and how does your solution work? (2,000 characters maximum)

The problem: organizations working in isolation, migrants don't have knowledge of who can help them go through the process while on the move and integrating into a new city. The Challenge: How can we tropicalize the impact Migration Hub made in other cities while responding to the needs of those reaching out to us. The idea: The Hub enabler Create enabler spaces, open to migrants and a bridge of innovation that attracts all the important sectors, that can improve migrants livelihoods and information. Migration Hub Network has been established as that network that supports organizations and has gathered a great number of individuals, organizations and all the different sectors of the society, from the private to the governmental sector. The key asset was to build a physical space that functioned as an enabler and a place where people develop a sense of belonging. The feedback we receive, the more we share what we do, organizations and migrants from different places around the world have approached us to build the same in other places.

Geography of focus (500 characters)

Strengthening internal tools, services and procedures could allow this challenge to reach out to the countries/cities that have approached us: Latin America: Colombia Brazil Costa Rica Mexico NorthAmerica: Canada (the program of migrant entrepreneurship) US (the program of migrant entrepreneurship) and Hubs in: cities of arrival and with a major concentration of migrants with vulnerable condition

Building Bridges: What bridge does your idea build between people on the move and neighbors towards a shared future of stability and promise? (500 characters)

Often times, different sectors, like the private one and larger NGOs do not engage and support grassroots initiatives because of a problem of mutual understanding, the inability to see the benefits of networks coming together, and the great opportunity that a diverse table can do for social innovation, to focus everyoneś resources to where it should go: migrants! And at the same time, a place and networks migrants can trust and find the information needed.

What human need is your idea solving for? (1,000 characters)

-sense of belonging -reception center -welcoming support environment - rights and legal knowhow information -informational offline and online platform -skillsets development (training and mentoring) -office and meeting points (could function as an early office to those migrants building new businesses ideas -informational spot -connection to the right organization and to particular help programs (networking events) -community sense (events) -advocates and supporters -empowerment (by training and guiding migrants and locals to be the people in charge of their own Hubs)

What will be different within the community of focus as a result of implementing your idea? (1,000 characters)

The difference will be mostly on empowerment, seeing businesses flourishing and humans getting connected and adapted in a new city thanks to the intentional connections made. A family and positive environment that do not look like charitable but mostly with an innovative environment, and this would only be found by building first a community and family environment, so it helps to build trust and when the groups are ready, they will be open to learn new methods and be the enablers of successful connections.

What is the inspiration behind your idea? (1,000 characters)

The success Migration Hub already had (for being built by a migrant) and the credibility built already by important sectors in the European society, like Governmental sector, academia, private sector, grassroots, and as a result, the many people writing us from countries like Brasil, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica and areas in Africa and even within other European cities, to bring more of these Hubs to their places.

Describe the dynamics of the community in which the idea is to be implemented. (1,000 characters)

The communities descripbe above are the ones who are already receiving asylum applications and are in better reception conditions. Although, those communities also have to navigate through negative narrivates and perceptions against migrants, distracting the sectors to focus in supporting towards the right direction. The communities proposed have all the resources to replicate and tropicalize this idea, they miss the know-how, expertise and the right tools to achieve a much more collaborative that is not charitable minded, but more to long-term and permanent solution-driven.

How does your idea leverage and empower community strengths and assets to help create an environment for success? (1,000 characters)

Migration Hub Network will enable organizations, and individuals to be the ones co-owning and tropicalizing the Hubs. Empower them to continue the effort, more localized based on their knowledge and prioritization as the users who know best their own needs. However, belonging to a bigger network, this can help the exchange of ideas, the personal growth and international connections that can transform and Evoque future cooperation and even financial opportunities. Here an example of the work of Migration Hub, on how powerful a simple exchange can make in different areas, when collaboration and organizations, regardless where they come from and background, comes together: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/5050/israel-s-invisible-refugees/

What other partners or stakeholders will work alongside you in implementing the idea, if any? (1,000 characters)

Trainers and Mentors Experts in the field Design thinking mentors and trainers Private Sector Well-stablish organizations with a presence in those areas Members of the Government if open to collaborating. Migration Hub already has access to important members and leaders in Costa Rican, Colombian, Mexico, and Canada's Government Migration Hub already has a fruitful partnership with WeWork to support in any city with their presence in supporting migrant entrepreneurship Larger NGOs Grassroots organizations Organizations and projects led by migrants Business mentors and trainers

What part of the displacement journey is your solution addressing

  • Arriving and settling at a destination community

Tell us how you'd describe the type of innovation you are proposing

  • Channel: A new way to deliver existing products or services to customers or end users

Idea Proposal Stage

  • Early Adoption: We have completed a pilot and analyzed the impact of that pilot on the intended users of the idea. I have proof of user uptake (i.e. 16% to 49% of the target population or 1,000 to 50,000 users).

Group or Organization Name

Migration Hub Network gGmbH

Tell us more about your group or organization [or lived experience as a displaced person?] (1000 characters)

I arrived in Berlin, Germany from Costa Rica in September 2015, the moment when Germany was welcoming a great number of asylum seekers, mainly from Syria. I was, back then, already an expert in Human Rights and worked a long time with people coming from all over the world and enabling organizations. However, back then, I found out that I could volunteer and help, but while listening carefully to those arriving, and going myself through the process of being a migrant, let all my knowledge and experience short to what was needed. The know-how gathered from there on, allowed me to shape and impact a community (locals) that at first were not prepared because as a migrant I was unknown. Three years later, after doing more than 147 events, brought together over 4.511 people and organizations under one roof. It built credibility that allowed us (the team) to turn all this a collaboration tool and opportunities for migrants.

Website URL:

https://www.migrationhub.network/

Type of submitter

  • We are a registered Non-Profit Organization

Organization Headquarters: Country

Germany

Organization Headquarters: City / State

Berlin

13 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Spam
Photo of Alejandra Aguilera
Team

Interesting, I knew one migration hub in Bilbao Spain !

Spam
Photo of Sai Kishore Nellore
Team

Dear Ana Maria,

As you are working on providing a platform for networking for migrants, we are missing out on discussing about trafficking which is a form of modern slavery. We are looking for collaborative partnerships to deploy our technology in other regions and help in addressing the critical issue of migration and human trafficking. Look forward to explore opportunities to collaborate.

Spam
Photo of Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk
Team

Dear Ana María,

Although our activities are full complements of each other (my focus is on rural incubator villages as integration hubs for those refugees who face educational deficits) we both have a very similar vision on European responsibility and the reciprocity of opportunities refugees and communities have to offer to each other.

From my side I still seek partners/stakeholders to implement the conceptual frameworks I developed over the past 4 years.

Wish you success!

Kind Regards from Budapest,

Hans van Nieuwkerk
www.docs.refival.org
www.openideo2019.refival.org

Spam
Photo of Ana Maria Alvarez Monge
Team

Thanks Johannes,

MH is a network for those building entrepreneurs, we welcome and celebrate supporting incubators and accelerators. With our partners and network resources, I'm sure, we can continue bringing more support to organizations like yours. Let's talk, regardless of this challenge, since I am not aiming to support Europe only with this, but other areas of interest from Latin America, where I am originally from.

Spam
Photo of Johannes Cornelis van Nieuwkerk
Team

Thanks Ana Maria,

Unfortunately we were not able to meet last year when I was in Berlin. With Refival I do neither intend to incubate companies nor entrepreneurs, what I propose is to create "incubator villages" to (medium term, an average of 3-5 years) incubate individuals in order to connect them "faster/better" to the European labor market and culture.

My target group are mainly those refugee families who are currently stuck in Greece and Turkey and who face substantial educational deficits, making it very difficult for them to quickly (within 1-2 years) adapt to the demands of the European labor market. They belong to the 30-40% of refugees under the top 10-20% of relatively educated or entrepreneurial people. (Refival does not focus on the 50% uneducated people, although it expects to be able to offer opportunities for them as a spin-off).

By offering this group extensive Internet based education (https://medium.com/@refival/world-refugee-day-educating-refugee-children-3aeaa94c1182) and remote work experience, Refival tries to speed up their connection and integration.

Their relocation to cheaper living-cost rural areas should provide the savings/budget to do so and should also create a strong interaction with the (small 500-5000 people) local communities, facilitating an intensive exchange of experience and simultaneously generating a contribution to those communities. A proof of concept has been Riace in Italy, a successful project which was unfortunately closed down for political reasons (https://medium.com/@refival/riaces-successful-rural-refugee-integration-model-threatened-289700c6341c)

As I wrote before, MH and Refival are very much each other's urban and rural complement.

Let's setup a Skype call to discuss further potential!

Kind Regards from Budapest,

Hans van Nieuwkerk
www.docs.refival.org
www.openideo2019.refival.org

Spam
Photo of Joséphine Goube
Team

Hi Ana Maria, great to see your application here and great to hear about the success with migration Hub. I do agree that physical spaces are a powerful instrument to design communities and can enforce collaboration through serendipitous encounters & informal lunch chats (just look at how wework is based on this idea!).
A few questions for you to which I did not find some specific information in your application and to which I believe you have answers !
1/ Have you been considering online spaces on top of a physical space to help with your scaling and to reach more people? Maybe you have been using slack or other platforms to bring all your members online too, have you? It would be interesting to know how useful it was to your members and how it can help members outside of Berlin or between hubs or not able to move physically to Berlin to connect anyway?
2/ Given that the challenge is about bridges, how have you been working on building bridges with the local community? I understand that this place celebrates migrants but I could not find information about how you celebrate migrant & locals interactions.

Thank you!

Spam
Photo of Ana Maria Alvarez Monge
Team

Hi Josephine,

Thanks for sharing, and I absolutely have answers to all your questions.

1. Yes, we have an online network, the Migration Hub Network, the umbrella is all about that. Slack and social media groups, as a new collaborative online board, is making this happen. And this is how we bring the spaces, also together. The MHN works very closely with WeWork since for our online part we do not need the physical spaces as much as migrants (not the entrepreneurs) do.

Online spaces for areas where we aim to go with this challenge, cannot be the only way to bring people together. We have tested how the spaces are crucial for this. The reason why I call it the enabler hub and not Migration Hub is because depending on the need, Migration Hub can be perfectly developed as a physical space, or we guide local existing spaces on how to bridge this two worlds, which is basically the goal and what Migration Hub has done best.

2. We have bast success stories and testimonials from locals on how the perspective on Migration has changed the way they see it now, through our Berlin and Heidelberg Hubs. That is a local level, internationally, Migration Hub already won a prize from the German Federal Government for bridging two countries working with migrants with vulnerable backgrounds (particularly from Eritrea) between Israel and Germany, an interesting route that many of us, experts in the field, have been studying for a while.

As a result, besides collaboration, media coverages about the situation, resources to activists and research, this also guided the local municipality on how to set up space (not a Migration Hub) that enabled migrants to develop their products and how to make it more inclusive, particularly to locals who were not aware of the social problems migrants were undergoing.

The idea of the physical spaces has been tested, as a result of the work that we have done with our current and past spaces to build bridges with the local community.

In Berlin for instance, for both, migrants, locals, larger NGOs, and Governamnetal authorities, hosted 4.511 people in our 147 workshops, focus groups, and events in 2 years. Our members then go to slack channels, groups and continue assisting to our monthly meetups and events that are happening in other spaces that Migration Hub Network is consulting and getting support from.

I hope this clarifies your question,

Spam
Photo of Joséphine Goube
Team

Thank you Ana! I can spot that there was not enought space to put this on the application ;) I look forward to working with you more and hopefully on connecting with our project ( Basefugees: a community platform for people on the move & tech4refugees resources ) in the near future.

Spam
Photo of Ana Maria Alvarez Monge
Team

I am sure!

Spam
Photo of Zulfiqar Deo
Team

Ana Maria Alvarez Monge Thanks for sharing this. Basefugees: a community platform for people on the move & tech4refugees resources  is another hub based project operating in the EU and MENA region. Maybe an idea to learn from their approach - they focus narrowly on tech.

Spam
Photo of Ana Maria Alvarez Monge
Team

Thanks for the suggestion, we know them since they started. Always happy to connect with them. I'm sure both organizations have learned from each other in the past. We understand network in topics, so tech is also of interest.

Spam
Photo of Innocent N. Tshilombo
Team

Hello Ana, thank you for sharing this idea with us here. I wish you the best. It's incredible to help people on the move with integration.

Spam
Photo of Ana Maria Alvarez Monge
Team

Thank you!!! Let's work for those who need our support. From migrants to migrants!!