Innovation Ecosystems in times of crisis – because readiness makes the difference

Daniela Marzavan • 11 November 2020
Start of the event: 10:00 Berlin, 11:00 Amman, 12:00 Nairobi, 13:00 Tbilisi, 6:00 Brasília, 17:00 Peking 
Language of the event: English


Innovation Ecosystems in times of crisis – readiness makes the difference

In the frame of the Connective Cities virtual week, the closing day will take place on Friday, November 27th. During this day we will focus on Innovations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. We cordially invite you to participate in our closing session on innovation ecosystems in times of crisis – readiness makes the difference.

Working in a field of Innovation and Entrepreneurship we are surrounded by Innovators and people that want to move things foreword. But how can we as regional or municipal stakeholders and ecosystem builders provide a functional, equal and fats adapting innovation ecosystem in times of a crisis? Moreover, how can we use existing innovative ecosystems in our municipality to create innovative solutions to fight the pandemic? Moreover, how can we use existing innovation ecosystems in our municipality to create innovative solutions to fight the crisis? This and more will be discussed in that session with the help of two inputs from Germany.

We are looking forward to your participation!


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Good Practices

1. Christiane Kilian, Foundation for Technology, Innovation and Research, Head of Startup Department, Thuringian Regional Innovation Program, Erfurt, Germany

Working in a field of Innovation and Entrepreneurship we are surrounded by Innovators and people that want to move things forward. But how can we as stakeholders and ecosystem builders provide a functional, equal and fast adapting innovation ecosystem in times of a crisis or a pandemic? We had to prove this in the early months of this year. From day one we decided to not hold back and wait. We decided to create, we decided to decide and to be a role model: what can be achieved and done in a short amount of time for the innovation ecosystem. Innovation never stops, so we pushed ourselves to shift all contents into the digital world in 2 days. We decided to frame our own work with 4 core beliefs


2. Tim Logan, is exploring purpose and action at the Waterkant Festival in Germany, using creative leadership to stage transformational experiences for the highly engaged group of international attendees. https://www.linkedin.com/in/timlogan/

Alexander Ohrt royally messed up his first entrepreneurial idea fraguru, but did much better as a co-founder of the Waterkant Festival in Kiel as well as opencampus.sh - both of which are up and running beautifully. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexanderohrt/

How to keep the startup spirit alive in times of crisis? Times of crisis are times for innovation. Every problem is a challenge waiting to be solved. But we need stories to hear, people to see and events to show the brave founders, who are starting up to fix the mess. But how is it possible to gather them and run a founders Festival over three weeks in times of Covid19? The Waterkant Festival, the freshest startup events of northern europe from Kiel in Germany, would love to tell you their story to inspire you as well.


3. Elena Pouglia, Founder of DataNatives and Dataconomy GmbH, Berlin. Organizer of various local and global Hackathons on open-source and health innovation, The Internet, Worldwide

Elena Poughia is Managing Director of Dataconomy Media GmbH and the Founder & Head Curator of Data Natives, Europe’s largest data science conference. She has curated and organized events all over Europe, before launching Data Natives Conference in 2015. Elena studied economics at Durham University in the UK and afterwards earned a degree in modern and contemporary art from Glasgow University. She has worked for internationally renowned art institutions such as the Gagosian Gallery and the Athens Biennale. During this time she also co-founded the Fasma Festival of Arts and successfully launched her independent art publication Dialogos. Continuing with this entrepreneurial spirit, together with her team, she developed Data Natives into an important meeting point for experts from the fields of data science, data analytics and machine learning. In addition, Elena is particularly committed to supporting women by helping them become established in tech professions.


4. Harinjaka Ratozamanana, Orinasa Kaoperative Hackorogna, Antananarivo, Madagascar

Harinjaka Ratozamana, Co-founder of the Platform Coop Hackoragna, is an international consultant, TED Fellow, recognized as y young global leader who has demonstrated achievement and potential, especially to imporve the lives of young people in his community. He was successively one of the Co-founder and former CEO of the Habaka-Madagascar Technology Innovation Hub, in charge of private sector development and digital development in government to better prepare for the fourth industrial revolution in Madagascar.

Madagascar New Normal: I can tell our experience during the lockdown in April inspired by the European Hacking Activities, discovering the power of Platform Cooperative, realizing that the high tech solutions are not suitable to the problems the pandemic is posing to my country. Launching the first Online Business Accelerator in the country with all the barrier we have to face.


5. Adela Cristea, Ascent Group Romania: Using private sector innovation capabilities to support public sector response to COVID-19 crisis.

Adela Cristea is the managing partner of Ascent Group and also the founder of the group of companies. Adela´s expierence is accumulated for over twenty years, especially in the field of management and human resources., in multinational companies such as Unilever, as University Lecturer at the Vasile Goldis University from Arad, as well as, in the position of consultant within Archimedes Consulting Group and Ascent Group. During these years, Adela has been involved in numerous business start-up projects, enterprise restructing, labor dispute mediation and traing, for multinational and local companies in various fields of activity, both in Romania and abroad. Since 2017, Adela is also the Co-founder fof the Design Thinkers Academy Eastern Europe, contributin to the companies development in more than 20 countries in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Central Asia. Adela is also very active in the civic environment, workng over the years with several NGO´s and public organisations in serveral projects related to education, urban development and protection of civic rights. 


6. Leila Ben-Gacem, Socio-cultural opportunity designer / Ashoka fellow / Beni-Khalled city council elected member / Fatma El Fehria Award

Ms. Leila ben Gacem, representative of the municipal council of Beni Khalled in Tunisika, talks about the implemented measures in her city to curb the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes the vital role of civil society in supporting the municipal efforts. 


Moderation: Daniela Marzavan and Amir Hoshia