Young, creative minds in the Baltic region can drive innovation and integration. Balticlab brings these minds together in the same space to create and explore new perspectives and sources for inspiration. As the network flourishes, new opportunities for collaboration open up.
The lab is seen as a platform allowing young talented individuals from the Baltic Sea Region to create a dynamic cross-disciplinary network and develop future joint projects in the region. The aim is to build a network through looking at creative industries, media collaborations and entrepreneurial perspectives. Its format will hence serve the overall objective of the programme: to equip young innovative individuals in the region with expertise on starting your own business or carrying out a project idea, as well as to provide them with appropriate tools, skills and connections necessary to achieve these ends in an inter-regional context.
More information on the Balticlab website at www.balticlab-online.eu
Through Balticlab we wish to see a rise in creatives and entrepreneurs engagement in the Baltic Sea Region, in an effort to increase our connectedness and to solve any problems we may face collectively. The Baltic Sea Region has become a hub for entrepreneurship and creativity and we believe this holds the key to increasing the prosperity of the region, creating a common cultural scene and providing innovation and inspiration in all fields of our daily life. Balticlab is a joint partnership between the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the Swedish Institute. The programme is also a flaghship of the European Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR) Policy Area Culture. Our past collaborators and partners also include the Goethe Institute, Strelka Institute, Tallinn Creative Incubator, Warsaw Business Hub, Tallinn Music Week, Hyper Island and many more.
As is now tradition, Balticlab gathered in Stockholm in December 2015 with a new group of Balticlab’ers to meet, greet, discuss and draw up an Innovation Manifesto for the Baltic Sea region. The weekend included speakers Helen Sildna (Tallinn Music Week), Anja Melander & Johanna Öhlén Meschke (Tankeapoteket), Fernanda Torre, Louisa Vermoere & Paul Cetnarski (Strelka Institute) and workshop leaders Hlin Helga Guðlaugsdóttir, Shawn Westcott and Roger Sjögren (Hyper Island).
Balticlab 4.0 continued with Balticlab 4.0 Ideation programme between March-September 2016. The interlinked programme modules took place in Vilnius, Kiev and Moscow, with the 40 selected participants forming working teams, in which they developed their collective ideas with the help of mentors and experts. The programme focused specifically on social shifts and societal challenges.
For a third year running, the programme creates a network of multidisciplinary talent in the Baltic Sea Region, who collectively link the region, as well as act as future front-runners and innovators in their respective fields. The participating countries in Balticlab 3.0 are Norway, Sweden, Russia, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Poland.
Spanning across countries, gender and disciplines, the programme creates a strong network of talented and active decision-makers, who work together and collectively represent what the region wishes to see itself as: diverse, united and smart. With participants, who also hold a connection to the Brazil, Japan, India and the USA, the programme represents a region with also a global reach and mindset. Rather than politicians and public sector officials, this group represents a collective who otherwise would not be likely to work together with Baltic Sea partners on this scale.
Balticlab 3.0 consists of two curated and linked events: the Balticlab Networking Weekend and the project-building Balticlab Ideation. The Ideation is divided into three project-building modules, taking place in Riga (19-22 March), Warsaw (21-24 May) and Gothenburg (27-30 August). The participants, selected from the Balticlab 3.0 Networking Weekend back in December 2014, are invited to self-select themselves into groups, in which they will develop project prototypes with the help of workshop facilities, experts from various fields and inspirational talks.
Following the successful pilot initiative of Balticlab Networking Weekend in 2012 and the Balticlab Project Development Programme in February 2013, the Council of the Baltic Sea States and the Swedish Institute launched Balticlab 2.0 in 2013.
Balticlab 2.0 was new and improved follow-up to its pilot initiative. Similarly to the pilot, Balticlab 2.0 brought young creative minds from the Baltic Sea region together into once space to explore new perspectives and sources of inspiration in the region. By providing opportunities for interdisciplinary talented individuals to network and come up with joint collaborations in the region, we aim to support their personal development as well as see their increased engagement in improving the region: making it more prosperous and more creative.
Balticlab 2.0 was launched with a Networking Weekend in Stockholm on 13-15 December 2013 and was followed by another round of Balticlab Project Development Programme from February to May 2014 with a smaller selected group from the Balticlab 2.0 Networking Weekend. The programme consisted of three interlinked modules which took place in Riga 7-11 February, Tallinn 21-25 March and Warsaw, 1-5 May.
Our goal is to make the Balticlab Network grow and develop year by year, hence Balticlab 2.0 included participants from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden.
For reflections on the Balticlab Networking Weekend from last year see Balticlab Network and for more information on Balticlab Project Development Programme see Balticlab PDP. To get a feel of the Balticlab experience and for all the recent updates join us on Twitter/Balticlab and Facebook/Balticlab. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
14-17 December 2012 was written down in the history of the Baltic Sea Region as the weekend during which a network of young creative entrepreneurs – Balticlab Network – came into being. 67 ambitious creative minds and entrepreneurs from Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden gathered at the Entrepreneurial Church in Stockholm to discuss the state of the Baltic Sea Region, their role in it and how to make the most of its opportunities by working together. During the 4-day event participants engaged in workshops combining mapping, storytelling and documentation of their experience in their field and in the Baltic Sea Region. Highly respected lecturers and facilitators shared their experiences, gave inspiration and provided tools and practical methods which released the knowledge and vision of the talented individuals in the region. Among the speakers was Antanas Mockus, the legendary former Mayor of Bogota in Columbia, famous for initiating active civic engagement and for his creative approach towards cutting crime and fostering inclusion. More importantly, there was space for the participants to find future project partners, to voice their hopes and concerns of the Baltic Sea Region and to find inspiration through events such as a mixology dinner, LunchBeat and sound art performances.
This network, stemming from a partnership between the CBSS Secretariat and the Swedish Institute has three qualities that none of the other networks in the region have had before: 1) it offers an entrepreneurial mindset that crosses disciplines, gender and borders in a broad and unique way; 2) it can reinvent itself and the relationships between its actors (participants, stakeholders, organizers) and thus it can acquire diverse forms, either temporary or long-term; 3) it is available to be used as a database for creativity and creative entrepreneurs in the Baltic Sea Region.
One of the drives behind the CBSS and the SI for launching Balticlab was a recognition of the relative lack of networks for young creative people, who are not politicians or civil servants, but rather entrepreneurs, artists and opinion makers, with an interest in providing new perspectives for driving integration and innovation in the Baltic Sea Region.
The aim of the Balticlab Ideation and the Balticlab Project Development Programmes from 2013 and 2014, has been to support the personal development of talented individuals through providing them mentorship and a platform for working together on concrete projects in regional groups for a space of three months. As both the CBSS and SI are public organisations, the programme also creates a link between individuals with potential to drive change and innovation on the one hand and the politicians, civil servants and NGO’s engaged in Baltic Sea region territorial cooperation on the other.
Balticlab Project Development Programme: pilot
The pilot Project Development Programme was launched in April 2013, when a group of 19 individuals from the pilot Balticlab Networking Weekend were invited to form working groups to develop four project prototypes that link their personal interests with the need to foster integration in the region. The programme participants met and worked during the interlinked programme modules in Malmö, 12-16 April, in Nida, 3-7 May and in Kaliningrad 4-8 June. The modules were designed in a way that aided the participants in developing their projects, namely by providing them with management tools, contextual knowledge and coaching. At the end of the programme the four working groups presented their respective projects during the last module at the SEBA Conference on Creativity and Human Potential in Kaliningrad. This last module in Kaliningrad was the grand finale of the Balticlab Project Development Programme, but also the grand beginning of what will hopefully be four successful long-term projects. The four projects are Baltic Design Ship (www.balticdesignship.com), Mind Mill (www.building.themindmill.eu), Project Little Brother (www.projectlittlebrother.org) and Social Innovation Baltic.
Balticlab 2.0: Project Development Programme
Balticlab 2.0 kicked off with a Networking Weekend in Stockholm 13-15 December, 2013. The goal of the event was to encourage contact-building and expertise exchange among interdiciplinary talented creatives and entrepreneurs from the Baltic Sea region. Through facilitated sessions and creativity simulation exercises the participants were invited to critically reflect on their relationship to the region, to its culture, identity and how their own work can link to these dimensions. The weekend also included workshops on communication, future forcasting, project development, pitching and social entrepreneurship, in which the participants were invited to expand their personal field of interests.
Out of these 77 talented individuals the Balticlab organisers invited 40 to continue with Balticlab in spring 2014 in the form of Balticlab 2.0: Project Development Programme, which launched in Riga on 7th February. The programme continued with interlinked modules in Tallinn, 21-25 March and Warsaw, 1-5 May.
Balticlab 3.0 Ideation
Similar to its predecessor, Balticlab project Development programme, Balticlab Ideation is designed for a smaller curated group of participants from the Balticlab Networking Weekend and provides space for building innovative ideas and project prototypes, which span across disciplines, countries and gender. The Ideation gives the participants a chance to expand their personal skillset, as well as explore the potential of the region. Selected from the Balticlab 3.0 Networking Weekend back in December 2014, the 31 participants of Balticlab 3.0 Ideation this spring come from Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus and Poland. The Ideation is divided into three project-building modules, taking place in Riga (19-22 March), Warsaw (21-24 May) and Gothenburg (27-30 August). The participants will be invited to self-select themselves into groups, in which they will develop project prototypes with the help of workshop facilities, experts from various fields and inspirational talks.
Have a look at the Balticlab homepage for more information on the projects, activities and participants at www.balticlab-online.eu
Balticlab Network Participants
Balticlab Launch Networking Weekend Programme, December 2012
Balticlab, press release
Balticlab Project Development Programme in Malmö, April 2013
Balticlab Project Development Programme in Nida, May 2013
Balticlab Project Development Programme in Kaliningrad, 2013
Balticlab Project Development Programme final projects, 2013
Balticlab 2.0: Project Development Programme final projects, 2014
Fernanda Torre, Experience Designer