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Crossborder Factory

Project Overview

A social enterprise that aims to stimulate the debate on Europe by developing innovative forms of participation.

Identifying the Problem

Europe is witnessing profound political, economic and social changes. Many citizens are confused, given the complexity of European and global developments. Thus, Europe is facing the challenge of having to develop a global perspective of long-term socio-political, social, educational, economical and environmental objectives. An attractive unifying European project must be the alternative to the risk of re-nationalization, populism and lack of solidarity. More than ever, Europeans need new instruments of political action and a strong, independent and competent European civil society. Intercultural competences are therefore central to enabling and strengthening dialogue and concrete cooperation in Europe.

Creating A Solution

Crossborder Factory is a European think-and-do tank, the goal of which is to strengthen intercultural competence and European commitment. This project provides a platform for European citizens who wish to actively participate in shaping a democratic, peaceful, open-minded and solidary Europe that is capable of responding effectively to a changing world.

Crossborder Factory was born from the desire of Martine and her cofounders - Frank Morawietz and Nicolas Moll - to set up an organization that would use their collective experience and expertise. The objective of the organization is to combine three topics close to the hearts of its founders: (1) European political issues, (2) work with and in South-Eastern Europe and (3) intercultural work. The founders also wanted to experience something new as actors in civil society. Therefore, they developed Crossborder Factory to function as a social enterprise rather than as an ordinary association. Not only would this model break new ground, but it was an exciting and attractive challenge for Martine, Frank and Nicolas, all of whom have a background mostly in the NGO sector.

The creation of Crossborder Factory was the result of many months of work, brainstorming and exchange, and its model is still being strengthened. The creation of Crossborder Factory did not involve other partner organizations, but Martine and her cofounders hope to collaborate with various organizations in the future.

Lessons Learned

Martine emphasizes that creating your own enterprise is a long process that will be accompanied by many administrative hurdles. “Overcoming them involves a lot of time and energy, which can be frustrating because you sometimes have less time to work on the projects, which is what really interests you,” she says. However, once the structure is in place, administration becomes routine and the project work is extremely rewarding.

Get Involved!

Now that the foundation for the project is in place, the website exists and Crossborder Factory has an office in Berlin, Martine and her cofounders have a number of projects in the pipeline for which they need support and advice. Members of the Humanity in Action community are encouraged to visit the Crossborder Factory website and contact the team if they are interested in getting involved in a project. You can also contact Crossborder Factory through its Facebook page.

Funding

Since Crossborder Factory takes the form of a "social enterprise," its creation involved some costs for the founders, especially for a number of administrative procedures. The founders invested their own money in the project, and did not do any fundraising.

Awards & Recognition

"Crossborder Factory" was recognized as an extraordinary Senior Fellow project at the Third Annual Humanity in Action International Conference, held in Sarajevo.

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About This Project

HIA Program:

Germany Germany 2004

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