The second meeting of the six partners took place in Sheffield in June, where nine people came from Germany, Croatia, Hungary and the Netherlands to meet with UK based Social Enterprise International and members of the FairShares Institute further the work of the FairSharesLabs. The meeting was Chaired by Roger Schmidtchen of VSBI based in Germany
The meetings took place at two significant Host organisations. The first being Sheffield Hallam University, who are becoming an important Academic partner in the project largely due to the work of Dr Rory Ridley Duff who is both a Director of one of the Partners, Social Enterprise International Ltd and an Associate Professor of the University.
The other host was an organisation called Faithstar – soon to be rebranded as FaithCom Ltd. The CEO and Founder of FaithStar is Shahida Saddique, and the meeting gave her the chance to share her story and interest in FairShares Faced with growing problems of inequality and poverty in her City, Sheffield, Shahida put her own money into a social enterprise that brought together the many faiths and uses social business to empower and change the lives of people. To Faithstar the FairShares idea suited their values and mission and so they are converting their company into a FairShares one. So Shahida welcomed the FairSharesLab project and she and her company are keen to support and to be part of it.
Much of the meeting was taken up by the hard work of making sure that the FairShares Lab works. Each Partner has been allocated a series of tasks and progress and problems were discussed. The partners discussed the tools they were developing for the Lab, the content of the learning materials and guides that will be made available based on the rich expertise within the partners and the growing experience as we work with people like Shahida. They discussed the use of e learning platforms and how to develop the Lab in different countries. They also worked on how to communicate and promote the ideas and news about FairShares Labs to others.
The meeting ended on a high note. It coincided with the International launch of the FairShares Institute at one of Sheffield Hallam’s buildings. David Wren the head of the New Institute described how the Institute would work. David presented the products and services being developed by the Institute including the FairShares Diagnostic tools that among other things allowed people to easily put together their own FairShares Articles ready for registration.
The Launch of the FairShares Institute also allowed the partners to network with other activists in the area and promote the idea of the Labs. The project is building a momentum that already is going further than most Erasmus projects do. Not only fulfiling the outcomes requested by the funding EU but being part of a global movement that seeks to change the world.