Best Projects 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Explain your project in details:
Sunium Society is a project created by Sunium that aims to bring together EU, EU candidate, European Neighbourhood and EFTA citizens from all walks of life to discuss pressing societal issues. We aim to achieve innovation and idea reverberation in negotiations and policy making through systems thinking to create solutions or projects with action and implementation plans that can overcome the complex challenges the EU faces. The methodology we use is called Syntegration®. It is an innovative, mathematically based networking logic for the efficient collaboration of large groups of people. This type of networking interconnects the knowledge of large numbers of people, thereby amplifying organisational intelligence and collective creativity. We want to solve problems together, crossing borders, sectors and disciplines to find solutions that raises the standards of consensus. The first meeting was held on 16-18 March, 2018 in St. Gallen, Switzerland, where participants were seeking to find solution to the opening question titled "What do we have to do to integrate refugees into our societies and how are we going to achieve this? Many European states have been overwhelmed by the scale of the bureaucratic, financial and public order challenges faced in dealing with incoming population flows. What is needed are innovative responses and multistakeholder involvement to manage this humanitarian challenge, which we managed to reach back in St. Gallen. Second part of the project was during Sunium Launch Event on 26-28 October, 2018 in Brussels, Belgium. Participants got to answer the question "What do we have to do to deal with the growing wave of populism and extremism in Europe?" It was especially important to assess the penetration of populist attitudes into the mainstream political space and the resulting shift in the entire political landscape and how citizens, companies and government can address this together.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Sunium is a social enterprise that engages in conflict resolution and international negotiation activities. We seek to train leaders, advocate for open and informed society and we want to research in the area - for which we use three methods - Syntegration, Sensimod and Ecopolicy. - based on Systems Thinking and Cybernetics - Complexity sciences which are designed to cope with complexity. We believe that due to technology and the speed in which our world develops, everything is getting interconnected, which increases the complexity and the way we look at things do not suffice anymore. People don't feel inclusiveness of the system, they believe the mainstream parties cannot deliver anymore, which creates a perfect space for the populism to flourish. Thus, we advocate for Systems Thinking and it's tools to tackle the increasingly complex issues, such as rising populism and radicalism or failing governance structures. We see solution in the following three methods: (1) Syntegration is a method of stakeholder integration; it's a new form of protocol that enables you to integrate up to 40 people in a way that lets them share all their knowledge, create common understanding and come to a consensus based on highest common goal; (2) Sensimod or Systems Modelling is a course that focuses on the struggles and solutions for complex situations, such as project management across departments; creating, developing or implementing policies. By using Sensimod method we teach how to diagnose the system and find solutions that are interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral; (3) Ecopolicy - a cybernetic strategy game is aimed at introducing Systems Thinking and interconnectedness in a simple and comprehensive manner. The players aim is to rule their country in an economical and ecologically sustainable manner under the premises of interconnected thinking. The players manage the state by investing in eight interconnected
Sustainability and future plans
As well said by John D. Sterman: "The challenge [of sustainable development] lies in moving from slogans to specific tools and processes that help us understand complexity, design better policies, facilitate individual and organizational learning, and catalyse the technical, economic, social, political, and personal changes we need to create a sustainable society." Here Sunium comes into the game: we engage in conflict resolution and international negotiation activities to reach interconnected problem solving and policy-making. We seek to train leaders, advocate for open and informed society and we want to research in the area. For the aforementioned activities we use three methods (1) Syntegration (a method of stakeholder integration; it's a new form of protocol that enables you to integrate up to 40 people in a way that lets them share all their knowledge, create common understanding and come to a consensus based on highest common goal); (2) Sensimod (course that focuses on the struggles and solutions for complex situations, such as project management across departments; creating, developing or implementing policies) and (3) Ecopolicy (a cybernetic strategy game is aimed at introducing Systems Thinking and interconnectedness in a simple and comprehensive manner). These methods are based on Systems Thinking and Cybernetics - Complexity sciences which are designed to cope with complexity. In our one year of existence we already managed to train future policy makers in College of Europe and other interest groups, teach Systems Thinking through a cybernetic game "Ecopolicy" and hold one-day workshops for young professionals. Our success measurements would be the widespread teaching of Systems Thinking in formal education, using Syntegration and Multistakeholder approach to create policies.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am Virginija Balciunaite (24). My background is International Politics and Youth work. I have gained my diploma from Vytautas Magnus University, where I was awarded twice with Erasmus+ scholarship for research semesters in Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne University and University of Sarajevo. After such experiences, I joined Communications team at Young European Leadership, where amongst various activities, I organised a youth conference in the European Parliament, interviewed high-level personnel from the European Commission. Afterwards, I managed my own campaign that promoted European Interreg project in the French Ardennes. It includes both external and internal project management and communications responsibilities. I am also organising a training course in Tunisia, where we teach internationals about human rights, democracy and intercultural communications through non-formal activities. I am skilled in Negotiation, Intercultural Communication, Political Science, Non-Formal Education and Social Media. My experience and curiosity, enthusiasm, leadership would be the qualities that contributed strongly to my success and luck that has been guiding me through the world of active citizenship. I am highly motivated in reaching more and showing the world Sunium Society, because this IS THE project that has the potential to reach dramatic (positive) shift in our society that is increasingly ruled by radicalism and populism.