EU Migration Policy Summit Summary


The 1st EU Migration Policy Summit took place on the 7th of June 2018 in Brussels, organized by Ashoka Hello Europe. The unique one-day event gathered over 180 participants, from distinct sectors: policymakers and experts, social entrepreneurs, third sector organizations at both national and EU levels, as well as foundation and business leaders. Participants represented over 20 countries.

The Summit had 3 main goals:

  1. Showcase solutions by bringing some of the most innovative, proven and impact-driven citizen sector solutions together, we aimed to inspire all the participants, to challenge our thinking, and to illustrate a new framework for migration and integration work.
  2. Enable collaborative thinking by making the Summit a space for social entrepreneurs, policy experts and other stakeholders to think together about how these solutions can influence policy, and how policy can benefit from working with them.
  3. Co-create new solutions by starting a conversation that would produce specific policy recommendations at the EU level, created by citizen sector leaders and policymakers and experts together.

Topics included housing, health and education, recognition of skills and employment, multi-sector governance and scaling. The unique event enabled the social entrepreneurship solutions and put them forward for policy makers and beneficiary organisations to recognize them better.

Perspectives: Setting the Stage from Citizen Sector and Institutions 

The summit was opened with statements made by Elena Arène (Ashoka Belgium) and Rainer Höll (Ashoka Europe) and was facilitated by Natasha Walker. The two inspiring speakers reiterated Ashoka’s contribution to the world of innovation and emphasized how resilient European societies have been when dealing with the migratory waves of 2015-2016, despite the alarming rhetoric. They emphasized how important it is to look at these challenges from a rights-based and humanitarian point of view and to tap into the incredible potential of social entrepreneurship in solving societal problems with proven ideas that can be scaled to achieve quick impact. For example, Inge Missmahl with IPSO Context has already reached more than 100.000 people with her peer-to-peer psycho-social counseling in Afghanistan. Jane Leu & Upwardly Global have facilitated the employment of thousands of migrants into professional jobs and David Lubell with Welcoming International has affected policy change on all levels of government in the US, as well as countries such as Canada and Australia. Daniel Kerber with More than Shelters has worked in the world’s biggest refugee camps and knows very concretely about the deficiency of the international aid system. This is how Hello Europe was born, an accelerator for migration and integration which is currently scaling platforms in Germany, Turkey, Austria and the Netherlands and will continue to do so in Belgium, Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece.

The background on EU migratory policies was set up by Carlos Coelho, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP). In his speech, he took stock of the progress made at EU level for a complete reform of the Common European Asylum System and the creation of the European Asylum Support Office or the European Border and Coast Guard equipped with competences and adequate funding. In his opinion, the solution to problems related to migration and integration is still far away. Despite the advancement of three major directives in the field: the reception conditions directive, the qualification regulation, and the resettlement regulation, all essential for creating a proper European asylum system, there has not been much progress on other key aspects. The European Parliament has been waiting for months for the Council to take a stance on their proposals, including their meeting on 5 June, when ministers and representatives of ministers with responsibility for home affairs and migration were unable to achieve an agreement to reform the Dublin regulation. Last but not least, Mr. Coelho emphasized the role of the citizen sector in the field of migration, especially in light of the 2019 EU elections. He also emphasized the struggles taking place at national level. In his opinion, supporting citizen-led initiatives working on the ground is the best weapon against populism which provides misinformation about migration.

Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodiaconia, a European network of churches and Christian NGOs providing social and healthcare services and advocating social justice, delivered a very powerful speech about how integration is a two-way street and that not only migrants integrate in our societies but also the way nationals adapt and act to integrate them is important. More importantly, she created an important link between European social policies and migration. In her opinion, migrants should benefit from the European Pillar of Social Rights and they should have access to core services such as housing, healthcare, education and cultural activities, access to the labour market and social security. Migrants should be a core part of the Pillar and civil society should challenge national governments and MEPs as to how the pillar is implemented in the communities.

Following these introductions, the social entrepreneurs leading the morning workshops introduced themselves and the policy areas they were seeking to contribute to. See speakers section below for information on the Social Entrepreneurs present, and the following sections for a more in depth summary of the workshops.

From Citizen Sector to Policymaking (Morning Workshops)

Workshops in the morning were framed as citizen sector solutions contributing ideas and content for potential policies. Below is the summary of the speakers, main issues discussed, and initial recommendations to develop. Some of these ideas will be developed further in policy acceleration groups in order to present to EU policy decision-makers in early 2019.

Social Innovations for Labour Market Integration

Key issues discussed:

  • What Social Entrepreneurs bring: they bring the data. SEs can more easily test and prove concepts: capturing and sharing this data is incredibly helpful for policy makers to create and defend new policies. It is important to have clear theories of change, proof of concept, impact and modelling.
  • What SEs need to know: creativity on how to lobby, as well as specific needs, priorities and obstacles policy makers face. Stakeholder maps to identify other interested parties could be very helpful: cities (can lobby), businesses, and migrants themselves to bring to the table.
  • Policy proposals: more incentives for innovation for states, businesses and citizen sector organizations: e.g. social impact bonds, or funds for organizations successful at hiring and retaining migrants and refugees.


  • Stakeholder mapping: to know who are the people influencing particular laws and policies: how can we bring them into the room? Who can help put this together?
  • Analysis commissioned by EU to identify integration process and policies needed to adjust.
  • Refugees in the room: spaces for EU Commission to hear directly from refugees and migrants and involve them in designing solutions.
  • Incentives from the EU to member states – e.g. Awards for 3 regions best at integrating migrants in their community.
  • A funding mechanism to use 2-5% of EU procurement for organizations employing refugees or helping others employ them.

Designing Infrastructure for a Welcoming Culture

Key issues discussed:

Physical space impacts our wellbeing. Access to regularization and documents gives migrants and refugees certain access to the housing market, but in recent years residence permits are for shorter periods which puts the individual in a very difficult transitional phase and no real investment and integration takes place, especially since during the application phase the refugees cannot change residence. The housing market is already saturated. Housing is also based on a quantitative perspective. There is no funding going to more qualitative indicators (social environment, access to labour market, etc.).


  • Permanent residency should be offered for longer duration.
  • The housing should be allocated in connection to other factors, such as access to labour market, education, socio-cultural integration processes.
  • Funding opportunities should be given for housing.
  • Even if housing belongs to national competences, the EU has a mandate to give policy support to national level. The last action plan of 2016 recognizes the barriers to housing.
  • Funding from the EU investment bank for reception centers, and for long term housing would be an advantage.

Contextualised and Effective Solutions for Mental and Physical Wellbeing of Migrants

Key issues discussed:

The existing welfare systems do not offer enough recognition to newcomers and refugees and access to basic healthcare assessment and mental healthcare counseling is not provided everywhere. There are certain gaps in the health service provision. The most striking one is the lack of access to interpretation services. A change of paradigm is needed when dealing with migrants experiencing different types of trauma. The long procedures for accessing a legal status (for asylums seekers and refugees) or integration of migrants are aggravating the situation.


  • Healthcare should be treated both European and national level, although currently it is more a national competence.
  • For asylum seekers, a European fund should be allocated to give Health Vouchers to all newcomers. The voucher could consist of minimum conditions a person needs to have when starting a new life in Europe: a health check, psychological care, access to some life skills assessment and language skills (to learn the language of the country he/she is in).
  • A change in paradigm should occur also at the educational level: cultural sensitive education and health literacy campaigns should be implemented in basic education.
  • In dealing with migrants and refugees, there should be an EU standardization on access to translation.
  • EU-funded training for health professionals dealing with migrants should be provided so that they are more sensitive and better equipped.
  • Connect healthcare with livelihood projects and to acknowledge that mental health at work is a responsibility to by shared by the employer.

Tools to Recognise Skills and Enable Migrants to Contribute

Key issues discussed:

  • Online access to Internet
  • Language levels – twofold barrier
    • Need to lower language thresholds (often people are excluded because the requirements are too high – ex. C1 language level)
    • Need to foster language learning
  • Local government requirements sometimes act as barriers
  • Lack of readily available information on skill recognition in the host country
  • Loss of motivation is a recurring problem
  • Legal, societal and political barriers


  • The need to foster relationships with local ministries (particularly with national ministries of education).
  • The importance of creating a network in each municipality – this is needed for a holistic education system;
  • agreements with universities (equivalence of credits as part of Bologna system – which, currently, is not applicable to all newcomers).
  • More recognition of learning outcomes.
  • Quality assurance.
  • Financial supporters.
  • Develop more forward-looking political approaches.

Skills for 1st and 2nd Generation Migrants: Models that Work

Key issues discussed:

  • Importance of the narratives in politics: young leaders must take a real part of designing policy recommendation – they are part of the solution
  • Involving youth in delivering new policies
  • Building consensus around migration policies among political parties
  • Funding for supporting youth programmes should be more encouraged
  • Investment in intercultural education is not sufficient


  • Challenge: counter populism/racism —> EU wide school competition (creative answers/action focus) for diversity to promote global citizenship among youth —> enabled by school network and Erasmus +/ European funding.
  • Challenge: decrease administrative barriers for EU funding for youth-led initiatives by simplifying the process —> make it more accessible through digitalisation and translation and involving parents/schools.
  • Make powerful storytelling (me, us, now) available for youth so they can influence public policy more directly. 

Panel Presentation: How Citizen Sector Initiatives Become Policy

Three panelists presented specific experiences of how citizen sector organizations have influenced policy at national and federal levels. Daniel Kerber, founder of More Than Shelters, presented a pilot based approach. His experience of bringing together key stakeholders along with the beneficiaries (i.e. people on the move) to learn from each other and develop pilot experiences, had created change in large cooperation entities (UNHCR, etc.). David Lubell, founder of Welcoming International, spoke of his experience in building federal level initiatives to influence and help reform policy. He emphasized the need to reach out to all parties, but also to seek the partner who had most ability to change, and to create initiatives that are able to survive when government partnership end. Finally, Pedro Calado, the High Commissioner for Migration in Portugal, spoke of the experience of creating the High Commissioner for Migration as a joint venture between the citizen sector and government. He emphasized the need to bring a win-win mentality where all parties see their need to participate and that the problem can only be solved if they work together. He shared more in depth about the Portuguese model the one-stop shop involving two types of partnerships at central administration and at local level with the involvement of the third sector, mostly with migrant associations and social entrepreneurs proved itself to be a best practice.

The three panelists agreed that the current migratory issues need to be addressed in an integrated way with the consultation, involvement and the support of all stakeholders. They all emphasized the need to participate in public policy processes and create new collaborative processes that brought all the key stakeholders together to see the problems and potential solutions in the same space.

Synergies between Policymaking and the Citizen Sector (Afternoon Workshops)

The afternoon workshops explored best practices, methodologies and ideas on how to build better and more permanent synergies between policy creation and implementation and the citizen sector. Below are the summaries of speakers, discussed content and initial recommendations formulated in the workshops. Over the next months these topics will be developed more in depth to share with particular EU policy decision makers in early 2019.

Incentivising Self-Organization and Contribution instead of Dependency

Key Issues Discussed:

  • Support Migrant Led Initiatives: Migrants and refugees leading initiatives that are supporting each other are rarely recognized. By supporting them, new, local, and cost-efficient solutions could emerge and help solve problems. Their major need is capacity building, funding and access for refugee-led organizations.
  • Incentivizing self-led initiatives is more effective than assistance. Evidence exists from tools like ACAF (Self-Funded Saving Groups) create empowerment, trust, social networks, savings and resources; all the while emphasizing human dignity.
  • Refugees and migrants need to be at the table: identifying successful solutions, leading organizations, helping to plan and execute funding mechanism.
  • A need for a paradigm shift in funding and collaboration: need to reach smaller and more local organizations, form consortiums, give incentives to self-led initiatives.
  • Often legal framework is an issue at national level, e.g. if refugees have no status, they remain in a permanent position of dependence with no ability to self-organize.


  • EU Level organization to support and provide funding and support for migrant-led organizations. A board of migrants, or a platform of refugee led organizations? A certificate or stamp to verify trusted refugee led organizations, and open doors for partnerships with them?
  • Comprehensive approach guidelines for cities and EU level. Do this to support local organizations, and to propose specific incentives that can encourage refugees and migrants to self-organize and support each other.
  • Collect and present data and economic evidence on the cost savings by supporting refugee led organizations through a specific programme.
  • Meeting with different DG folks on funding for incentives and another gathering with urban cities and policy makers with refugees.

Tools for Scaling Social Innovation Across Borders

Key issues discussed:

  • It is about scaling impact, not necessarily scaling the organisation itself.
  • There are many solutions out there, but in some sectors they do not travel well and we tend to reinvent the wheel.
  • Key questions to consider for scaling:
    • When to scale? (ripeness / window of opportunity)
    • What to scale? (what is feasible, what is unique, what is needed in other contexts)
    • How – which model? (ex. Open source, licensing, organic)
    • With whom? (partners)
  • Beware of getting ‘caught’ in national level structures, while in reality having methodologies/thinking on a global level and impact on a local level.


  • In order to promotepromoting systemic collaboration and knowledge transfer rather than pushing organisations to grow, more attention should be given to qualitative indicators (outcomes) rather than quantitative indicators (outputs)
  • European Institutions can play a key role in giving recognition/visibility and networking opportunities to successful scaling stories.
  • More funding should be made available (at pan-European level) to initiate scaling/replication projects.

Successful Cases where Collaboration Works

 Key issues discussed:

Civil society and citizen sector organisations need to professionalise and use similar approaches to the ones the corporate sector is using to achieve its goals. Knowledge of the regulatory environment is key. The information on the tools applicable is just as important. When campaigning for changing the law, engagement with all policy makers needs to be achieved. Funding is one of the biggest barriers.


To translate the ideas into policy action, a few elements are needed:

  • The role of intermediaries is important. Government doesn’t always know who to get around the table. So lobbying for more funding to intermediaries could be an interesting approach.
  • Raise awareness about differences between organisations and the need for flexibility in designing projects together. Concrete action: there needs to be funding to give more time to design collaborative projects. Action: more phase zero grants.
  • Do not compete for funding but compete for collaboration.
  • Design a process that is solution-focused rather than problem-focused to foster collaboration.
  • Collaboration building across sectors as a process. Demand from policy makers to ask for collaborative work as a requirement for EU funding.

Changing the concept of profit and what is profitable. We must build an incentive that is as strong as profit, and show that things can be “profitable” in other ways than monetary gain.

How Citizen Solutions Can Organize to Meet Policy Goals

Key issues:

  • Implementing policies is a challenge that requires all stakeholders to participate. It cannot be done alone by the government or businesses or non-profits. So there is a need for collaborative spaces where different organizations can work together.
  • A key to implementing and garnering support for it is solid data research and making it public and easy to understand (Por Causa example, sparking High Commission for Child Poverty).
  • Collaboration needs to be manageable, though, not just many organizations in the same room, but real strategic, deep partnerships and conversations.
  • Collaboration as a manageable process, not just tons of institutions in a room, but purposeful, deep partnerships.
  • Politicians and policymakers won’t normally take risks, they look to SEs for that, to lead the way and test things, but to scale it is important to bring those innovations to the existing institutions.


  • A need to make participation and collaboration mandatory when creating/writing policy, and executing it, especially participation of beneficiaries and organizations that will execute the initiatives.
  • There are a lot of good practices that have been collected from SEs and others, how can we disseminate and scale those best practices? Two-way street, contests or funding for local ideas to get funding and scale, but also for institutions to hear from and integrate innovative ideas.

The Way Forward – Concluding Remarks

The EU Migration Policy Summit provided open spaces where consultation and co-creation work occurred with policymakers and experts around the main topics related to migration. The 9 workshops produced some concrete guidelines for recommendations related to EU policy, service delivery, cooperation, funding, best practices and potential changes of paradigm. There was a general agreement that citizen sector solutions are perfectly situated to cover gaps in the service delivery and design when it comes to addressing migratory needs. For this to be achieved better, more collaboration and better synergies need to be created between all sectors as well as with policy makers. Also, more effort should be done to streamline funding and to make it available to smaller and more innovative organisations in addition to the established ones, (which are less inclined to innovate). Representation of interests belonging to citizen sector should improve via different avenues and policy makers should encourage better consultation mechanisms and even co-creation. Last but not least, raising awareness and collaboration was another big theme coming from the summit. There was overall consensus on the fact that a lot of work still needs to be done and that an initiative like Hello Europe could build bridges and collaboration between social entrepreneurs and policy makers.

As mentioned in the closing remarks of the Summit by Deputy Head of Unit Antoine Savary (DG HOME, Unit B1), the development of inclusive societies remains one of the key policy objectives for the EU and member states. Mr Savary mentioned the available tools at EU level for achieving this objective, such as the Action Plan on the integration of third country nationals, the European dialogue on skills and migration, the sectoral policies on pre-departure/pre-arrival, education, labour market integration and access to vocational training, access to basic services and participation and social inclusion. In his opinion, labour market integration and the involvement of local authorities (i.e. the Urban Agenda Partnership on Integration) remain key. Finally, he spoke of proposals to provide guidance for member states to invest better in integration, including better access to EU Funding, microcredit and blended funding mechanisms, the creation of the European Integration network, as well as more coordinated work on the European Semester and the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Amy Wilson, who leads Humanitarian and Migration Affairs at the US State Department, spoke of their desire to continue sharing their experience in refugee resettlement to advance together, and highlighted the complementarity of the summit with the ‘Social Innovation for Refugee Inclusion’ which is another initiative bringing communities of practice on migration working closer together. She also emphasized the desire to continue to collaborate together with the EU and citizen sector organizations so that government can be an ally for change and not a barrier.

Last but not least, Thomas Huddleston from the Migration Policy Group wrapped up the findings from the workshops by giving an overview on regular channels for migration and by mentioning the European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) on migration. He also emphasized the fact that there is a need now more than ever to support initiatives around integration and improved migration policies, and to mobilize public support (including voting for EU-representation) in order to galvanize public  opinion in favor of more inclusive and effective integration approaches.

Kenny Clewett, Ashoka Hello Europe Director, concluded the conference by sharing the new Framework of Change that they have identified in working with leading citizen sector solutions. This framework points to the key factors that organizations achieving high impact results share. It is an avenue forward in what kind of organizations and policies to support. They include:

  1. Creating Changemakers In this framework, people on the move are no longer seen as passive objects of pity, but rather as resourceful changemakers, eager to contribute. Also, host communities are taken seriously and mobilized as changemakers, with the responsibility and ability to welcome people well.
  2. Empathy at the Foundation  These initiatives provide intentional ways for empathy to be fostered in communities where integration is happening. This happens through spaces for equal interaction, effective story-telling and listening, creating shared purpose, and seeing diversity as a resource, not a problem.
  3. Collaboration Across Sectors  The challenges that emerge from movements of people across borders cannot be solved by one actor or maintaining the status quo, it is essential to build new spaces for collaborative thinking.

For more information on this Framework of Change, download the Portfolio of Solutions.

The Summit ended with a reminder of next steps, which include sharing these results, and putting together policy acceleration teams to help further the agendas and recommendations arrived at in the different workshops.

Plenary Speakers

Carlos Coelho, European Parliament

Member of the European Parliament from Portugal for the Social Democratic Party–People’s Party coalition; part of the European People’s Party–European Democrats group and member of the European Parliament Intergroup on Children’s Rights and European Parliament Intergroup on Disability.


Antoine Savary, European Commission DG Home, Deputy Head of Unit for Legal Migration and Integration

Antoine Savary has worked for the French government, the Joint research Center of the European Commission, and DG JLS (ex DGHOME). He served as the Deputy Head of the Unit in charge of EU Funds in the field of migration from 2012, where he worked on the negotiation and adoption of the 2014-2020 financial instruments in the field of migration. Since July 2015 he has been Deputy Head of Unit at DG HOME dealing with legal migration and integration.


Amy Wilson, Humanitarian and Migration Affairs for the US Mission to the European Union

Amy Wilson represents the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. Before Brussels, Amy served in Washington as the Special Assistant to the Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs, served two tours in Afghanistan.


Heather Roy, Secretary General, Eurodiaconia

Heather is Secretary General of Eurodiaconia ( which brings together churches and Christian organisations concerned with social services and social justice across Europe, with over 30 000 service providers in 32 European countries.


Pedro Calado, High Commissioner for Migration Portugal

High Commissioner for Migration (Portugal) a responsibility that he leads in parallel with the CEO function of the “Choices” Program (Programa Escolhas) – a government program, created in 2001 to promote social inclusion and equal opportunities for children and young people in vulnerable contexts.


Thomas Huddleston, Migration Policy Group

Thomas is Research Director. Since 2006, he has coordinated MPG’s comparative research on European and national policies in areas such as integration and beyond. He is Central Research Coordinator of the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) and chairs the quarterly migration subgroup of the NGO Platform on EU Migration and Asylum.


Natasha Walker, Global Facilitator

Communication Consultant, Facilitator with 23 years of international experience, with a great focus on strategy processes with companies and governmental and societal organizations, particularly in the fields of energy, biodiversity and sustainability, regional and economic development, citizen participation and organisational development.


Rainer Höll, Ashoka Europe

Ashoka Europe. Senior Lead for Hello Europe. Rainer is a partner at Ashoka Germany where he supports systems-changing social entrepreneurs with their scaling strategies, finance models and impact measurement.


Elena Arène, Ashoka Belgium

Director of Ashoka Belgium. Previously to Ashoka Belgium, Elena worked as a diplomat for El Salvador in Sweden and Belgium. As a diplomat, she was responsible for all relations between Swedish and Nordic NGOs as well as EU and commercial affairs, bringing governments and Chambers of Commerce together with the business and investment community.


Kenny Clewett, Hello Europe

Director of Hello Europe. Kenny leads Hello Europe as the director, providing resources and leadership to the different accelerators around Europe as well as the European Migration Summit. He is based in Madrid, Spain. Before joining Hello Europe, Kenny led a number of initiatives within Ashoka, including Search and Selection in Spain, Start Empathy in the US and helped found Young Changemakers.

Social Entrepreneurs Present at the EU Migration Summit 2018

Daniel Kerber (Germany) – More Than Shelters

People who have fled conflict find themselves powerless in unsanitary, dangerous refugee camps. More Than Shelters involves them in creating sustainable solutions and creating dignified spaces where they can plan the next, positive phase of their lives through integrated humanitarian design. Daniel Kerber was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2016.


Inge Missmahl (Afghanistan/Germany) – IPSO Context

Refugees have frequently fled difficult circumstances and carry significant trauma, exacerbated by the stress of a new country. IPSO offers a new method of mother-tongue, contextualized counseling that helps effectively process these tragedies and integrate culturally. Inge Missmahl is an Ashoka Fellow since 2015.


David Lubell (USA) – Welcoming International

They envision a world in which every community actively wel­comes immigrants and refugees, and sees newcomers as essential assets and participants in their society. Working both at municipal and national levels, Welcoming International forms partnerships with different stakeholders in a community and provides them with in­tensive support to develop plans, programs, and policies that transform their communities into inclusive places. David Lubell is an Ashoka Fellow since 2012.


Abdoulaye Fall (Spain) – ACAF/Winkomun

Refugees and migrants are often excluded from the financial structures that allow them to fully integrate into their new community. Self-financed communities (CAFs) provide newcomers with an opportunity to quickly become a resource to others and form part of a community that helps them navigate their new context more effectively. ACAF founder, Jean Claude Rodríguez-Ferrera, is an Ashoka Fellow since 2006.


Rui Marques (Portugal) – Ubuntu Academy

Young migrant communities are often stuck in an endless cycle of hopelessly low expectations and insufficient opportunities from generation to generation. This cycle is broken when these young leaders within the community collectively discover their voice and realize their potential to change the world around them. Rui Marques was selected an Ashoka Fellow in 2016.


Jane Leu (USA, Germany) – Migration Ventures (Upwardly Global)

In nearly every country with a large immigrant and refugee community, those arriving who are college-educa­ted wind up unemployed or si­gnificantly underemployed – doctors drive taxis, CEOs work in kitchens. Skills are wasted, which makes adjustment, comfort, and success in a new country more difficult. Upwardly Global has broken this mind-set, by placing over 5,000 migrants and refugees from 169 countries in highly skilled, well-paying jobs in the US. They are spreading their methodologies and framework through Europe now with Migration Ventures. Jane Leu is an Ashoka Fellow since 2005.


Lily Scheuerpflug (Germany) – Kiron

Refugees find their lives interrupted in many traumatic ways. For university students arriving in their new home country, there is often a long lapse of time before they can validate their previous studies to complete their degree. Kiron covers this gap by enabling students to continue with their studies as they wait for paperwork to come in and bureaucratic processes to finalise.


Luisa Seiler (Germany) – Singa Deutschland

Refugees can positively im­pact their new environments when they are given opportuni­ties. Local business and entrepreneurship has always been a powerful way for refugees to take control of their own careers and integrate into community life. Singa helps connect newcomers with local folks who share similar interests and dreams to help build social capital for refugees and change society’s perception. Singa founder, Nathanaël Molle, was selected an Ashoka Fellow in 2014.


Michael Stenger (Germany) – Schlau-Schule

The right to asylum is a humanitarian cornerstone in Germany, but its implementation is generally unsuccessful for underage asylum seekers over 16 years of age. Schlau-Schule is a private school system that is cost efficient and is proving that with the right support, young refugees can acquire the right language and vocational skills in record time to contribute in a meaningful way to society. Michael Stenger is an Ashoka Fellow since 2009.


Ramazan Salman (Germany) – Ethno Medizinisches Zentrum

A leading expert in health care in Germany and Turkey and an Ashoka Fellow since 2006, Ramazan Salman is changing society’s approach towards immigration and the integration of immigrants. Ramazan chose health as a focal point for immigrant integration. He has built a system in Germany using successful immigrants as bridges between the German health system and immigrant communities.


Robert Kratzer (Germany) – Social Bee

Leader of Social Bee in Munich, Robert guides the growing program which has created a new strategy for supporting refugees to find long-term employment by using a temporary employment agency model to overcome the integration barriers for both refugees and companies in Germany. The founder of Social Bee, Zarah Bruhn, was selected an Ashoka Fellow in 2018.


Jimmy Antonsson (Sweden) – Mitt Liv

Innovation and Digitalization Manager of Mitt Liv, an innovative for-profit mutual mentorship program helping international talents living in Sweden find jobs, and Swedish companies and organisations employ people with a foreign background, and build a truly diverse workforce. The founder of Mitt Liv, Sofia Applegren, is an Ashoka Fellow since 2010.


Pascaline Servan-Schreiber (USA) – University of the People

Vice President for Business Development, for UoPeople, the the world’s first tuition-free, non-profit, American accredited, online university. Her role helps UoPeople offer its educational services to new populations, including refugees, as well as engage in meaningful partnerships. The founder of the University of the People, Shai Reshef, is an Ashoka Fellow since 2009.


Liam Carey – Third Age Ireland

Liam is the head of National Development for Third Age Failte Isteach, an organization founded by an Ashoka Fellow in Ireland which is a leading provider of intercultural education, utilizing the skills, time and resources of older people to teach new migrants local languages. The founder of Third Age, Mary Nally, is an Ashoka Fellow since 2009.


Sonia Ben Ali – Urban Refugees

Sonia co-founded Urban Refugees in France in Nov. 2012. She started working with refugees and IDPs in 2007. In 2012, she decided with a web designer, David Delvalle, to tackle the invisibility of urban refugees and to create an online point to raise their profile in the humanitarian agenda.


Andrea Puschhof – Chancenwerk

Andrew leads Learning, Cooperation and Partnership at Chancenwerk in Germany, a unique concept of educational support, where partner schools create a ‘learning cascade’ of reciprocal tutoring with older and younger students. The founder of Chancenwerk, Murat Vural, was selected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2006.


Virginia Rodríguez – Por Causa

Virginia is a lawyer and political scientist specializing in International Human Rights Law and International Relations. Por Causa ensures that truthful information regarding migration gets the informative relevance it deserves.


Geertrui Serneels – Solentra

An Ashoka Fellow since 2017 in Belgium, Geert has pioneered a culturally- sensitive and community-based mental healthcare system for refugees and migrants in Europe with Solentra. Solentra’s unique PACCT methodology is a culturally comprehensible, community-based and holistic entry point for mental healthcare.



9:00 Welcome and registration
Elena Arène
, Ashoka Belgium


Natasha Walker
Carlos Coelho, Member of the European ParliamentTHE NEXUS BETWEEN SOCIAL POLICY AND MIGRATION
Heather Roy, Secretary General, Eurodiaconia
5-6 Social Entrepreneurs present their initiative in 5 minutes

Citizen Sector Inspiration for Policymaking

Get to know other policy experts, foundations, social entrepreneurs, companies and NGOs over lunch
David Lubell, Welcoming International
Pedro Calado, High Commissioner for Migration in Portugal
Daniel Kerber, More Than Shelters

From Policy to Citizen Sector

5-6 Social Entrepreneurs present their initiative in 5 minutes
5-6 Social Entrepreneurs present their initiative in 5 minutes
(including a coffee break)
Key stakeholders recommendations for next steps:
Antoine Savary, DG Home, Deputy Head for Legal Migration and Integration
Amy Wilson, US Mission to the EU
Thomas Huddleston, Migration Policy GroupKenny Clewett, Director of Hello Europe

Thank you to Camille DelBos for his amazing pictures of the Summit, and to Christopher Malapitan for visually capturing the main themes of the event.

Next Steps

The next steps for Hello Europe’s EU Migration Policy Summit include putting together policy acceleration groups to take the ideas and conversations that emerged in the workshops to become clear and actionable policy recommendations for elected and permanent officials at EU and national levels. If you are interested in participating in this phase in some way, please let us know by writing to