Service Innovation Summit

MADRID, March 28-30, 2012

Venue: Fundación Rafael del Pino

Calle de Rafael Calvo, 39 28010 Madrid, Spain
T: 913 96 86 00

The Embassy of the United States in Madrid

The Honorable Alan D. Solomont,
U.S. Ambassador to Spain and Andorra and Honorary Chair

Hosted by Meridian International Center, the U.S. Embassy in Spain,
and the Rafael del Pino Foundation

The engagement of citizens in addressing social issues is having an impact like never before. Governments are increasingly looking beyond their doorsteps for solutions, corporations are championing employee-led initiatives, and innovative NGOs are harnessing the talents of volunteers in new and powerful ways. However, it often takes a catalytic event to spark systemic change.

Meridian’s Global Service Leaders Initiative, the U.S. Embassy in Spain, and the Rafael del Pino Foundation will host a Service Innovation Summit in Madrid on March 28-30, 2012 to accomplish just this.

The Summit will convene leaders from government, nonprofit and corporate sectors in Spain, Europe, and from around the world to explore innovations in volunteerism and service as a solution to address two of Spain’s most pressing social challenges: unemployment and economic development.

The case for Spain

At present, 43% of Spain’s youth are unemployed and one out of every five young people of working age under the age of 30 are still looking for their first job. Throughout the past two decades there has been a strong dependence on the construction sector, and with the recent economic recession there has been a 35% decline in these jobs. Spain has also seen a slow relocation of labor to other sectors as well as an exodus of many highly-educated Spanish youth to find work elsewhere.

The Summit will present innovative solutions to addressing these issues through service and volunteering, surface collaborative opportunities, and call participants to action.

Summit Themes

Civic Engagement: The role and responsibility of citizens in a democracy to solve problems in their communities.

Sharing Responsibility: How companies, NGOs, and service leaders can work together to advance CSR and community goals.

Stories of Success, Looking at What Works: Models of mentoring, skill-building volunteerism and service programs with proven impact.

Engaging the Next Generation: Building a culture of service. Efforts to prepare youth through service-learning and other hands-on experiences to establish life-long habits.

Maximizing the Impact of Volunteerism: Tools, Challenges & What’s Working.

Agenda Highlights

Pre-conference Events:

European Volunteer Measurement Tool Orientation, led by Johns Hopkins University and the European Volunteer Center (CEV): A special session will introduce attendees to the European Volunteer Measurement Tool. The effective measurement of volunteer work has been essential in raising awareness of the importance and extent of volunteerism in Europe and around the world. Attendees will learn how utilize data to promote the effective policies on volunteering and to build support at a national and regional level. The European Volunteer Measurement tool was created as a collaborative effort between the European Volunteer Centre (CEV), Centro di Servizio per il Voluntario del Lazio (SPES) & the authors of the ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work and the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies. By invitation only.

Volunteer Management, led by Delores Morton, Points of Light: An intensive session is designed to provide organizations and local leaders with knowledge regarding the growth and exchange of volunteerism and the creation of sustainable activities. Open to all participants.

Spain 101: a Primer on the Spanish Service Culture and Experience, led by Orlando Graves Bolaños (invited): An introduction to volunteerism in Spain for US attendees. By special invitation only.

Conference Highlights

Special guest speaker, Arianna Huffington, will provide the opening remarks at the Summit Welcome Reception. Ms. Huffington is the President and Editor in Chief of Huffington Post Media Group. At or around the time of the summit, Ms. Huffington plans to launch the Spanish Huffington Post.

Plenary panels on a variety of topics relating to volunteerism in Spain and around the world. For example, theoretical discussions and practical models of Corporate Social Responsibility will be presented through two panels: Sharing the Responsibility: How Businesses Can Help and Corporate Volunteering Case-studies.

Grupo PRISA will serve as the Media Sponsor and will provide coverage in El País and other media outlets.

Private tour and dinner hosted by the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, which houses one of the world’s largest private art collections.

This will be the first among a series of Service Innovation Summits that will convene to leverage service and volunteerism as a solution to addressing some of the world’s most challenging socio-economic issues. We welcome you to be a lead partner in launching this global initiative.