About Silvana Lobin

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So far Silvana Lobin has created 9 blog entries.

SEF blogs. SEF reviews

By |Saturday, March 11, 2017|Categories: SEF blogs|

Hey everyone and welcome back to the new semester! To kick it off, we all went to an event hosted by the Novomatic Forum and organised by the Julius Raab Foundation called “Unfuck the economy”. The lovely people on the panel included: State Secretary Harald Mahrer, Markus Gull, president of the Julius Raab Foundation, Johannes Lindner, founder of the Initiative Teaching Entrepreneurship, Philip Siefer, CEO and Co-Founder of Einhorn and last but not least, Christine Jama, one of our very own SEF Co-Founders (whoop whoop).

Now, what does that mean, Unfuck the economy? The idea put forward was that instead of saying “fuck the economy” as it so often happens nowadays, it would be better to view the economy not as the problem, but as part of the solution. In fact, economy today is often synonymous with big corporations, when in fact “the economy” is all of us. So, how can we “unfuck the economy”?

The overall tenor from the panel was that what we need is more entrepreneurial responsibility, meaning that entrepreneurs and business people should not only preach but live the values our society holds dear, by incorporating them into how their business is run. In addition, we should leave more room for innovation, self-creation and self-determination, by teaching not just adults but also kids in school how to conquer challenges, deal with failure and be self-reliant.

Of course these are all valuable ideas, but is it enough? Share your thoughts and be sure to check out our next post, where we will be reflecting on the event and the thoughts expressed there – #officialteaser

SEF interviews. Supertramps.

By |Monday, January 16, 2017|Categories: SEF interviews|Tags: , , , |

Read what Teresa from Supertramps has to say about homelessness and social business in Austria.


Describe yourself in 3 words.
Driven all-rounder

What problem do you solve?
Even though Vienna is always cited as world‘s most liveable city, the number of homeless people is growing. Once living on the street, finding the way back is challenging due to a complex set of reasons: Often, homeless people have little opportunities because they have no one who believes in or trusts them anymore, they unlearned social competencies and reliability, and they often have mental problems. These factors all lead to a very low self-esteem. At the same time, most people have prejudices and are not very familiar with homelessness.

How does your business model work?
SUPERTRAMPS offers adventurous walks through Vienna, developed and led by homeless guides. At carefully chosen public places, they connect knowledge about homelessness with their personal stories. With the walks, we aim to empower our guides and build awareness about homelessness. SUPERTRAMPS was founded in 2015 by Katharina Turnauer who supported a similar project in Prague with her private foundation. At the moment, SUPERTRAMPS is organised as a non-profit. The foundation supports SUPERTRAMPS with expertise and funding. However, the aim is to be self-sustaining in the long-term.

What is Social Entrepreneurship to you? And what is it not?
To me, Social Entrepreneurship means tackling societal and environmental challenges in an innovative way whilst striving to be financially independent. In every step Social Entrepreneurs make, they act in a respectful and morally reasonable way. The applied practices are led by a social mission and not by profit goals. For them, impact is their main priority.

What are the toughest challenges you have to face by running a social business?
I personally think that there are two main challenges: Does my business truly have a sustainable impact? Is my business really able to operate without external financiers?

What is your vision for Social Entrepreneurship in Austria?
Social Entrepreneurship is not only seen as a current hype but as a long-term interest by the state and as a respected and applied business model by the private, public and NGO sector. At the same time, conventional businesses acknowledge the added value of Social Entrepreneurship and recognise their social and environmental responsibilities.

A little piece of advice for social entrepreneurs to be?
In your ambitious pursuit of goals and success, don’t forget you as a person. If you feel good, the business will flourish.

If you could put up a huge billboard anywhere – what would it say?
Everyone has a talent. If you recognise the talent, honour and encourage it.


For more information, please visit http://supertramps.at/.

On a personal note, a few of us from the SEF Team have had the pleasure to take part in a tour led by one of the supertramps, Ferdinand, and we can sincerely recommend it. It was incredibly interesting and we walked away with a deeper understanding and appreciation for the complexity of what it means to be homeless.


SEF blogs. SEF sparks

By |Wednesday, November 30, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , |

Last week we hosted SEF sparks, where this time it was all about finance, and with us we had Oliver Holle, founder of Speedinvest, Peter Vandor, founder of the Social Impact Award and senior researcher at WU, Kristina Notz from the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie and Jakob Detering, Director of the Social Impact Award. Thanks also to the Impact Hub, who were kind enough to lend us their space for the event.

Now why finance, you may ask. Surely, when talking about social business, there are other aspects that are more important than money? Which is why finance is sometimes treated very much like the proverbial stepchild in the SE family. And while profit isn’t the highest goal in SE, generating a sustainable income stream is a vital part of the business plan.

The problem is, that very often there is a divergence between impact and profit, e.g. your profit gets smaller if your impact gets bigger and vice versa. Another issue is the question of scalability (which I hear is important to investors). As a SE, scaling impact is gonna be more important than scaling profit – which then leads to the question of how to measure impact in the first place.

So keeping all that in mind, how can you convince traditional investors to come onboard with SE? According to the wise words of our panel, on one hand Social Entrepreneurs need to be prepared to talk about money as well as their impact. On the other hand it needs gutsy investors who aren’t afraid to “invest out of the box”. Lastly, not all money fits every business – the plurality of structures in SE requires an equally large variety of investment logics/ approaches.

There is much potential still unused in Austria in the area of Social Entrepreneurship. Our panel nicely summed up how to spread SE even further through more initiatives, out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration across various backgrounds and areas to get out of our silos.

Thank you everyone for an inspiring evening! Feel free to browse through the photos and we’ll see you at our next event!

SEF blogs. SEF disrupts education

By |Friday, November 11, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , |

Have you ever wondered what a perfect education system would look like? Which systemic changes would be necessary? What would the curriculum look like? Would there even be a fixed curriculum? What forms of teaching would be employed? Which competences would we most foster in our pupils? And most importantly: how do we ensure that every child has equal opportunities to learn, grow and prosper?

Together with the lovely people from the Gründungszentrum WU we hosted the inspiring event Disrupt Education, in which pioneers from the education sector shared their views and answered many of our burning questions. Margret Rasfeld (Initiative Schule im Aufbruch, Berlin), Matthias Strolz (NEOS), Bettina Fuhrmann (WU), Toni Kronke (TeachForAustria) and Bernhard Hofer (talentify.me) made up our panel and shared their views and ideas with us, some of them broad and general, some very specific. While each of our panelists shed light on different aspects, one thing they all agreed on: our education system needs to change, preferably yesterday.

And while it’s impossible to sum up all of the insights, let me give you some keywords for inspiration:

  • creating new structures instead of improving the old
  • teachers as companions rather than authority figures
  • new subjects like responsibility and challenge
  • human- centered education (seems logical but how many times in educational discussion do we actually talk about what kids need)
  • and most importantly: why education?

Because education needs to have a purpose: to prepare you for life, to enable you not just to function but to think, to give you the tools to answer the big questions humanity faces today, to empower and to offer choices and create opportunity – for all children equally.


Click here and have fun browsing through the pictures from the event!

Next stop: November 23rd, 6:30pm at Impact Hub Vienna –> Future of Social Entrepreneurship with amazing guest speakers! Check it out here!


SEF blogs. SEF @ Gründen in Wien

By |Thursday, October 13, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , , |


We are back – and ready to spread the love for Social Business! So to start off the semester we took part in Gründen in Wien (“Founding in Vienna”), together with FuckUpNights and The Changer, hosted by the lovely CoSpace team. Wanna know what Social Entrepreneurship is all about and how to start generating new ideas? Well, we were there to talk about exactly that.

And, since we love innovation like cute little puppies, we decided to add something new to our idea generating process (if you’re curious what we’ve done so far, feel free to check out posts from last term)  – the 5 Whys. Which basically means asking the question why five times in a row, each answer forming the basis for the next question. What sounds to be a somewhat philosophical approach is in a fact a great tool to get to the real cause of a problem. Why? Because what you see of an issue is usually just one symptom of many. Asking why repeatedly makes you dig deeper and get to the root cause of the problem.

And that is vital in Social Businesses. Because knowing the exact nature of an issue, with all its intricacies, will help you to solve it faster, more efficiently and sustainably, and with a more effective outcome. So, to kick off this semester, let’s all pick something that really grinds our gears, sit down with others who are affected by it and start asking: Why?


Yeah but…Why? 😉


PS: If you wanna know more about how to adress the needs of your target group take a look at this article on design thinking.

SEF blogs. SEF connects #2.

By |Monday, June 13, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , , |

Have you ever sat down and asked yourself: why? Why do I go to work every morning? Why do I live my life the way I am living it?

That was the question we asked our SEFsters at this month’s event, SEF connects #2, centred around our growing community.
Based on the Golden Circle Model we talked about our own “why?”, what inspires us, what drives us – a question that was also answered by our amazing pitchers during the main part of the evening. We invited our members to present their own ideas and projects, to share their inspiration and get feedback from our community:

We heard from Ulrike about her idea, called In-your-hands, to make funerals a much more personal matter, thereby helping people better deal with their grief. Markus from Root Engineering told us how he wants to make fresh vegetables accessible to a larger amount of people. Lisa-Maria founded the organisation More Than One Perspective, that supports refugees during the process of integration into the job market. Helmut talked about Option 2.0, a platform that enables the donation of money to specific people and their ventures. Finally, I got to pitch Milch für Flüchtlingskinder, a project that strives to make refugees in Irak self-supporters by providing them with cows.

At the end, we asked our guests to give feedback on SEF and what they wanted to see next semester. It showed what we had expected: our members love talking to each other – more time for Q&A was a popular demand (which I am sure can be arranged :D).

We are so happy that SEFsters are obviously inspired by each other and that our community is so alive, creative and enriching. So thank you all for an amazing semester. We are excited to plan over the summer and look forward to seeing you again in the fall!

Ulrike Reimann – In-your-hands
Markus Kraut – Root Engineering
Lisa-Maria Sommer – More Than One Perspective
Helmut Gruber – Option 2.0
Silvana Lobin – Milch für Flüchtlingskinder

SEF blogs. SEF connects (so many awesome people).

By |Friday, May 13, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , , |

After SEF rises, this month’s event was all about bringing like-minds together and strengthening our growing community. And what better way to do that than to sit down over some nice food and drinks in a great location, the WU Gründungszentrum, the Entrepreneurship Center.

SEF connects was centered around the concept of idea generation. For this, we first asked our 25 guests to write down social issues they found interesting and then break up into smaller groups. They settled on five general topics: sustainability, unemployment, mental illness, integration of migrants and systemic questions. After about an hour of narrowing down the problems and discussing potential solutions, ideas were pitched to the rest of the Forum.

Knowing SEFsters, we expected some great ideas and interesting conversation. Expectations were exceeded, however, as from the second we started, the room was filled with the buzzing sound of voices. When it came to pitching and giving feedback, the discussion could have literally gone on for hours.

H​ere are some of the ideas:

  •  A portable cultivated area as a means of reducing hunger and furthering social interaction as well as a healthy diet
  •  An app contacting people who suffer from dementia on a daily basis, in order to ensure their safety and make them feel connected
  •  A job­ platform for people who are unemployed, which would include social projects (in case they do not find a job right away, they would have an occupation, which gives structure to their day and helps prevent social exclusion)

We also talked about how the last idea could be used for refugees, since working can further integration tremendously (you learn the language, make social contacts, get the feeling that you are being productive). In terms of systemic questions, of which there are undoubtedly a lot, the importance of international solutions and building bridges was stressed.

Needless to say, such an amazing evening is only possible with equally wonderful and inspiring people. We feel very fortunate to have been able to host such a great group of people and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone who was there, we loved having you!

We hope to see you soon at our next event, SEF connect #2, on 08.06.2016!

SEF blogs. SEF rises (and it was amaaaaazing).

By |Saturday, April 23, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , , , |

After “SEF involves”, this was our first major event, including guest speakers, a podium discussion, snacks, drinks – the works! We started off with our Keynote-Speaker, Walter Emberger, the founder of Teach for Austria, who gave us an insight into his journey from being a banker and consultant to becoming Austria’s first social entrepreneur of the year.

After a short session of doing the twist (yes I mean the 60s dance – gotta loosen up), we dove right into the impulse-speeches. We heard from Dominik Beron, who founded refugeeswork.at, Birgitt Wodon-Lauboeck from Projekt Bank für Gemeinwohl, and Toni Kronke, who helped start Teach for Austria. Afterwards, these three inspiring people sat down and answered our questions in a podium discussion – and here’s what we learned:

Social entrepreneurs strike new paths, not only in terms of what they do but how they do it. While expertise and hard work are no doubt part of being a social entrepreneur, the most important aspect is the motivation to effect positive change – it is what drives them and keeps them going even in the most frustrating of times.

We are proud to have hosted over 90 people – thank you all for your support and we hope to see you on 11.05.2016 at our next event, “SEF connects”!

For more pictures and a recap video please visit our Facebook page.

If you want to know more about our guest speakers and their organisations, check out their videos on our Facebook page or follow these links to learn about their projects: http://www.teachforaustria.at/

SEF blogs. SEF involves reviewed.

By |Tuesday, April 12, 2016|Categories: SEF blogs|Tags: , |

Do you feel like business needs to be more social? Do you think that our economy should serve the people in this world, and not the other way around? Then you are like me. I’m an ambassador for SEF and today I would like to tell you about my experience at “SEF involves” and how I got inspired to become a part of SEF.

The idea of “SEF involves” was to inform attendees about SEF’s activities and goals. But what I expected to be a simple presentation turned out to be much more than that.

Not only did the founders of SEF share their vision, to make social business the standard by building a community of like-minded people, but they immediately put that idea to work by inviting everyone of us to share our own motivation for being there. It gave us a chance to exchange ideas and opinions, and inspired a lively conversation right from the start.

This open and communicative atmosphere persisted throughout the entire evening and at the end I wasn’t just convinced that social business was going to be the next big thing. I also loved the idea of getting together with so many great people and becoming a part of such an inspiring community.