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Artificial intelligence for social impact: social business models and social enterprise finance

june, 2021

22jun1:00 pm4:00 pmArtificial intelligence for social impact: social business models and social enterprise finance


Event Details

This workshop aims to present and discuss new possibilities for business models and financing schemes brought by artificial intelligence (AI). AI can be understood in a simplified way as a system which learns from data and generates insights and recommendations at a scale and speed sometimes far exceeding human levels. Among these capabilities are speech and image recognition, natural language processing or pattern detection.

The workshop will be moderated by Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl, who will give an introduction to the technology, classification schemes and questions of data management. This will serve as basis to discuss the folowing two topics, which are relevant for social enterprise finance intermediaries.

Ulrich Scharf will discuss SkillLab’s use of artificial intelligence and the resulting business model. SkillLab uses AI to help people explore, capture, and express their skills. This enables employment services and education providers to better understand their clients and connect them to relevant careers and education.

Stephan A. Jansen will discuss urbanization and the city as the laboratory for social change regarding opportunities for social enterprise finance intermediaries across different fields such as mobility or health. He will also present prototypes of financing vehicles with a social impact in the Urban Health Tech Area with an inter-sectorial and inter-industrial innovation design.

The three speakers will deliver an interactive online session.


  • Ulrich Scharf is the Founder and Managing Director of Amsterdam-based award-winning SkillLab. SkillLab is a social business developing technology-based solutions to empower people to turn their skills into careers.
  • Stephan A. Jansen is working at the intersection of new technologies, social patterns, finance and innovation. He is founding coordinator of the Digital Urban Center for Aging & Health (DUCAH) at the Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet & Society as well as Director of the Center for Philanthropy & Civil Society (PhiCS) at Karlshochschule in Karlsruhe. He is co-CEO of the Society for Urban Mobility (BICICLI) and their mobility consultancy Mobility New Designs (MOND) in Berlin. He has worked for twenty years in scientific policy consulting in the Federal Chancellery, the Federal Ministry of Finance, and the Federal Ministry of Research, among others.
  • Wolfgang Spiess-Knafl is working at the European Center for Social Finance, which delivers EaSI Technical Assistance services on behalf of the European Commission. He has an engineering background and started his career in investment banking. Wolfgang has been active in the field of social finance since 2009. His current main interests are emerging new technologies and their intersection with social and environmental objectives.

A background paper will be shared ahead of the workshop to help to structure the discussions.


(Tuesday) 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm CET




European Commission

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