In cooperation with Bwcon GmbH and Eckert Schools, the City of Augsburg organized the German preparation meeting on 27th July 2017 at Eckert Schools premises in Augsburg.
The lunchtime workshop aimed at informing and training German political stakeholders and organizations about the potential use of Social Impact Bonds when faced with dwindling state resources. The instrument is particularly considered to finance innovative solutions currently not covered by state expenditures.
The audience consisted of representatives of the Bavarian State Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Family and Integration, the City Council and various job centres. Participants were explicitly invited to share their ideas, concerns and questions with two experts present either during or after the event.
Knut Wuhler, regional manager of Eckert Schools, greeted all guests and presented the meeting’s agenda.
The first discussion was launched by Thomas Scheuerle, PhD, freelance consultant for social enterprises on topics of social innovation, impact assessment and strategy formation, who has worked for many years in various research and consulting projects at the Center for Social Investment and Innovation (CSI) at the University of Heidelberg. He explained the origins and functionalities of a Social Impact Bond and gave specific examples for the audience.
Hereinafter, Knut Wuhler, who was a key player in the making of the first Social Impact bond ‘Augsburg Eleven’ presented the makings, aim and procedures of the first German Social Impact Bond to the audience.
Both speakers finally guided participants through a discussion, responding to questions and concerns. Participants were hesitant to use SIBs, as they thought the German welfare system was well equipped, and saw many legal difficulties in regards to the implementation of SIBs. They did however concede that SIBs were an interesting format to experiment with new innovative ideas.
The results of this discussion will be taken into consideration for a policy paper, which will be produced in the further project progression with the aim to set a common methodology of SIB and SII in the Alpine Space.