A lasting impression: MEET+CHANGE in an inclusive workshop
“Just recently, we had the Deutsche Bahn rail company holding a meeting here,” said Magret Huth, head of an inclusive workshop in Berlin-Pankow, as she showed us the spreading rooms in the former textile factory. Yet this loft building is anything but an event location. The space is full of people busy with tasks ranging from assembly to painting, sewing, repairing, designing, cleaning and writing. The seven workshop areas employ a total of seventy-five people with physical, mental or psychological disabilities. Using these rooms for external meetings or workshops through the MEET+CHANGE services of the visitBerlin Berlin Convention Office is a new departure – and a significant value added. Not just for the facility, but also for participants at a MEET+CHANGE event.
Watch this space! Raising awareness through MEET+CHANGE
In the assembly workshop, Magret Huth summarised the advantages of MEET+CHANGE: “We catch people’s attention, create more of a public profile, and so generate those contacts that are so important for us.” On our visit, we also gained an insight into daily life in the workshop, meeting people working there as they assembled lamps, tested small parts or added adhesive labels to postcards. And such direct contact at once generates ideas for cooperation: Why not have your Christmas cards designed here? Why not work together in future on producing give-aways? Or have your bike repaired here?
The inclusive workshop offers a range of services, from assembly and dispatch to office communication, household management, paintwork, media design, bike repairs, and textile design. “In 2013, we started just with three areas,” Magret Huth noted. “Today, we have seven – and the bike repair workshop is now being expanded.” In many cases, the credo is recycling, ‘turning old into new’ – just as it is in the Textile Design workshop. Here, carpets are transformed into dolls, shirts into aprons, sleeping bags into shopping bags – and a stage banner into practical mobile phone cases. And we discovered for ourselves just how that works!
Value added creates value added – through socially and ecologically sustainable meetings
On the afternoon of our visit, under the guidance of Dorothea Bauer, head of the Textile Design workshop, we sewed 28 mobile phone cases from a 12m x 3m stage banner. Individual, ecological and socially sustainable – finding new ways to recycle material that otherwise would have been thrown away. Learning in the process, and giving something back – the core idea behind MEET+CHANGE.
And our experience on a small scale is even more evident on a large scale. Anyone planning an event in a social or cultural facility can be sure of a warm welcome, a shift in perspective, and real value added in the form of ideas, insights, and contacts. Moreover, every event leaves a positive trace. Each event organiser using the rooms grants one of the facility’s wishes, providing it with something urgently needed. In other words – value added creates value added. And does so just by organising a sustainable meeting in rooms with special social and cultural potential.
Interested in a MEET+CHANGE event?
Just email us at meetandchange@visitBerlin.de. We’ll be happy to help you with your planning!
- A social and sustainable meetings format for businesses and institutions
- One of a kind throughout Europe: The Berlin Convention Office establishes contacts between social and cultural facilities and event organisers
- Meetings, workshops, team building events, and presentations held at social or cultural facilities
- Event participants profit from a unique and authentic shift in perspective
- Facilities benefit from an urgently needed value added
- More details in the video https://youtu.be/iXfobx1tdMw