A few years ago tensions arose in Berlin: The booming creative and start-up scene caused rapid changes in neighbourhoods and a rift between ‘old’ and ‘new’ Berliners, resulting in slogans like ‘Tourists go home’ and ‘Hipsters not welcome’.
From a spontaneous Facebook post in 2012 an idea emerged: Building an integration platform, aiming to strengthen social cohesion in Berlin: http://givesomethingbacktoberlin.com/
The focus is on enabling young, international ‘new Berliners’ to participate in volunteering opportunities and create networks of participation. Additionally the platform team develops customised projects by working closely with social organisations and creative groups in Berlin. The aim of GSBTB is to be an enabler to this young, cosmopolitan and mobile generation, to take their enthusiasm and creativity and apply it to projects in a hyper local context. To connect different worlds making them work together for positive social change. Bringing together highly skilled individuals and local groups, they provide initial volunteering opportunities based on projects they develop and implement.
The project received several awards, like the European Council’s “Diversity Advantage Challenge Award”