Opening on 10th of February, the social innovation platform offers inspiration, free workshops, and the chance to meet like-minded people who are passionate about helping others. Visitors can learn more about Ma’an, discover volunteering opportunities, and take steps towards growing their own social enterprises.
The Exchange by Ma’an will consist of five different areas – Join the Community, Get Inspired, Learn from Others, Make New Connections, and Get Involved, ranging from a walk-through exhibition following the story of Ma’an to specialized workshop areas.
Visitors will get the chance to network, attend talks and workshops, browse inspiring books, work on their own projects, and meet future collaborators in this informal lounge space.
Open to the public, The Exchange will run over the course of four weeks until 7th March, each week following a different theme of programs. The programs will feature inspiring talks and active workshops hosted by international expert speakers and social entrepreneurs.
These include: Chris West, Partner at Sumerian Partners and recipient of World CSR award for “Social Innovation” in 2013; Michael Green, CEO, Social Progress Imperative and one of GQ’s “The 100 Most Connected Men in Britain” in 2016; Tracey Austin, experienced Global Head of Impact Investments at Palladium and Jane Newman, International Director of Social Finance and a board member of the European Venture Philanthropy Association.
Programme schedules for Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays will focus on creating positive change in the community and solving social challenges. These sessions will discuss issues such as reducing social isolation among the elderly or improving the inclusion of people of determination.
On Tuesdays, the programme will be designated to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Mornings and University Afternoons, with pre-booked sessions especially designed to engage and challenge CSR representatives and university students. Through a workshop format, local social entrepreneurs will ask participants to help solve real challenges faced by their initiative and expert speakers will give thought-provoking discussions.
Wednesdays will focus on mental wellbeing, with panel talks and mindful workshops aimed to help participants heal, meditate, practice yoga, and more.
The weekends will be family-friendly, catering to parents and children with arts and craft workshops and unique storytelling sessions on Fridays and Saturdays delivered by Dana Al Mazrouie, founder of Yellow Space. Hosted in collaboration with Early Starters, young visitors will have the chance to hear stories read by favourite authors, or to combine child-friendly yoga with calming story sessions.
HE Salama Al Ameemi, Director General of Ma’an, said “Abu Dhabi is full of potential budding social entrepreneurs who have the drive and the passion to give back to the community.
“Through launching The Exchange, our aim is to root Ma’an at the heart of the community and provide a platform that encourages social impact ideas and good causes to flourish.
“It is an inspiring space that will give Abu Dhabi’s aspiring impact makers the opportunity to channel their visions and passion into projects that can make a lasting, positive change in our community.
“Whether you have an idea for a social business or want to make a difference through your company’s CSR budget or simply want to discover how you can help others in the community, then The Exchange by Ma’an is the place to visit.
“I want to thank Aldar for providing us with the space in Yas Mall and supporting our mission to create collaborative communities that contribute towards the common good.”
Advance online registration is required for selected sessions. Pre-book online from Monday 10th February.