26th Post-ICC Event – Sweden 2014

Post-ICC Event -

'Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserves'

Following the 26th International Co-ordinating Council for the Man and the Biosphere, this workshop was hosted from the 15-17 June 2017 at the Lake Vänern Archipelago Biosphere Reserve in Sweden. The event was specifically designed for those who are already working with social enterprises in Biosphere Reserves or for those interested in learning more about it. 

This event was a continuation of previous workshops held during EuroMAB 2011 in Sweden and EuroMAB 2013 in Canada as a result of which the Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve Development Framework (produced with the support of the Scottish Government) as well as the EuroMAB Social Enterprise working group (SEBR WG) were established. 


Workshop Sessions

This workshop focused on

biosphere reserves as vehicles for social enterprise development

how to use BRs as platforms for other organisations to become less grant dependent

how to promote BRs as developmental areas for social entrepreneurs


The different areas were explored and discussed over six different sessions:

  1. Introduction of participants and why they are interested in social enterprise
  2. Exploring the value of social enterprise (e.g. financial independence, ethical business)
  3. Introduction of the prototype for a Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve Online Platform (see OASIIS, launched 2016 at 4th WCBR) to highlight socio-economic value of Biospheres as well as social enterprises and their social capital
  4. Excursion to local enterprises such as the Lugnås Millstone Quarry, the Lassegården, and through the local Biosphere to Mount Kinnekulle
  5. Discussing introduction of social entrepreneurship as a specific theme into future MAB strategy 


Overall Objectives 


The objectives of the SEBR working group are to:

  • Raise awareness of social enterprise as a financially viable model, enabling BRs to move away from grant dependency
  • Promote and understanding of the process outlined in the Framework document to assist capacity and policy to enable community initiatives and social enterprises to emerge and flourish by;
    • Promoting examples of services and products being delivered by social enterprises in and around BRs
    • Promoting examples of public participation being actively used in BR’s
    • Promoting examples and success stories of sustainable public procurement being delivered in BR’s
  • Evaluating the impact and added value of this approach in BR’s
  • Influence EuroMAB policy to support social enterprise in and around BRs because as a values-based approach to business they have high levels of social and environmental respect

Click here to download a copy of the workshop report.

The Social Enterprise and Biosphere Reserve Working Group (SEBR WG) has continued to develop and at the World Congress in Lima 2016, became a thematic network for the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. Click here to download a copy of the SEBRWG Outcomes 2011-2015 paper.


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