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Dear all, The year is still crispy so a prosperous and healthy New Year New to you all! I do hope you
 

Prospector Newsletter

January 26 · Issue #6 · View online
Where media, culture and business meet around the Middle East

Dear all,
The year is still crispy so a prosperous and healthy New Year New to you all! I do hope you enjoyed time with your loved ones, and you feel energized for the new adventures.
To start, I am enjoying my time at Hivos Impact Investments (HII); the team, the sector as well as my work is really interesting and fun too. My current work consists mainly of implementing the ‘Co-working for sustainable employment’ programme (LEAD), focused on job creation in the Middle East, by the Dutch ministry of Foreign Affairs. This third year for the LEAD programme we will continue to organize events and coaching for young entrepreneurs in Tunis, Cairo and Alexandria. Meanwhile I will continue managing the HII deal flow portfolio for the Middle East.
This year I will spend more time and energy on The Prospector because prospecting for ministries, ngo’s and businesses in the Middle East remains a promising and interesting model.
My plans for this year in short: in the first quarter I will research and produce an overview of the main players and events regarding impact investing in the Middle East. I will let you know when it is completed and where it will be published. Secondly The Prospector will organize another expert meeting – most probably in Amsterdam. The topic – culture and media in an international context - is still under discussion. Like any proper crowd sourcer I ask you: is there anything you like me to follow, or that you wish to know more about? Ideas and suggestions are welcome, please do not hesitate to mail or call me.
Monique

Culture & IT, Media
Unconvential
Friends at New Silk Roads are implementing Afkar Fellows; a unique fellowship program for catalyzers of social change in North Africa that seeks to boost fellows’ social impact and visibility as influencers in the region. Through the fellowship, they will obtain networking opportunities and capacity building in film making, ICT, social media, business and fundraising. The initiators believe that social change begins with unconventional leaders who build movements, challenge norms, and cultivate safe spaces for alternative thought.
The 2017 Afkar Fellows include amongst others: a visual artist & gallerist from Libya; a media entrepreneur from Egypt; a calligrapher & art facilitator from Western Sahara; a sustainability & inclusion designer from Morocco; an LGBTQ activist, and a creative media technologist from Tunisia.
For more information please have a look at the website and the Afkar Facebook page.
Language of technology
Making changes in the root causes - lack of opportunities and lack of choices; lack of freedom and lack of dignity. That is to contribute to the ability to access information, the ability to have some sense of opportunity in your life, and the ability to choose among several opportunities. That is what made Christopher Fabian to disrupt the bureaucracy at UNICEF and set up the Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund can quickly assess, fund and grow open-source solutions that can improve children’s lives. Fabian: ‘I think if you look at that; can a start-up solve that? No. Does creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem give you opportunity? No. Because those are all sort of second level things, but what they can do is help balance some of that unfairness. So I think it’s not the start-ups, it’s the language of technology and of change, and business that allows us to negotiate what’s really difficult in the next 20 years for humanity.’
The Innovation Fund of UNICEF receives applications on a rolling basis. Please check back regularly for information about the newest investments, calls for proposals and other announcements.
Catch up
Predictions 2018 by the British innovation foundation Nesta go from unselfish drones to award-winning AI artists. Nesta’s explores how existing technology could work for us along the lines of 10 trends. Could drones deliver more than parcels? Could our data be the key to better deals for us as consumers? The impact of artificial intelligence is the key theme in a number of this year’s predictions is, on everything from healthcare to artistic practice. Including catching up with Nesta’s predictions of 2017.
Inspiration
To conclude with some inspiration: The Pudding. This interesting form of investigative journalism explains ideas debated in culture with visual essays. By wielding original datasets, primary research, and interactivity, The Pudding tries to thoroughly explore complex topics. From ‘Newspapers: a black and white issue’ to ‘How music taste evolved’, Tip: start looking at the visuals – the pictures, the animation and the graphic design – before you start reading.

Impact Investing
I published a short story – with photo’s - about a remarkable cooperation between Moncef and Karin, a Tunisian and Dutch entrepreneur. Where beautiful design and local produced handcrafts are meeting their market through the webstore of NRC Handelsblad, a quality newspaper in Holland.
The Skoll Foundation’s programs support social 
entrepreneurs and other innovators driving sustainable solutions 
to pressing global problems, in a variety of ways. By investing, connecting and celebrating.


COMING UP
1. Cultural Protection Fund
This £30 million fund of the British Council supports efforts to keep cultural heritage sites and objects safe, as well as the recording, conservation and restoration of cultural heritage. It also provides opportunities to local communities for training and education, enabling and empowering them in the long term to value, care for and benefit from their cultural heritage.
Organizations can apply for small (from £5000) and large grants (up to £2 million) if working to create sustainable opportunities for economic and social development. Only projects working in Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Iraq, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen will be considered.
Small grant applications are open on a rolling basis. Funding is awarded on a quarterly basis. Be inspired by funded projects.
2. Another one from the British Council:  they are looking for 100 of the world’s most talented, motivated and passionate student journalists to attend an intensive media training program in the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, on 5 – 6 July 2018.
You’ll receive exclusive coaching from the world’s leading editors, broadcasters, writers and reporters, and see how publishers around the world are using technology to find stories and bring them to life like never before. Deadline 28th February
3. The Prince Claus Fund invites cultural and artistic institutions working in Lebanon to apply for grants (15,000 euros per grant) for new cultural and artistic projects aimed at enhancing the cultural life within the Palestinian communities in Lebanon. Independent initiatives or groups may apply for this grant, but under the umbrella of an active cultural institution registered in Lebanon. Deadline 25th February
4. The ARC project - implemented by Hivos - aims at increasing and improving employment opportunities, and private sector development activities that support enterprise growth in Lebanon.
Hivos will select 8 Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME) and offer them a grant of up to U.S. $25,000.
The preferred sectors are Artisanal, Creative, Food Production, and Digital IT.
5. Is your organisation, company or NGO active in the creative or cultural sector? And are your cultural activities aimed at contributing to social cohesion in countries bordering on the European Union? If so, you might be eligible for a 2018–2020 Creative Twinning grant, a new subsidy scheme.
Creative Twinning projects contribute to:
- a more vigorous local cultural sector, which can contribute to social innovation;
- more participation in cultural events by young people;
a safer, more sustainable urban living environment;
- sustainable preservation of local cultural heritage.
The project must be aimed at countries bordering the European Union. For more information see the Creative Twinning page.
6. Only for cool start-ups! The second Incubation cycle of start ups of ICEAlex in Alexandria and surroundings will start beginning of March. The deadline for submitting applications has been extended, so hurry up.


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