Can the social economy help refugees access jobs?

According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 100 million people were forcibly displaced in 2022. With Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Europe has seen the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War with more than 6 million people fleeing Ukraine. This is a big challenge for refugee protection and reception systems. Clearly something public services cannot stem on their own. This is where the social and solidarity economy steps in and steps up to both support governments and fill gaps and public support. This podcast discusses how the social and solidarity economy can fast track the labour-market integration of refugees and migrants.

Guests: Anne Kjaer-Bathel, Co-founder and CEO of ReDI School of Digital Integration, Berlin and Thomas Liebig, Principal Administrator, OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs

Host: Kristine Langenbucher, Head of the Employment and Skills Unit, OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship

CEO at ReDI School | Website | + posts

Anne is CEO and co-founder ReDI School of Digital Integration. She is a 2006 graduate from KaosPilot in Denmark, a hybrid of a business and a design school. From 2006-2009, she worked as a corporate social responsibility consultant. In that capacity, she developed and implemented Samsung Electronics’ award-winning corporate social responsibility strategy for Scandinavia. In July 2010, Anne moved to Japan, where she spent 2 years researching open social innovation and received the prestigious Rotary Peace Fellowship. She wrote her master thesis in Silicon Valley with OpenIDEO. In 2012, she moved to Berlin to set up the Berlin Peace Innovation Lab, which is associated with Stanford University. The lab focuses on how technology is facilitating emerging and measurable social change toward global peace. In 2015, in response to the refugee crises, Anne co-founded ReDI School of Digital Integration, a vocational training program teaching programming and tech skills to refugees and marginalised people. ReDI is currently teaching 2000+ adults and kids per year. 65% of these are women and girls.
Anne was recognised by Edition F as one of "25 Women" revolutionising German industry and by Handelsblatt as "Mutmacher of the Year"(2018). She was awarded Best Female Social Entrepreneur of the year in Germany 2020 and Ashoka Fellow in 2021.

Senior Migration Specialist, International Migration Division, OECD | + posts

Thomas Liebig is Senior Migration Specialist in the International Migration Division of the OECD in Paris, where he is in charge of the work on the integration of immigrants and their children.

A German national, Thomas holds a doctorate and an MSc in Economics from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). He also holds an MSc in International Affairs and, following studies at the ESADE (Barcelona, Spain), a CEMS Master in International Business Management. Prior to joining the International Migration Division in 2004, he worked for the OECD’s Economics Department in 2000 and for the Institute for Labour Economics and Labour Law at the University of St. Gallen from 2001-2004.

Head of the Employment and Skills Unit, OECD CFE | + posts

Kristine Langenbucher heads the Employment and Skills Unit within the OECD’s Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities. The Unit works with national and subnational governments in OECD countries and beyond to deliver evidence-based and practical recommendations on how to implement employment and skills policies at the local level. Prior to that, she worked for eight years in the OECD’s Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs on active labour market policies, skills policies and the future of work. She has (co-)authored many OECD publications on active labour market policies, national skills strategies and chapters in the OECD Employment Outlook. Prior to joining the OECD, she served as an Economic Advisor in the British Department for Work and Pensions. She holds a Master’s Degree from Wayne State University in Detroit (Michigan/USA) and a Degree as Internationale Diplomvolkswirtin from Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany).