Thoughts on three years of PLACE

PLACE, like all innovation, was born from necessity. A necessity that was clear to see across disciplines and borders – to change the migrant narrative. In 2016, media-fueled rhetoric around the dangers of migration clouded Europe’s capacity to see the extraordinary resource arriving at its door. Inspired to act, a multi-sector collaboration between Wow!Labs, Archery and the Mairie de Paris enabled PLACE, a solution to unlock the economic potential of migrants and refugees, to emerge.

Three years on the project has grown through constant innovation & experimentation – all the while being driven by tangible impact. Today, nearly 300 newcomers in Paris, Berlin, London and Munich have been touched by PLACE’s unique approach to growing newcomer talent through innovation. This talent pool has since gone on to build businesses, navigate the halls of Europe’s most esteemed academic institutions and lead projects and programs within public and private organizations. Quite simply, they have gone on to lead.

2019 was a pivotal year for PLACE. Growing beyond the known and loved Innovation Lab model, PLACE explored making deeper connections between the newcomer talent pool and economic actors through curated programs and next-generation learning experiences. With a foundation of trusting PLACEmakers and a thriving community of newcomers from 39 countries, PLACE has been able to take a strong position on migration, innovation and how they intertwine to create stronger, more resilient economies. It has been a privilege to witness the growth made possible when different parts of the system come together and newcomers are given the space to shape and not only receive.

Entering 2020, we are excited to see how newcomer leaders will continue to spark real change in the sectors of public leadership, business, entrepreneurship and media & the arts. With innovative solutions and compelling stories to tell, we know the newcomer talent pool is the source of new leaders that Europe needs. Did we catch your interest? We welcome you to discover how newcomer leaders will grow alongside PLACE in 2020 here. 

Wishing you growth and joy in 2020,

Charlotte Hochman, Yazen Waked and Michele Caleffi 
Founders of PLACE