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Medvind - Tailwind

Social work in transformation

“Hi politicians and decision-makers, we have a chance to create tailwind for everyone.” That was the call to action from the five organizations who are a part of the platform Medvind (Tailwind), to newly elected politicians. It was a call to action for the right of all children and youth to be a part of society, for homeless people's right to health, and for poor people's human rights.

Convictus, Musketörerna i Rågsved (the Musketeers in Rågsved), Projekt Rågsved, Räddningsmissionen (the Rescue Mission), and Umeå Stadsmission (Umeå City Mission) collectively meet thousands of people every week across the country, in order to ensure that the most basic needs of a meal, a place to sleep, and a social context are met. Their work has a long tradition in Sweden, and they carry invaluable knowledge about the situation for some of the most vulnerable people in our country. They manage to reach out, where institutions such as the social services, the social insurance agency, the public employment service, the prison service, and the primary care services have failed. But in a rapidly changing world, where markets are created in the meeting point between the different sectors and where digitalization is shifting the context, a gap has emerged for organizations that work in traditional social fields. They are facing a generational shift, both in their leadership and among donors, an aging staff pool, the introduction of digital work processes, new target groups as a result of changes in the demography, and stricter demands on communication and reporting.

Medvind is a project run by the Inter Business Initiative and financed by the Stenbeck Foundation where five Swedish organizations who have long experience of social sector work receive support for organizational development. The goal is to support the organizations’ work with their target groups. Medvind does this by creating space for strategic and organizational development. Medvind also conducts communication efforts to spread the knowledge developed by the organizations.

“I just want to try to get a better life.”

Convictus, Musketörerna i Rågsved, Projekt Rågsved, Räddningsmissionen och Umeå Stadsmission

They are facing a transformation. Organizational transformation can be both painful and difficult, and it is crucial and necessary to maintain the enormous value that the organizations are creating for their target groups and, in extension, all of society. In order to give support in this process – and to build a deeper understanding of what transformation means in the social sector – the Inter Business Initiative runs the platform Medvind, with financial support from the Stenbeck Foundation. The purpose is to build capacity to meet the new demands that an organization faces today, to find new ways to finance social sector work, new ways to communicate and measure the positive effects on society.

“I just want to try to get a better life.”

Demanding change

The organizations that operate in the social field, often work closely with the local communities and in close contact with the target groups. Despite there being local differences in their areas of operations, there are also shared insights about what is needed on the local and national political agenda for Sweden to become a country for all of us who live here. The Medvind-organizations want to see a political platform for:

“Hi politicians and decision-makers, we have a chance to create tailwind for everyone.” That was the call to action from the five organizations who are a part of the platform Medvind (Tailwind), to newly elected politicians. It was a call to action for the right of all children and youth to be a part of society, for homeless people's right to health, and for poor people's human rights.

Convictus, Musketörerna i Rågsved (the Musketeers in Rågsved), Projekt Rågsved, Räddningsmissionen (the Rescue Mission), and Umeå Stadsmission (Umeå City Mission) collectively meet thousands of people every week across the country, in order to ensure that the most basic needs of a meal, a place to sleep, and a social context are met. Their work has a long tradition in Sweden, and they carry invaluable knowledge about the situation for some of the most vulnerable people in our country. They manage to reach out, where institutions such as the social services, the social insurance agency, the public employment service, the prison service, and the primary care services have failed. But in a rapidly changing world, where markets are created in the meeting point between the different sectors and where digitalization is shifting the context, a gap has emerged for organizations that work in traditional social fields. They are facing a generational shift, both in their leadership and among donors, an aging staff pool, the introduction of digital work processes, new target groups as a result of changes in the demography, and stricter demands on communication and reporting.

Medvind is a project run by the Inter Business Initiative and financed by the Stenbeck Foundation where five Swedish organizations who have long experience of social sector work receive support for organizational development. The goal is to support the organizations’ work with their target groups. Medvind does this by creating space for strategic and organizational development. Medvind also conducts communication efforts to spread the knowledge developed by the organizations.

“I just want to try to get a better life.”

Convictus, Musketörerna i Rågsved, Projekt Rågsved, Räddningsmissionen och Umeå Stadsmission

They are facing a transformation. Organizational transformation can be both painful and difficult, and it is crucial and necessary to maintain the enormous value that the organizations are creating for their target groups and, in extension, all of society. In order to give support in this process – and to build a deeper understanding of what transformation means in the social sector – the Inter Business Initiative runs the platform Medvind, with financial support from the Stenbeck Foundation. The purpose is to build capacity to meet the new demands that an organization faces today, to find new ways to finance social sector work, new ways to communicate and measure the positive effects on society.

“I just want to try to get a better life.”

The organizations that operate in the social field, often work closely with the local communities and in close contact with the target groups. Despite there being local differences in their areas of operations, there are also shared insights about what is needed on the local and national political agenda for Sweden to become a country for all of us who live here. The Medvind-organizations want to see a political platform for:

Demanding change

1. Ensuring the right of all children and young people to participate in society. According to a State Public Report 2017, there are 131,500 young people between 15 and 29 years of age in Sweden who neither work nor study. Medvind also wants to highlight the group of children of vulnerable EU-migrants who are not permitted to go to school in certain municipalities in Sweden.

2. Defend the right to health for homeless people. According to the National Board of Health and Welfare, there were approximately 33,000 people living in homelessness in Sweden in 2017. The homeless in Sweden are a mixed group where just over half are men, but the number of women is increasing. Many of them are the parents of underage children, and many have been homeless for over a year. For a third of the women, a factor contributing to their homelessness was violence in a close relationship. These are individuals who need a lot of care and health services. Despite the need, it often becomes more difficult for them to receive the health and wellness services that they are entitled to.

3. Ensure the human rights of poor people. The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs estimates that approximately 5,000 vulnerable EU-migrants live in Sweden. They are looking for a livelihood and escape the poverty in their home country, in hope of a better future. 70-100 children accompany their parents to Sweden each year. Another reality that we see in Sweden today is that we have retirees who struggle to make ends meet despite having worked hard throughout their life. The elderly cannot afford to participate in a social community. A lonely life. A societal exclusion caused by poverty.

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