The Middle East Social Innovation Lab – MESIL – stands for a cooperation of German, Jordanian, Lebanese and Palestinian universities and NGOs.

MESIL partners collaborate to achieve innovation and curriculum development of higher education study programmes in the Middle East.

Within that frame, we work towards to following goals:

  • Introduce interdisciplinary courses on social innovation and entrepreneurship
  • Empower and qualify higher education teachers and young academics to act within transformative educational settings
  • Improve the cooperation of universities with local communities to strenghen their role in the local and regional innovation system for sustainability
  • To address local sustainability challenges by envisioning new models, cooperations and business ideas that reconcile environmental and social needs with viable economic approaches
  • To mainstream sustainable development competences in higher education: systems thinking, futures and anticipatory thinking, values thinking, strategic thinking, collaboration and interpersonal competence

In order to achieve these goals, the MESIL group has been implementing the following activitites since 2019:

  • Interdisciplinary and intercultural open online courses on community-based social innovation and entrepreneurship
  • On-site educational workshops addressing local community and landscape challenges in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Germany.
  • Capacity building in the form of staff training and coaching and provision of course materials and methodical templates
  • Explanding regional target audiences, in particular by integrating young academics from Syria as specific capacity building target audience (supported by the MeProLand project)
  • Knowledge sharing and networking during local workshops and the Middle East Landscape Forum

Since 2019, this initiative has received significant funding by the Germany Academic Exchange Service. The programme ‘Higher Education Dialogue with the Muslim World’ supports the core MESIL activities. The outreach to Syrian young academics and the Middle East Landscape Forum are supported by the programme ‘Higher education cooperation with Jordan and Lebanon to support Syrian higher education staff’ under the project title ‘Middle East Partnership for Productive Landscapes’ (MeProLand).