Samsung Europe Promotes Positive Change in the Community
Samsung Electronics will become 54 years old tomorrow. That’s over half a century in which our company has grown in both size and breadth. We set up our first European operations in 1982 and today, our divisions span mobile, home appliances, networks and much more. A feat of innovation, to be sure, but also a feat of cooperation and progress.
As Samsung has prospered, so have the local communities that work alongside us. In Europe we have over 44 offices and facilities, with over 11,000 employees across the region. And with Samsung’s size and scale, we are proud to be able to make a positive impact in a wide variety of communities. Working towards the betterment of society and seeing the positive impact we have made in these communities is our greatest achievement to this day.
To promote positive change, our greatest ambition is to help the next generation achieve their full potential. Young people today are capable and passionate about spearheading positive societal change. We believe that by supporting them in this effort today, we pave the way to a better tomorrow.
That is why we established programs to educate and enable our youth, providing them with the means and opportunities to build a brighter future for all. The programs in place in Europe are truly inspiring, and while there are many incredible stories to share, here are a few of the initiatives that have made a big impact on thousands of lives.
Samsung Solve for Tomorrow
Solve for Tomorrow encourages young people to design the future and solve some of their communities’ biggest challenges using science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). It takes the form of a contest, with the best ideas going on to win funding and business industry mentorship to develop concepts. Since its inception in 2010, Solve for Tomorrow has expanded to 55 countries worldwide, with a significant presence in 20 European countries. The program has been recognized by various educational awards and festivals for its innovative and effective approach.
Key topics for future-changing projects include education, sustainability, health and well-being, plus equality, diversity and inclusion. Participants benefit from multiple stages of training in which they learn to define problems, refine ideas, realize concepts and present projects. Along the way they are given mentorship by Samsung employees, ensuring they are best placed to take their creations into the real world.
In Hungary, the latest round of the program led to diverse projects including upcycling packages and supporting educational needs. Poland saw a focus on bridging intergenerational divides, with an app and magazine that introduces seniors to new technologies. The UK, which saw record numbers of applicants this year, has a strong focus on driving social mobility and inclusivity. Meanwhile in Austria, projects underscored the importance of unity and understanding, with one prize going to an app that fosters inter-religious harmony.
Elsewhere, mental health emerged as a key theme. In Italy, the program culminated in a podcast platform, empowering the youth to share stories and support each other. In Switzerland, the top ideas were ‘feel-good rooms’ for mental reprieve in schools, as well as an app for emotional self-awareness. Similarly, the Baltics program is currently seeking ways to address well-being concerns for students, with efforts to reimagine the school environment in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Samsung Innovation Campus
While Solve for Tomorrow focuses on STEM education, Samsung Innovation Campus mostly emphasizes ICT. It provides education to young people who are looking for jobs in the ever-evolving world of technology. The program trains participants in core competencies such as AI, IoT, Big Data, Coding and Programming, as well as soft skills such as problem-solving, communication and teamwork.
The program also aims to provide unemployed and underprivileged youth with access to education and career opportunities, so they can develop their talents and skills. Partnering with universities and other educational institutions, Samsung Innovation Campus offers online and offline courses, workshops, mentoring and resources to help participants learn and apply ICT technologies. To date, this initiative has expanded its reach to 32 countries worldwide, including Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Greece — successfully impacting 120 thousand talented participants.
In Italy, the initiative has worked with more than 20 Italian universities and trained more than 10,000 students so far. For the most recent edition, the topic is Human Tech: technological development where humans remain at the center and where digital innovation is used to improve lives, not replace genius or creativity. This training helps students acquire the skills they will need for the age of AI and IoT.
In Spain, which has seen 23 editions of Samsung Innovation Campus in three years, Samsung runs a parallel program: Samsung DesArrolladoras, the Samsung Innovation Campus Women for STEM program. This aims to boost the talent of Spanish women in STEM professions, with the aim of reducing gender pay gaps. Samsung DesArrolladoras was launched in 2018 and has since trained over 5,000 women, with around 64% of participants having found a job. The program was awarded at the Digital Skills Spain Awards 2020, winning in the category of Digital Skills for Women and Girls.
Building a better world, one community at a time
Over 54 years, Samsung has not only witnessed immense growth in technology, but also in the communities in which we operate. As we reflect on our journey, we are unwavering in our commitment to empower young people all over the world to create a brighter future, so that we can improve lives and positively impact the world. With each initiative, we take a step closer to our vision – a world where responsible and inclusive technology will help build a better and more prosperous society.
Solve for Tomorrow’s most successful year in Hungary
Championing health and well-being in Italy
Exploring how technology can help tackle some of society’s biggest issues in the UK
Connecting young people to the labour market in Poland
President and CEO of Samsung Europe