The state is bankrupt. The problems are great. Who will solve them? Social entrepreneurs show how entrepreneurship and self-initiative can help solve problems–such as Thorkil Sonne of Denmark who sees strengths where others see only deficits. Thorkil’s company, which specializes in software testing, has given more than 200 people with autism a place to work in recent years. There they can use their strengths such as attention to detail, high memory performance and pattern recognition. Or Katja Urbatsch from Germany whose organization Arbeiterkerk.de with more than 4,000 honorary mentors throughout Germany supports young people to overcome cultural hurdles and be the first to study in their families.
Marie Ringler studied sociology and political science at the University of Vienna. During her studies she was involved in the establishment of the Institute for New Culture Technologies/tO, which offers an international competence platform for the critical use of information and communication technologies. From 1998 to 2000, Ringler was Managing Director of tO. In 2000 she was a Federal Parliament Representative and Municipal Councillor. During her two-year MBA education in St. Gallen (Switzerland) Ringler dealt intensively with the topics of social entrepreneurship and funding models for social innovation. In 2011 Ringler was the Country Director for Austria and Central and Eastern Europe for the global organization Ashoka. Ashoka is the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs and for over 30 years has provided financial and advisory support to the three thousand Ashoka Fellows, for the dissemination of their innovative solutions to social problems.