Democratizing AI: Our New Initiative AI Tides Trains 600 Social Entrepreneurs with AI Knowledge

by | 18.06.2024

We are excited to introduce our new initiative, AI Tides, which will train up to 600 European social entrepreneurs across 14 countries. With this program, we aim to equip social entrepreneurs with AI know-how to help them scale their businesses. The program is created and run in collaboration with INCO and supported by

Social entrepreneurship is critical in addressing major global issues, ranging from healthcare and education to environmental sustainability. Embracing new technologies, particularly AI, is crucial in building and scaling these businesses and maximizing their societal contributions. According to the World Economic Forum, the main obstacles to using AI for social entrepreneurship are the lack of technical skills and a trust gap. The use of AI in social entrepreneurship also holds substantial potential for economic impact. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the social economy accounts for 7% of global GDP. Generative AI could add between $182 billion and $308 billion annually to the sector.

“AI skills are crucial for social entrepreneurs aiming to scale their impactful businesses. Often, they lack access to the necessary tools and training. Through AI Tides, we aim to democratize access to AI skills and help social entrepreneurs maximize their impact. This initiative is the first of its scale to help social entrepreneurs gain access to AI knowledge,” says Ville Valtonen, co-founder and CEO of MinnaLearn.

The program is based on our Elements of AI course which has attracted over 1.3 million participants worldwide. The AI Tides course uses the Elements of AI curriculum, which is developed in collaboration with the University of Helsinki. It focuses on easy-to-understand information and practical examples of artificial intelligence, and will program employ our unique train-the-trainer and peer learning models.

In the program, participating teams and entrepreneurs gain a fundamental understanding of AI through hands-on experience, applying AI tools to their work. Upon completion, they have validated business prototypes that utilize AI to address their specific challenges.

“This approach ensures that participants not only gain fundamental skills and understanding of AI but also graduate with business prototypes that can be further developed to increase impact in their local communities,” Valtonen tells.

AI Tides is created and run in collaboration with INCO and it is supported by INCO will strengthen community ties within the program by providing additional training and support to the participants, organizing engagement activities, and ensuring the impactful delivery of the Elements of AI course. The program is free for all participants.

“This initiative marks a significant step towards integrating cutting-edge technology with social entrepreneurship, fostering innovation that is both socially responsible and technologically advanced. By supporting the energy, ideas, and dedication of social entrepreneurs, we believe that AI can contribute positively to our shared humanity instead of diminishing it,” says Amalia Spyratou, INCO Academy Director.

“We are excited and honored to have gotten the support from leading international organizations. This highlights our pioneering efforts in the AI education space,” Valtonen concludes.

Organizations participating in AI Tides:
Pulse, France
Impact France, France
Send, Germany
Alleanza delle Cooperative Italiane, Italy
Ashoka Spain, Spain
Impact Hub Athens, Greece
ActImpact, Slovenia
Shipyard, Poland
Social Enterprise Netherlands, Netherlands
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, Ireland
AI Sweden, Sweden, z.s., Czech
Social Economy Ukraine, Ukraine
Euclid Network, Netherlands

About, Google’s philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a world that works for everyone—and we believe technology and innovation can move the needle.

About INCO
Present in over 50 countries globally, INCO is building a new economy that is green, inclusive and resilient. Since our founding, we have invested in and continue to support innovative businesses shaping the economy of tomorrow in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to ensure a better future today and for all. We believe bottom-up initiatives work best. Innovative responses often come from those closest to the problem, those who live it day in and day out. These are the actionable, on-the-ground innovations which accelerate change.

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