Urenio Watch Watch: Innovation ecosystems

Social Innovation: A Decade of Changes

social innovIn recent years, many initiatives and events have been carried out to develop pragmatic and participatory solutions to social and environmental problems that have been made more pressing by the crisis and have been addressed inadequately or not at all by either the market or the state. At the same time, the significant changes in the economic and social context as well as in the policy developments, particularly in the EU, have led BEPA to update the initial report published in 2010 in order to reflect their increasing involvement in supporting social innovation.

According to the report:

Within a few years, policy support for social innovation has moved towards the centre of the political agenda. Inside the European Commission, the number of services involved has grown and a ‘˜social innovation’ culture has spread in support of the Europe 2020 Strategy and its implementation.

The first part of the report discusses the general context in which these policies and programmes have emerged and the developments which they relied upon to grow. It focuses on relevant changes that have occurred ‘“ and are still ongoing ‘“ since the publication of the first BEPA report. It starts by presenting social innovation as a driver for change, before listing some main achievements and lessons learned from a variety of examples from the field. Furthermore, it describes the concept of ecosystem for social innovation and its main components, including:

  • supportive policies
  • adequate governance
  • innovative finance
  • a variery of capacity building and recognition tools
  • access to resources and/or funding

Next, there is a chapter related to the need for measurement of social innovation, in order to prove its effectivity and sustainability to respond to societal problems. Finally, it suggests some recommendations for future policymakers.

The second part of the report aims to present all policies, programmes and instruments developed, implemented and made available by the European Commission in the field of social innovation since its president, José Manuel Barroso, gave impetus to research and support the emergence of this field. Not only has this concept been fostered through specific policies, but it has also spread across all the Commission’ s general, long-term strategies, thus becoming an important dimension of the EU’ s policies.

Read the full report here.