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Call to take part in Social Innovation Laboratories


To change the world, first let’s change ourselves!

Social Innovation Laboratories by Red CreActiva are training workshops which provide the opportunity for professionals from social entities, organisations and public administration to explore the field of Social Innovation, to find out what role they can play in this field and to implement innovative ideas, not only in the social projects they create, but by way of applying, conceiving and presenting new ideas.
 

We undoubtedly live in times of change. Although the current crisis has an economic origin and is explained in economic terms, in truth it has given rise to a series of questions about how we organise ourselves, how we make decisions and how we act. And while Social Entities and the State consequently have a reduced capacity to act, this same difficulty has also enabled social agents to become aware of the role they play and can play in resolving problems and conflicts. As a result of the new social challenges arising from the contradictions of our time, more work is needed on communication, cooperation and empathy between the parties involved.  And this is where the importance of Social Innovation becomes evident.

Social innovation, as defined by the European Commission in its Guide to Social Innovation 2013, is concerned with "the development and implementation of new ideas (products, services and models) to meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations. Social innovations are innovations that are social in both their ends and their means. They are innovations that are not only good for society but also enhance individuals’ capacity to act." In fact, one of its key components is Creativity. Social innovation is a transversal notion which manifests itself in the implementation of policies and social initiatives. It is often said that it transcends disciplines and borders, as it encourages joint participation of different social sectors and different fields of study.

Although social innovation is an area of increasing interest, it is also something quite new and very few entities, organisations or public institutions have implemented it extensively. The need to disseminate social innovation while at the same time encourage the construction of innovative ideas is one of the concerns of the European Union itself, as embodied in the Programme for Employment and Social Innovation 2014 - 2020. It is therefore very common in the field of organisational or policy planning for questions to arise. In what way is the use of creativity to resolve conflicts encouraged? How is social innovation implemented in organisations? In what sense are social innovation and public policy coordinated?

Training in social innovation is one of the European Union’s recommendations and forms part of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Nevertheless, the interest shown by other supranational entities, such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), or the emergence of projects like Balloon Argentina, which combines the promotion of social innovation with sustainable rural tourism, or Colab, a Chilean project which seeks to connect the education sector with innovative initiatives, demonstrates that interest in this approach is global.

Red CreActiva is running four Social Innovation Laboratories: In these laboratories the SCPS (Creative Solution to Social Problems) methodology will be applied and useful resources and techniques will be provided so that participating entities can carry out a needs assessment, address social challenges and above all, identify mechanisms to solve them in a creative, innovative and effective way. The SCPS methodology uses visualisation tools and idea management, as well as collective work towards Problem Solving and Learning by Doing, while also reinforcing creativity and innovation in the design of projects with positive social impact.

At iWith.org we encourage specialists from social entities and public administration to be part of the change, to take the step to innovate from the same structures they design and to create social opportunities for our society.  We therefore encourage you to take that first step by being part of our Social Innovation Laboratories. REGISTER HERE

This project has the financial support of the Active Citizenship Program by the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2009-2014, channelled in Spain through the NGO Platform for Social Action.

Translation by Samantha Hines and Carolyn McGinn (trommons.org)
on 27/03/2015
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