MAZI will be represented at the European Commission’s conference “Opening up to an Era of Social Innovation” in Lisbon in November 2017. Stavroula Maglavera, Representing the EU Project MAZI will speak at the Workshop on Connected Social Innovation (in collaboration with DG CONNECT) on Monday 27th November.
What is Social Innovation?
“Social innovations are innovations that are social in both their ends and their means. Specifically, […] social innovations [are] new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create new social relationships or collaborations. They are innovations that are not only good for society but also enhance society’s capacity to act.” according to the European Commission Bureau of European Policy Advisors (BEPA, 2011, p. 9).
As pointed out by President Juncker in his White Paper on the future of Europe, “the global financial and economic crisis that started in 2008 in the United States shook Europe to its core. Thanks to determined action, the EU economy is now back on a more stable footing with unemployment falling to its lowest level since the ‘great recession’ hit. However, the recovery is still unevenly distributed across society and regions. Addressing the legacy of the crisis, from long-term unemployment to high levels of public and private debt in many parts of Europe, remains an urgent priority.”
Simply put, the conference aims to boost social innovation in Europe because social innovation is a good, cost-effective way to advance inclusive and wealth-creating public policies, by developing a new narrative and giving this new narrative the means to take root, grow, blossom and bear fruit.
The event seeks to bring together world-class scientists in the area of social innovation, innovators, social entrepreneurs, civil society representatives, national and regional policy makers, municipal and city level actors, social innovation funders, philanthropists, venture capitalists, business angels, students, and politicians.
The conference will be structured in the following manner:
- Taking stock of social innovation achievements
- Identifying potential future opportunities brought by social innovation not only in terms of societal well-being, but also of growth, jobs, and business development for Europe
- Reviewing new trends in social innovation
- Examining the possible role of social innovation in the next generation of public policies
- Exploring funding instruments
Conference website: https://ec.europa.eu/research/conferences/2017/era/index.cfm
The conference is jointly organised by the European Commission, the Portuguese Government and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, Minister of the Presidency and of Administrative Modernisation of Portugal, and Isabel Mota, President of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation are hosting the conference.