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SI-DRIVE@SI-LIVE: European event brings together social innovation research and practice

SI LIVE was a two-day international event exploring the future of social innovation research, incubation and action. The event brought together leading social innovators, academics and practitioners to discuss and explore the future research agenda for social innovation, how best to incubate and scale social innovations, and how the EU can help to strengthen and develop the field of social innovation in Europe.

SI LIVE logo SI LIVE brought together SI-DRIVE, a research project on social innovation coordinated by TU Dortmund, and three other consortia:

TEPSIE is a research collaboration between six European institutions aimed at understanding the theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for developing the field of social innovation in Europe.

TRANSITION is a 30-month project that supports the scaling-up of social innovations across Europe by developing a network of incubators which brings together established partners within the fields of social innovation and innovation-based incubation.

BENISI seeks to build a Europe-wide network of networks of incubators for social innovation. This network will proactively identify at least 300 social innovations that are identified with high potential for scaling successfully, and ensure the delivery of necessary support services to those social innovations.

During the two-day event on November 12 and 13 in Lisbon, members of the SI-DRIVE consortium and advisory board shared perspectives on social innovation with the crowd during the “Global Social Innovation Tour”: Maria Elisa Bernal (The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, ECLA) from Colombia talked about social innovation and its focus on poverty reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean. Anne de Bruin, Directress of the New Zealand Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Centre (SIERC), provided impressive examples of SI projects in her home country. Swati Banerjee, Centre for Livelihoods and Social Innovation (CLSI) did the same for india. Hamid El Zoheiry (Heliopolis University Cairo) gave an impressive presentation on the state of the art of social innovation in the mediterranean area. And finally, Lindi van Niekerk (Bertha Centre of Social Innovation, South Africa) shared with the group how the “transformative paradigm” is making a change in South Africa.

Kriss Deiglmeier,  founding Executive Director for the Center for Social Innovation at Stanford and now working for TIDES, talked about drivers, trends and pending research questions on social innovation, especially focusing of the “stagnation chasm” phenomenon many social entrepreneurs are facing when diffusing their idea and scaling their startup. Jürgen Howaldt presented the “Soziale Innovationen für Deutschland” declaration which has recently been handed over to the German Federal Government. Additionally, the TU Dortmund team (Dmitri Domanski, Jürgen Howaldt, Christoph Kaletka and Antonius Schröder) as co-organisers of the SI-LIVE conference discussed research results of the TEPSIE project, and received valuable impulses for SI-DRIVE’s further work. The SI-DRIVE project took the opportunity and met for another full day to prepare and launch the empirical research phase in which 1.000 cases of social innovations will be collected and analyzed.

More information on the “Soziale Innovationen für Deutschland” declaration can be found here: http://www.ebs-init.de/de-praxis/erklärung-soziale-innovationen-für-deutschland.

A storify page shows some highlights of the SI-LIVE event: http://bit.ly/1qHHFmA

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