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Social Innovation Community (SIC) releases the Lisbon Declaration - Social Innovation as a Path to a Sustainable, Resilient and Inclusive Europe

EU policymakers are negotiating Europe’s next long-term budget. You can sign the Lisbon Declaration (#SIDeclaration) to indicate that Europe benefits from social innovation.

While industries like pharmaceuticals and automotive are good at getting decision-makers’ attention, the social innovation community – a broad movement of people and organisations innovating for public benefit – often has less influence. The European project “Social Innovation Community (SIC)”, with TU Dortmund University as one of its partners, wants this to change.


Over the past year, SIC has asked people working in social innovation all over Europe about how EU policy could enable them achieve an even bigger impact. More than 350 people from 19 European member countries shared their opinion.


A consensus was a European Union where civil society, non-state actors and local communities are empowered to define and address challenges that matter to them, such as climate change. Furthermore they shared a vision for research and innovation which gives greater recognition to the contribution of civil society and the wider public and they spoke about the need for mainstream innovators (like technologists, firms and research organisations) to rethink their role in driving direct societal benefits.


Finally, they described challenges that can stop social innovation achieving its potential: problems with public procurement, rigid funding structures that do not allow experimentation, a lack of skills and incentives for public officials to support social innovation.


The Lisbon Declaration sets out the core values that European policymakers should follow as they negotiate the new EU budget and programming.

The Declaration includes 10 specific policy recommendations. The SIC consortium wants to make social innovation a cross-cutting priority in all EU policies and programmes (such as the European Social Fund Plus or Horizon Europe) and has therefore introduced a number of proposals aimed at using strategic partnerships between EU, national and regional authorities to unleash the power of communities and smaller organisations to drive change. This Declaration is a statement of intent from the community to ensure that social innovation is given political visibility and support. SIC encourages you to support the Lisbon Declaration with your signature.


You can find and sign the Lisbon Declaration here.


The project Social Innovation Community (SIC) aims at creating a “network of networks” of social innovation actors. SIC is identifying, engaging and connecting actors including researchers, social innovators, citizens, policy-makers, as well as intermediaries, businesses, civil society organizations and public sector employees.


On the 12th and 13th November 2018, SIC’s final event will take place in Seville, Spain. Learn more about the speakers and the agenda of the event here.