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Social innovation in Croatia: SIKE visits project partners in Zagreb

Between 6th and 8th of May 2019, members of the SIKE project (Social Innovation through Knowledge Exchange) met in Zagreb to talk about the progress of the project as well as to experience the social innovation ecosystem in Croatia. Dmitri Domanski and Sabrina Janz presented their current work in the project.

SIKE Zagreb

The SIKE project was initiated in 2018 by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union and aims at strengthening the regional social innovation ecosystems in Croatia, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. The project demonstrates the potential of Higher Education Institutions to positively affect social change and innovative processes by knowledge transfer with practitioners from other societal sectors. For that purpose, one Higher Education Institution in every participating country works together with a non-academic partner organisation in the field of social innovation.

After an intensive exchange at the 6th of May, Mirna Karzen, president of the non-profit organisation SIL (Social Innovation Lab), gave an insight to the social innovation ecosystem in Croatia at the 7th of May. Tea Gagro of VERN' University introduced the SIKE project to the audience and some of the Croatian case studies such as Humana Nova, a cooperative to support the employment of people with disabilities and the makerspace RADIONA were presented, which led to encouraged discussions afterwards.

On 8th of May Gordana Coric of VERN' University presented a social innovation named “POP-UP rural socio-innovative hubs”, a project that emerged in a partnership between VERN' and the ACT Group (ACT Grupa). After that, two of its members introduced their initiative Fierce Women. The visit in Zagreb ended with the “Invisible Zagreb”-tour in which project partners got insights into the challenges of being homeless in Zagreb.