The adoption of social innovation had a launch event for the Social Innovation Europe initiative in Brussels earlier this year in March, 2011. (http://bit.ly/eJ09d5 ).
This event ‘kick started’ the discussions in a first attempt to put a face on the policy issues, discuss implications and showcase a number of social innovation pioneers. This launch officially began the EU leading social innovation.
That the EU and all the ‘collective’ wisdom that did convene in Brussels did listen, not just to each other but to the crying needs of society, as the issues have incredibly wide boundaries that are indeed unmet today. The challenges are big.
The EU will engage effectively in completely different way to tackle social issues. The platform that gets built has to be really very open, very fluid, often experimental and using all possible means of social tools to make it fully engaging across all points of society, not just a given few.
Thirdly the ability to respond to such a different, diverse set of society challenges is going to call upon the ingenuity of the Commission. It will need to respond not just to the established parts of society, the institutions, public and private but to the third sector.
The third sector is highly engaged and passionate
This sector is passionate, driven and highly committed to the causes they personally sees as vital. Working with the third sector will require different approaches as many of these represent what is actually going on and some of what they will say, might be tough to accomodate.
The EU- the super network of networks
This all requires this social innovation ecosystem, this super network of networks, that will be drawn from civil society, government, business, institutions, not for profit charities and non-governmental organizations for example find the ‘ways’ and the ‘means’ to work together, and there is no better way than on real society challenges..
The Listen, Engage and Response principle is going to be a tough area for a body like the EU to manage but they will have to fully embrace today’s social tools (and tomorrow’s improvements) to stand a chance. For them (and us) a social challenge in itself!
What would you wish the EU Commission does that is different to manage for Social Innovation?