If there’s a good time for the social innovation movement to air its views on where EU policy should go next, it’s now.
The European Commission (EC) has been a leading supporter of social innovation over the last decade. In 2020, it will enter a new programming period, so budgets and key priorities are being renegotiated.
There’s good reason to think that social innovation will continue to be a priority. Key decision makers, like Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, have signalled their ongoing commitment. As the EU develops its next Multiannual Financial Framework and the follow-up to Horizon 2020, the social innovation community needs to make its voice heard.
Through the European Commission project Social Innovation Community, we’re running a public consultation to find out what is holding Europe’s diverse social innovation community back and come up with ideas for European policy. And we want to hear from you!
The European Commission has done a lot to help grow the social innovation community - for example, by funding projects that help social innovators scale their solutions, and supporting research to improve our understanding and evidence of social innovation. In the last decade social innovation has gained support and traction amongst European institutions (and has been added into big EU funding programmes like Horizon 2020).
At the same time, European social innovation policy has been somewhat inconsistent, for example, with different departments (DGs) interpreting it in different ways. Experiences on the ground - for example, of trying to use ESF to fund social innovation - suggest a gap between policy intention and implementation. So there’s room for policy to do more, and better, for the social innovation movement.
Our aim is to use this independent consultation to help (co)produce a European Declaration for Social Innovation that represents the needs and interests of the social innovators, social entrepreneurs, activists, civil society actors, cooperatives, researchers and others who make up this diverse community.
There are already some great manifestos and declarations on social innovation out there - including the Digital Social Innovation Manifesto, the Manifesto for Transformative Social Innovation and the SI-DRIVE policy declaration. We’re hoping to build on the principles in those documents and make concrete policy recommendations for European policymakers to consider.
Over the coming weeks, the Social Innovation Community project will be running a series of online activities and discussions to capture the rich diversity of perspectives and policy needs across Europe’s SI community, and to work with the community to shape a new Declaration that sets out a clear policy agenda for supporting social innovation. But first we want to hear from you!
Our short survey takes no more than five minutes to fill out. Complete it before 28 February to let us know what barriers are holding you, your organisation and/or your community back from achieving your fullest potential for social impact.