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Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

EU Commissioner: "We will put more money into social innovation”

Web Summit in Lisbon is big. Really big. With 70,000 participants it feels more like a festival than a conference - a feeling the crowded stages, queues for toilets and high chance of forgetting where you left your things do nothing to dispel.

The team at Social Good Accelerator corralled 20 projects from across Europe to take part in the ‘Social Innovation Village’, a new initiative for 2018’s Web Summit. On 6 November, the Social Innovation Community project took up its exhibition space and started spreading the good word.

Our main goal was to present the Social Innovation Declaration to senior decision makers.

First, we went up on stage to discuss the Declaration with Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Portuguese Minister of Administrative Modernisation Maria Manuel Leitão Marques and President of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Isabel Mota.

And then we gave copies of the Declaration to Moedas, Marques and French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Mounir Mahjoubi.

Commissioner Moedas’ department is responsible for designing the next €100bn EU research and innovation funding programme. So we were thrilled when he signalled his support for the Declaration.

Innovation today is about purpose... In the European Union, we are going to put more money into social innovation, not because it’s trendy, but because we believe that the future of innovation is about social innovation.

EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas

What’s next?

High level endorsement is great, but our work isn’t over yet. Our main goal is to influence negotiations on the next EU budget and programmes. We believe social innovation is important in helping Europe to tackle societal challenges and promote cohesion and social rights. We hope to persuade more MEPs and politicians in European member states to support our policy ideas as negotiations continue over the next few months.

You can help us by signing the SIDeclaration - as over 600 people and organisations in 25 EU countries (and many more beyond) have so far. And if you’d like more information on what we’re doing, or to help us make our case to MEPs and EU member states, please get in touch - we’d love to hear from you.



Nesta is a partner in the Social Innovation Community project, funded by Horizon 2020, which produced the #SIDeclaration.


Madeleine Gabriel

Madeleine Gabriel

Madeleine Gabriel

Mission Director, sustainable future mission

Madeleine leads Nesta’s mission to create a sustainable future, which focuses on decarbonisation and economic recovery.

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Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Sophie Reynolds

Former Senior Researcher - Public and Social Innovation

Sophie was a Senior Researcher in Nesta’s Policy and Research unit. She is now Director of Sophie Reynolds Research & Consultancy.

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