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Regions as ecosystems

Why we cannot cut cultural budgets if we are to reach social innovation and economic renewal

Last month the second Social Innovation Community (SIC) Summer School #SUMSIC2017 was held in Bologna, Italy, arranged by the SIC partners, University of Bologna and the European School of Social Innovation. 

The event explored the role of regions as possible ecosystems for social innovation and had more than 40 participants from across the globe. 

The first keynote speaker Italian Economist Pier Luigi Sacco addressed his work with and trust in the inter-relatedness between culture and social innovation for reaching social impact potentials.

According to Sacco, we are moving towards a new paradigm about the relationship between culture and socio-economic sustainability, where the distinction between producers and users of cultural contents is rapidly changing. The new possibilities are offered e.g. by digital technologies, which create a massive social dynamics of creation of cultural contents.

In his keynote Pier spoke highly of the importance of paying attention to citizens cultural habitus and surroundings as a way to understand whether they even have access to social innovation. His argument is that if you are not given a certain limited cultural context you are not to benefit from social innovation and the potential development and improvement of life.

Pier Luigi Sacco has a system-based method of understanding and analysis of a city or region. This has been done in many places, among them he was a consultant for Vancouver (Canada) in forming a cultural strategy: The Power of Arts in Vancouver. Creating a Great City.

SIC also spoke with Benedette, a PhD student at Yunus Centre for Social Business and health at Glasgow Caledonian University, who participated in our Summer School. She talks about the importance of networking within the academic community and how evets like these make it possible, and broaden horizons! 

Presentations from the Summer School can be found https://site.unibo.it/sumsic-2017/en/programme/contents