Social innovation in Ukraine is slow to be recognized. While the conservative older generation is resisting rapid changes in social life, it is the youth that have become a driving force of creating and promoting innovations in Ukraine. There is a lack of support from local government, and as such, non-governmental organizations aimed at promoting social innovations are financed by overseas grant-makers.
Each year, there are more and more NGOs, social venture enterprises, socially-responsible companies and brave activists, who work for enhancing people's wellbeing in Ukraine. In April 2015, the first festival for social innovation UCRAZYANS took place in Kyiv.
Social innovation is time and context specific. That means it can mean different things in different context. What might not seem innovative in one country, may be ground breaking in another. The political and cultural background is important to understand. There are also a wide variety of organisations involved in this field, each have different perspectives. So, the purpose of this page is to demonstrate a variety of views on what social innovation means to different kinds of organisations in Ukraine.
The voices from Ukraine:
In 2015, the Center of Social Leadership provided an overview of the social innovation scene in Ukraine. They note that Ukraine's weak and relatively inefficient economy is a factor against its innovation potential but nonetheless:
"Social innovations have started to make headway in IT, education and new activity spheres. It became usual for active Ukrainians to establish political parties, non-governmental organizations, innovative education establishments, new municipal enterprises, as well as new forms of entities through social networks."
They give the example of “All-Ukrainian Centre for Social Innovations to Combat Poverty”, which was founded in 2013 with support from Austrian government, Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and regional administrations. The project aim is to teach regional novice organization to work effectively and eradicate poverty on local level.
Other projects and organisations in Ukraine include:
The full contribution is available to read in both English and Ukranian.