Back to top

Solutions to social challenges #Batch1

The Social Innovation Community has worked with five local partners using the social innovation methodology to address societal challenges as they present themselves in the cities of Oslo, Parnu, Turin and Zagreb. These ranged from how to better include refugees to the workforce (Oslo) to how to mobilize cultural creative professionals to improve their city (Zagreb) and from how to prevent young people leaving a city to work elsewhere (Parnu) to how the complex needs of vulnerable people can better be met (Turin).

During these collaborative social innovation processes, the local groups have developed specific solutions to their challenges. We can distinguish between solutions aimed at 1) Creating job opportunities and sharing knowledge through platforms for business, from those 2) Overcoming fragmentation through redesigning public services. And solutions aimed at 3) Refugee inclusion through multi-actor collaboration and those 4) Tapping into the underutilized potential of urban spaces.

In this post, we focus on the first two types of solutions that have been developed through the collaborative social innovation processes:


1 Creating job opportunities and sharing knowledge through platforms for business

Three of the developed solutions are online platforms (to be) set up by social entrepreneurs. Co-design groups in both Parnu and Zagreb developed ideas to use online platforms to share knowledge for self-education, for easing bureaucratic hurdles and for attracting companies respectively.

  • #I’mStayinginParnu!  This solution aims to convince more companies of Pärnu’s potential by creating an information portal for companies considering to relocate where they can find information and services (e.g. real estate, recruitment) about Pärnu and access to a local agent.
  • Pärnu Network  The aim is to create a community of self-educated entrepreneurs who offer to share their skills, knowledge and learning resources to fill some of the gaps in support for small start-ups. The solution is two-fold: it encourages self-learning to stimulate (young) people to start their own business in Pärnu, and at the same time offers a platform and community to entrepreneurs in the city to increase support and visibility.
  • Bureaucratic Compass  is a website designed to help independent professionals to cope with administrative-bureaucratic obstacles, e.g. related to issues of author contracting and copyright laws. It allows users to share knowledge about these issues and to support each other in addressing challenges (e.g. related to payments) through the use of a "wall of shame";


2 Overcoming fragmentation through redesigning public service

  • ‘TO-HOME’ The Municipality of Turin was specifically working towards integrating their services for citizens at the risk of being evicted from their homes. The main outcome of this process was to set up and experiment with a new integrated service called ‘TO-HOME’ . Employees coming from three different social service departments (housing, employment and social care) could start collaborate and work together in delivering social services with increased awareness of the needs and perspectives of the end-users.


Stay tuned for a second set of developed solutions related to refugee inclusion through multi-actor collaboration and the tapping into the underutilized potential of urban spaces.