Back to top

Introducing Social Innovation Policies in Gipuzkoa

The Regional Government of Gipuzkoa is seeking a new way of designing, implementing, evaluating and communicating public policies to citizens. The need to find new alternative paths as well as the identification of new social challenges and changes in society, being sensitive to the socio-economic needs of citizens in a complex and changing global context, is a reality that must be addressed.

In order to face this new reality, governments around the world are changing and adapting the relationship from within and outside public administrations, opting for new collaborative approaches to develop governance processes and new ways of "building public and social value".

About the Masterclass

The UPV / EHU in the framework of the SIC project ran, on October 20th, a Policy Masterclass addressed to policy makers and representatives of social and academic organizations with the aim of presenting social innovation policies in a more specific, didactic and defined way. The session also sought on the one hand, to work together with public managers, practitioners and researchers on the key factors and barriers that they face when developing public policies; and on the other, to identify how social innovation methodologies can be used to design, coordinate and implement social actions that adequately respond to the social challenges of our time.

In this context, the session focused on defining and exposing approaches to how social innovation policies might potentially influence a programme such as "Etorkizuna Eraikiz" aiming to build the future of public policies in an open and collaborative way in Gipuzkoa.


The day began with a presentation of the SIC project and a brief introduction to the concept of social innovation and public innovation by the UPV/EHU. Subsequently, Henrik Finsrud of KS Norway presented the experience of public innovation at the local and regional level while Pauline Carnet of Policy Lab UK developed a participatory workshop based on the methodologies used in the Policy Lab for Support innovations in the British public sector.

“Challenges we face as a society today force us to overcome the "top-down" approach. The current problems demand solutions designed through the co-creation with the citizenship and here it is where the local and regional entities play a crucial role given their proximity to the citizen” emphasized Henrik Finsrud. This co-design approach of Government-Citizenship is a catalyst for building trust, co-responsibility and strengthens democracy.

Whereas Pauline Carnet presented the 3 ingredients that according to the Policy Lab are essential for the formulation of policies, these are the design of policies, the use of data, and the digital application of them. These 3 ingredients together with the following 4 principles (co-design, user-centered policies, prototyping and the use of evidence), allow us to draw innovations in the public sector.

Finally, there was the participation of Agintzari, a social cooperative with presence in the three Basque territories, whose mission is to develop innovative initiatives for the management of quality services that contribute to the legitimacy of the Social Welfare model. Maite Calleja showed numerous social innovation initiatives that have been developed over the last years by Agintzari such as Community, Trebatu, Haur-etxea, Landabab, Gazte on Sarean, among others. The masterclass ended with an open discussion session with the participants on the meaning of public innovation, its challenges and chances.

Participating organizations: Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa (DFG), SECOT, DAITEKE, Agintzari, UPV/EHU, Council of San Sebastian, Osakidetza, Eusko Jauralitza, Elkartu, Farapi Kooperativa, Innobasque, Council of Villabona, Strategic Office of San Sebastian.


For more information: or

About Etorkizuna Eraikiz

Etorkizuna Eraikiz is a strategy a large-scale program of the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa. It was born as a new system of governance for the Provincial Council to make relationships and work with the Gipuzkoan society (associations, companies, knowledge network and citizenship of the territory).

Etorkizuna Eraikiz is also a new platform to give answers to the new challenges that Gipuzkoa faces. A new model to detect, design and experiment today, in Gipuzkoa society, the social and economic challenges that we will have to face in the future.

Through shared deliberation, it is pretended to face the new demographic, economic, social, productive and environmental challenges, from the defense of the wellbeing and the sustainability of the territory. In this process of deliberation, organizations, companies, associations, universities and civil society have taken part.

Through the active experimentation projects, it has been possible the cooperation of different agents working together to offer solutions, adding knowledge and experiences for a sharing future.

For more information: Etorkizuna Eraikiz

About SIC

Social Innovation Community (SIC) is a European project funded under the H2020 program framework, and is integrated by a consortium of 12 different European organizations amongst which is Sinnergiak Social Innovation. The overreaching aim of this project is to create a “network of networks” of social innovation actors. SIC aims to deepen and strengthen existing networks, forge new connections between networks, and create new links to actors and networks which hitherto have not been included in the field of social innovation. The aims of such a community are to generate new social innovations, develop and scale up successful social innovations and to share and spread knowledge more effectively in order to improve practice and policymaking.

For more information: SIC