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Innovators of society

A report was published in 2011 and recently translated into English and provides valuable insight into the learnings of how social entrepreneurship can be part of local politics. Read the preface below and download the full document at the bottom.

”Concepts such as social innovation and social entrepreneurship are usually described as initiatives aiming to change what is not functioning or is missing in society, innovative ideas and methods for how we can, in new ways, deal with social problems. Social innovation and social entrepreneurship is a growing global trend.

So what does local development have to do with social innovation and social entrepreneurship? This very issue was raised at the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, SALAR, towards the end of 2007 and eventually resulted in a project called Smedjan – a think-and-do-tank with politicians, social entrepreneurs and researchers. The project was financed by SALAR:s FoU council and the Knowledge Foundation. The Arena for Growth project also participated.

Within the framework of Smedjan, the participants discussed how local authorities and regions can promote social entrepreneurship, what types of obstacles exist and why social entrepreneurs are important for local development. Smedjan has been met with interest, not the least when it comes to what local politicians can do. That is why we have compiled the most important conclusions and discussions in this report.

The texts are written on the basis of Smedjan and its six local projects in eight Swedish local authorities, a study visit to the United Kingdom, research projects, communication materials and conversations. The authors of this report are Lena Lundström at SALAR, project manager for Smedjan, and Erika Augustinsson, writer, journalist and communications manager at Forum for Social Innovation Sweden.

Social innovation and social entrepreneurship is an important part of how we can reach future sustainable development on a global, regional and local level. Many social innovations occur in the village, in the city, in the neighbourhood – but far too many ideas and initiatives are lost because we have not learned how to recognize them.”


To read the full report, please follow the link to Moetsplats for Social Innovation, where this item was originally published.