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Explore and unpack the #SIDeclaration in Athens and Amsterdam

Exploring and unpacking SIC’s #SIDeclaration in European innovation contexts

In November 2018, SIX and the 11 other partners in the Social Innovation Community (SIC) project published a #SIDeclaration: “The Lisbon Declaration - Social Innovation as a path to a sustainable, resilient and inclusive Europe”.

The #SIDeclaration offers 3 principles, 5 key priorities and 10 practical policy recommendations. The framework was co-created following months of consultations, and reflects inputs from over 350 people from 19 member countries of the EU. The declaration was presented to Commissioner Moedas in November 2018 at the Web Summit in Portugal, after which he openly acknowledged its content and the need for more funding for social innovation in Europe.

After its launch, SIC has focused on connecting the #SIDeclaration back to the European member states and their social innovation actors. The declaration only serves its full potential if these practitioners and decision makers are able to unpack and translate it into contextual strategies and programmes of practice. As part of this process, we have connected with two places that are particularly inspiring in the field of social innovation - Athens and Amsterdam - to unpack the declaration and to use it as a support for current agendas of social innovation development these places.

Events in both of these cities will bring together a number of international and local experts. In creative and explorative environments these experts will work as peers to unpack the potential of the #SIDeclaration and to scope strategies.

Athens event, 23rd January

In November, the European Commission designated Athens as the European Innovation Capital 2018. This award recognised the city’s collaborative approach to innovation, particularly in the wake of the social and financial crises. The active involvement of citizens in the design, development and implementation of a wide range of initiatives has been at the heart of this. Athens believes it has something unique to share with cities of all sizes across Europe, from this experience.

The city is now undertaking work to draw out the key lessons from its experience which are relevant to an external audience. It is also reflecting on how Athens can build on this in the future. This activity started with a series of local stakeholder focus groups held in December 2018. Our workshop on 23rd January is the next key step.

The aim of our event will be to reflect on the Athens experience, draw out the key lessons and consider how these might add value to the work of other cities across Europe, and beyond. Our focus will be on helping shape the form and function of the proposed Athens Innovation Agora (AIA), a working title to describe the city’s model for doing this.

We will be considering this within the context of the #SIDeclaration. Specifically, the session will focus on how the AIA concept can support the implementation of the Declaration.

Amsterdam event, 25th February

Amsterdam is a leading player in the social innovation field, having ambitious and forward thinking policies when it comes to both social services and innovation procedures.

With Kennisland - an Amsterdam located organisation working to research and design social progress in Netherlands and beyond - SIC has put together a one day event in Amsterdam. The event will explore the strategic contributions of the #SIDeclaration in scoping and designing social innovation strategies within a city and within a certain policy area.

Social Innovation strategy for Amsterdam City (co-creating input for a Social Treaty)

Amsterdam is a leading player in the social innovation field, having ambitious and forward thinking policies when it comes to both social services and innovation procedures. In 2016 it won the iCapital for the most innovative European city, mainly because of the Amsterdam Approach. Since the installation of the green and progressive new coalition in Amsterdam last Spring, the collaboration between active citizens, civil society organisations and the municipality has been intensified. This will result in a “Social Treaty” this summer. It will be a four year agenda by and for all Amsterdammers - not a treaty in the political sense. The Treaty aims at creating more space for neighbourhood initiatives, social ventures and local democratic innovation. Not only is the Treaty a collaborative effort, the process is also a co-design of city makers and civil servants. On the 25th of February we will be exploring how the SIC Declaration (#SIDeclaration) can be an inspiration for this journey and for designing strategy for social innovation in the city.