The Fallacies of Social Innovation in Europe
If social innovation is to be considered a process that spirals outward, as proposed in The Open Book of Social Innovation by The Young Foundation & NESTA (2010), then the EU has been caught spinning its wheels at the centre for more than a decade.
Filippo Addarii examined some of the reasons why this may be occurring, and considered the next step of unravelling the spiral and replacing it with a simpler picture, in his address to the European Commission Research, Innovation, Science and Policy Experts (RISE) High-Level Group in Brussels on April 27th, 2017. On the purpose of his speech, he says:
“Finally social innovation is back on the priority agenda of the Commission. Shall we thank Brexit, Trump, or the rise of populism? Whatever the reason, it is an opportunity we cannot miss. This time we must fulfil the promise of a visionary, entrepreneurial and fair Europe for everybody… not one that serves the interest of just a few.”
Understanding the missteps in the EU social innovation agenda up until now is crucial in helping governments, policymakers, public and private institutions, and individual citizens avoid repeating mistakes. From focus on the commodification of public goods, to globalisation and digitalisation of life and emphasis on charities, associations and entrepreneurs, Europe’s path toward developing a society of social innovation has been diverted multiple times by red herrings that have each been unable to create a total systemic change. With a renewed interest in placing social innovation at the heart of the EU agenda, it is time to evaluate the steps taken so far and whether what is needed instead is a great leap.
Full presentation here (pdf).
For more information please contact Filippo Addarii (email).