An introduction to the new era of social innovations

درآمدی بر عصر جدید نوآوری‌های اجتماعی

An introduction to the new era of social innovations
The importance of social innovation to effectively address the social, economic, political and environmental challenges of the 21st century is recognized at the European and global level. All people, including activists, policy makers and the research community, agree on the fact that social innovation increases the capacity of society to act, and what better way than turning social and economic challenges into opportunities for the development of all members of society?

Social innovation has played an important role in EU policy-making and research for years. The European Union actively promotes social innovation and has been able to successfully use it many times to achieve its goals and policies. For example, the European Social Fund has introduced the principle of Social Affairs Experimentation based on methodological guidelines that empower actors to innovate. In addition, research and innovation policies have made social innovation a research topic, promoted common understanding, created networking, and finally made the spread of social innovations possible in a promising way. The latest example for this topic is the €2 million “Horizon Prize for Social Innovation”. Based on a public vote, the award will focus on enabling easier travel and mobility for older people and will promote and encourage creative solutions that combine technical, social and behavioral features.

In this way, social innovation will play an important role in the future of Europe. When President Jean-Claude Juncker presented scenarios for the future of Europe – a Europe that protects, empowers and defends – he announced a social summit for November 2017. The summit was followed by an international conference in Lisbon dedicated to social innovation.

Atlas of Social Innovation covers the conference in detail: 25 international partners of the EU-funded SI-DRIVE project have programmed more than 1,000 social innovations around the world. It should be noted that this global planning is complemented by the insights of leading international experts, the examination of new trends in social innovation and the examination of the possible role of social innovation in the next generation of public policies.

By examining the achievements of social innovation, we can better understand how social innovation may help advance inclusive and wealth-creating public policies. This helps to identify potential future opportunities not only in terms of social welfare, but also in terms of growth and development of jobs and businesses for Europe.

As we seek to build the future we want, we hope that this article will inspire the next generation of public policymakers and encourage all innovators grappling with innovation problems.

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