BuiCaSuS mid-term: European encounter on social innovation in Madrid


More than a hundred participants gathered in October in Madrid to exchange lessons on social innovation. The Midterm conference of the BuiCaSuS consortium brought together participants from France, Sweden, Latvia, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Lithuania, Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, and Romania. The first day gave the opportunity to a cross-section of Spanish stakeholders from both public administration and third sector operators to participate. The second day was conceived as a working session in a smaller circle.

The first day was dedicated to exposing some of the findings of the work process in the consortium. Amongst them were the mapping exercise, the piloting of upscaling experiences, and the sharing of best practices in tools to support social innovation initiatives. Also, it gave room to listen to keynote speeches on a vision of why social innovation should permeate all public policies (Raúl Oliván, Spain), the relation between social innovation and deepening democratic participation (Kuba Wygnański, Poland) and new approaches to undertake evaluation oriented towards collective sense-making rather than administrative control (Gorka Espiau, Basque Country/Spain). Furthermore, two roundtable discussions centred on the role of the state in social innovation, as well as on the design of financing vehicles for social innovation.

The second day centred on the institutional design criteria for existing or future national competence centres of Social innovation. First, the four representatives of the Managing Authorities of the European Fund lay out past implementation and the status of social innovation in the new programming cycle 2021-27. Then a case study on the Portuguese Mission unit exposed both the successful Portuguese experience, as well as current debates on the restructuring and the renegotiation of the governance of the Unit. Also, the newly instated European Competence centre presented its mission statement and work programme. Finally, group work inquired into the conditions and design criteria for national support structures to innovation ecosystems. This work is now to be extended in the last of the work packages of the BuiCaSus consortium which is to prepare road maps for setting up or consolidating national Competence Centres.

Impressions from the conference

Day 1 – Key note speech with Raúl Oliván


Day 1 – Roundtable on Social innovation as Public policy with Sara Ulla (Spain), Andrés Bedoya (France) and Vera Egreja Barracho (Portugal)

Day 1 – Roundtable on Social innovation as Public policy with Sara Ulla (Spain), Andrés Bedoya (France) and Vera Egreja Barracho (Portugal)

Day 2 – roundtable with managing Authorities

Day 2 –  working group discussion on design criteria for national SI Competence centres

You are welcome to download the presentations from the conference – here (6MB)


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