New mapping of the social innovation ecosystem in Sweden
The ecosystem of social innovation in Sweden is mature, with overall good conditions for social enterprise in Sweden. However, there is a lack of clear long-term systematic support. This is shown by a new mapping by the Swedish partner in the BuiCaSuS consortium – Forum for Social Innovation Sweden at Malmö University.
Europe and Sweden face many complex societal challenges in the form of, for example, unemployment, poverty, an ageing population, and climate change. In the search for new solutions to these challenges, the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration and social innovation is increasingly highlighted. Social innovations have great potential to contribute to transformative and systemic change in society.
Forum for Social Innovation Sweden (Mötesplats Social Innovation, MSI) at Malmö University has conducted the mapping in Sweden under the BuiCaSuS project, with the purpose to outline the social innovation ecosystem in Sweden. It summarises results from previous surveys and reports and describes the conditions, functions and actors involved in the ecosystem for social innovation and social enterprise in Sweden, outlining the opportunities and challenges they face.
Engaged actors and a sound foundation for social innovation
The report asserts that there are, essentially, good conditions for social innovation and social enterprise in Sweden, in the form of engaged actors and manifold individual initiatives. The Swedish Government’s strategy for social enterprise and social innovation has also made a contribution, providing a sound foundation and helping bring actors together. In addition, there is widespread commitment in many sectors to achieving the global sustainability goals of the 2030 Agenda.
Lack of clear long-term support
At the same time, there is a lack of clear political support and guidance for social innovation and social enterprise in Sweden. Access to more long-term and systematic financing is needed to establish and upscale social innovations and ventures. More knowledge and research are also needed around social innovation, including the success factors and pitfalls for long-term societal change.
Overall, there is a need for a clearer organisation of the social innovation ecosystem. Social innovation can be created and supported more effectively when it takes place within an organised, long-term framework.