INNOVATION, EMPLOYMENT AND GROWTH “Social Innovation “ & “Innovation live”
The rational behind this initiative
In the current economic situation, Worldwide in general, and European in particular, the music has stopped and the moment of truth has arrived. It is now time for countries, governments, businesses, professionals and citizens to find their own space, talent, creativity and opportunities offered by the network to remain in the game and continue to evolve.
But now that the music has stopped, it is not enough to go back to the same old formats and strategies that have become obsolete in this new economic environment if all of us want to find our new space. A new different and innovative vision is required. A new way of perceiving and doing things, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by ICT and social networks.
A clear desire to make up new rules that help us evolve towards a better world, a world more able to face up to the upcoming challenges. The key to this better world are new spaces for innovation and entrepreneurship originated in the local communities.
The purpose of this Social innovation network based on projects
Under the slogan The Market Place: “Innovation Live”, new collaboration and working relationships will be created among entrepreneurs, creative people, talented people, community leaders, directors, experts and local administrations personnel. These networks will have their beginning in the local communities.
A brief description of the method: How do we want to do it?
Our proposal is to create a collaborative environment that allows specific viable projects to evolve. These projects will evolve using the opportunities offered by ICT in the local environment (Business, social and economic). Their evolution will be supported in four main pillars that we consider will start providing new answers in this new world we are facing:
- Funding mechanisms, old and new (Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding, Business Angels, etc.)
- Business models (Monetisation)
- Communication 2.0 (Social Media)
- Creativity (Invisible learning processes)
Each of these areas will be supported by experts, who will help us drill down into projects needs. This way we aim to provide answers that will catalyse these projects.
Also, users, entrepreneurs, and businessmen who are already creating wealth and employment, will help us to come up with an answer to what are the new opportunities and challenges arising from the use of ICT and social networks in rural and urban environments. They will help us find out if these opportunities involve the acceleration of wealth generation which will be key in the evolution of towns and their future.
The main objective of this space is to break down barriers so that initiatives can be turned into economically sustainable projects.
This space helps visualize the actions that are being carried out in the territory and brings out the differences born out from the initiative´s birth place.
The main analysis areas the experts will be supporting will be the following:
• Creativity: Resources will be provided in order to re-focus our point of view. This re-focusing exercise will be particularly useful when resolving problems, analyzing new situations, adding value, shaking ideas and re-vitalising ideas.
• Communication and Marketing: Experts will also provide tools and skills to position our messages, achieve alliances, improve the project ability to seduce, manage brands, expand and spread ideas.
• Funding: We will also find sources of information and resources (public, private, alternative, traditional) on how to fund our project including grants, European funds, regional funds, and new funding models among others.
• Technology: To find and share applications, platforms, tools and anything else technology may offer to enhance our projects in any of their phases.
After the Project has gone through this process, it is expected that the Project leader will take advantage of the experts´ feedback. Also, each project leader will be exposed to the experts’ feedback to other projects around the table which may also be useful. With this round table format we are achieving the following objectives:
• To accelerate the development of creative ideas adding value in the process. In this process synergies with other entities may be created and good practices shared.
• To become a meeting point where European people can exchange innovative ideas.
• To attract and promote talent and excellence, both among people who wish to develop projects and agents who want to collaborate with existing initiatives.
• To build an ideas and projects lab, where information and knowledge flow freely so that ideas and people can connect spreading the reach of this initiative beyond the initial group of people involved.
• To promote an inter-discipline forum able to lead change and provide solutions to future challenges taking advantage of technology.
In order to achieve the best results, we also propose that prior to the actual market place session, Project leaders and experts involved are able to connect via an online collaborative platform. This European online space will allow European people to share resources, their vision, their experiences and their ideas in the four main acceleration areas mentioned before: Creativity, Funding, Communication and Technology.
This network will:
• Allow the creation of a repository of both successful and failed ideas.
• Promote the ability to share skills and tools in the main acceleration areas to achieve a quick take off, development and deployment of projects.
• Help exploring new points of view to find new solutions to old problems.
• Allow to connect to other people and agents creating alliances, ideas, new working models which will help the projects.
This platform will show that technology can help accelerate the execution process of projects via the creation of links between experts and Project leaders involved in the Market Place.
This proposal is based on real experience (our credentials)
This proposal is born out of the experience of the @RedGuadalinfo (The Guadalinfo telecentre network, pioneer in Social innovation and recognized as European Living Lab by the ENoLL network). http.//Guadalinfo.es
This experience is developing more than 1000 Social innovation projects using the #Innycia community, created using this acceleration methodology in Andalucía, a Spanish region with more than 8.6 million people and 770 towns. This project has achieved a return of 1.8€ per each invested €.For more information visit Innycia: http://comunidadinnycia.guadalinfo.es/en/home
This proposal is also based on our collaboration with ‘Mondo digitale’ and their experience with the ‘Phyrtual’ network.
Our direction and that of Telecentre Europe have been greatly influenced by the Oxford Internet Institute and their experience in the ‘Invisible learning’ space.
Building a collaboration network
Our proposal involves the creation of a collaborative network among people (clearly targeting young and unemployed people) that allows them to upload their social innovation projects, so that they can be shared, where it is clearly represented what impact these projects are having, in particular from a monetization point of view (business model and volume), achieved funds through different mechanisms, impact achieved using social media marketing and the level of their technological development.
The ongoing upload of innovation projects and the constant connection between innovative people and social entrepreneurs will help building a powerful virtual community where projects can be enhanced through knowledge sharing as already described.
The virtual connectivity will be highly enhanced if it is replicated in the local physical environment. This will allow for an increased acceleration of the innovation process through face to face meetings being broadcasted through the internet (streamed) promoting participation through social networks.
We propose to carry out a meeting in each community in each country where selected projects according to their social impact get together. Each country would organise their Market Place where innovative project leaders would present their project to a set of experts. After this presentation, the experts would provide feedback to the leader in the mentioned areas (funding, social media, mentoring and creativity).
After all these country Market places have been carried out, the European Commission would organise the European Market Place. In this market place, the best projects, according to their impact, detected in the national sessions would be selected. This event would help visualize the experiences in each local community and the full potential of these social innovation and entrepreneurial projects.
In order to achieve this, the help of the different territorial networks and the European Telecentres network will be required.
Support required from the Commission for 2012-2013
After presenting this proposal to the European commission, their feedback was very positive. They encouraged us to share it with you all, to gain traction towards the EDA Assembly 2012. The objective is to work during this period to execute the proposal in the following EDA Assembly 2013.
We would like to ask your feedback and support to this proposal as we do believe it will make a difference in the way Europe develops.