What is Social Innovation?
Social Innovation is a growing trend, as it proposes new solutions to the social and environmental challenges around the world. Unfortunately, it seems that the definition and vision of social innovation changes from individual to individual and from region to region which complicates the implementation of policies and actions to support and finance Social Innovation.
Social innovations are new ideas that meet social needs, create social relationships and form new collaborations. These innovations can be products, services or models addressing unmet needs more effectively.European Commission
The definition above is too broad to allow the stakeholders and the public to be able to easily identify a socially innovative initiative.
The lack of a common definition, has important repercussions on funding opportunities, visibility and represents an obstacle for the actors involved to create a community and feel represented.
A new definiton for the Alpine Space
ASIS main objective is to produce a new and common vision of social innovation for the Alpine Space area.
A new vision starts with a new definition that can be shared and could help the stakeholders to better identify and support the social innovative initiatives in the region.
To achieve this goal, the project partners worked with the most important stakeholders in their respective regions to identify the different definitions they use (via a survey), discussed the findings on workshops and once every partner gathered all their information and results, a group of experts on the subject (lead by the University of Lyon II) studied and proposed an official definition.
You can find the ASIS definition of Social Innovation, here.