Organized by Klaus Niederländer, Cooperatives Europe, and Jacques Dasnoy, Mouves

On Europe’s path to overcoming a persistent economic and ecological crisis, the innovation crossroads is on everyone’s mind. The consensus tends to favor a purely technological approach, which continues to be very often perceived as the only “real” force behind innovation.
Yet another form of innovation is being nurtured away from the spotlight: social innovation, whose development has been championed since 2011 by the European Commission’s Social Business Initiative and today in France by the Law on Social and Solidarity Economy enacted this past summer.
But despite this favorable momentum, actors are still experiencing difficulties in financing and promoting their social innovations, which tend to be overlooked in traditional innovation support mechanisms.

Territories are the primary ecosystems for hosting social innovation. The resources available at this level are extensive: local authorities, research entities and institutions of higher education, companies, citizen groups, etc. How then, by relying on such resources, is it possible to maximize this innovative capacity and quickly devise solutions to the social problems spreading and becoming more ingrained in the territories?

This Creative Lab is intended for public authorities, research entities and institutions of higher education, social companies (including cooperatives), major groups, and citizen associations.