Lisbon 9april 2International seminar on Social innovation and innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem, Lisbon, April 9, 2015

INTA board members gathered in Lisbon for their board meeting participated as speakers and participants in a seminar organized in collaboration with the Municipality of Lisbon, held on april 9, 2015. This seminar aimed to elected officials and civil servants of the city dealt with  social innovation in local development and innovative entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Municipal Housing Strategy and Local Development was presented by Paula Marques, Deputy Mayor in charge of habitat and local development.
At the opening session, Lisbon's elected officials recalled 24 years of collaboration between the Municipality of Lisbon and INTA in the development of cities and regions, presenting a set of public policies implemented by the municipality in the field of habitat and local development.
In the afternoon Graça Fonseca, Deputy Mayor in charge of Economy and Innovation, made a presentation of the strategies developed by the municipality, in the last 5-6 years, to support entrepreneurship and the development of the local economy and the international recognition gained thanks to the Prize European City enterprising.

The following text is an abstract of the speech of Michel Sudarskis, INTA Secretary General introducing the concept of social innovation to raise the debate during the seminar.

Diverse approaches to social innovation
• Implementing private sector methodology for public programs applying the social innovation principles of end-user and service provider co-production on the ground, such as SILK; results in impressive outcomes that are generally small in scale and difficult to evaluate quantitatively
• Turning public sector solutions into stand-alone businesses via design thinking throughout all stages of project research, conceptualization, implementation, and eventual autonomy creates wider-scaled results that are easier to measure, but take an average of 10-years to show investment returns
• Instrumentalizing innovation in public sector management with inborn cost-savings strategies based on principles of social innovation, such as creating new partnerships and enabling new leaders with local autonomy public sector management efficiency through innovation-oriented solutions creates desired cost-savings through the exploitation of innovation for economic benefit, but is further from the humanist underpinnings

The barrier facing social innovation is that of time and scale
• Society is far less accepting of ten year timeframes for a return on investment or a context-specific solution that is only able to touch a handful of individuals, no matter how much they need it.

While social innovation is dynamic and evolving, it is in need of additional thrust through the concentrated efforts of more motivated individuals, businesses, and governments

Lessons from recent experiences
• Social innovation, whether it be in project design, research, or implementation, is effective and in great need of encouragement
• Businesses can and do play a major role in tightening the gap between national governments and the end-users of their service programs there is no single social innovation solution; different challenges necessitate different solutions


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