Cities are witnessing major societal changes and increasingly complex social realities as a result of digitalisation and globalisation, demographic change and increased migration to and within the EU. To tackle these challenges and tap into the opportunities, cities need to learn to continuously innovate and to be forward-looking. Cities need to become open living labs to pilot innovative solutions to improve the quality of life in urban areas.
For the first time ever, EUROCITIES is organising a Social Innovation Lab. The theme of the Lab is 'Making Inclusive Cities through Social Innovation'. We aim to address the new and emerging social challenges in cities by fostering co-learning, co-sharing and co-creation of innovative solutions.
We will gather 100 urban policy-makers, city practitioners and 'change makers' (social entrepreneurs, start-ups with social impact, foundations) from over 50 cities in Europe to share social innovations, learn to transfer their lessons and co-create potential solutions to implement in cities. Our aim is to strengthen the capacity of cities to develop and implement innovative solutions to new social challenges.
- Match cities’ needs for social innovation with some other cities’ experience in the field
- Capitalise on lessons learned from recent pilots of social innovation in cities
- Foster the transfer, replication and upscaling of social innovations to other urban contexts
- Nurture city-to-city collaborations for new pilots of social innovation
- Co-create new solutions to tackle complex social challenges in cities
Our NEW method
We will pilot a new method of collaborative learning between cities focused on social innovation in three stages:
- Co-learning - learn how to transfer lessons from recent pilots of social innovation in cities
- Co-sharing - share know-how and exchange good practices of social innovations in cities through site visits, speed-networking and exhibition of projects by invited stakeholders
- Co-creating - working together to co-design possible solutions to current social challenges in cities
Key questions to explore
- What do we want our inclusive cities to look like and how to achieve it? What are the ‘new’ solutions to this ‘old’ mission?
- How can cities act as ‘change makers’ to develop and implement innovative solutions to tackle new social challenges?
- Which lessons from urban innovative actions is your city interested to learn from and transfer to your own urban context?
- Who can cities work with to pilot new solutions to address current and future social challenges? How can cities work better together to maximise opportunities for social innovations?
Social challenges in focus
We will explore five pressing challenges to social inclusion in cities:
- Rising inequalities and urban poverty, including homelessness and working poor
- Digitalisation and future of work and skills
- Inclusion of migrants in the local communities (through education, employment, culture, social mix approach and participation in community life)
- Tackling gentrification through more affordable housing in cities
- Integrated social care and health services
To attend, please register before 11 March here: https://eurocitiessocialinnovationlab.eventbrite.com