Social innovation is one of today’s hot topics for companies, governments and social enterprises, charities and people from all walks of life. Social innovation is not new as such: people have always tried to find innovative solutions for pressing social needs and problems, but right now several factors have coalesced bringing social innovation to the forefront of today’s agenda.
Europe’s citizens, governments and enterprises are facing a myriad of social, economic and environmental challenges. We now need to find answers to challenges such as:
· Addressing large-scale unemployment and its social consequences Europe’s citizens;
· Meeting the needs and the impact of Europe’s ageing population;
· How to compete within the global market place;
· Addressing the impact of climate and environmental change;
· How to sustain Europe’s health and social security systems as the population continues to grow.
These are some of the BIG questions of our time, but what are the answers? Yesterday’s strategies and solutions are unlikely to provide the answers to tomorrow’s challenges, so where are the answers and the solutions going to come? As Henry Ford said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
This is where social innovation could hold the key as yesterday’s thinking is no good for addressing tomorrow’s problems. What will be required is a different way of thinking; a different way of understanding problems; and a different approach to solving them. Enter – ‘social innovation’.
Although there are many different definitions of the term ‘social innovation,’ they tend to all suggest that it is where are new or novel solutions (products, services, models, markets, processes) are developed and implemented which simultaneously meet a social need (more effectively than existing solutions) and lead to new or improved capabilities and relationships and better use of assets and resources.
In the Erasmus+ funded project called, Social Innovation Training for Work Based Learning, the seven strong partnership will be developing and delivering a blended learning course for teachers and trainers. Using an array of best practice digital learning tools, the partners will also train teachers and trainers how to engage and work with enterprises enabling them to implement and benefit from the use of social innovation thinking and practices.
If you are interested in taking part in this project, then simply contact your National Partner by clicking on the name of your country: Portugal, Hungary, Cyprus, Ireland, Spain, or the United Kingdom (SFEDI and ETA).
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