Today, on December 11th RedCreactiva held in Valencia the last one of the four tables on political and social impact on entrepreneurship and social innovation. Those were participatory meetings that have been organized during the months of November and December in San Sebastian, Madrid and Barcelona, with the purpose of placing these promising new tools of social action on the forefront of public debate, including “Europe 2020”.
In its quest to gather people from different areas of society, representatives of public institutions participated in the meeting (Manuel López Serrano, Director of Social Integration and Employment of the Valencian Institute of Social Action), as well as political parties (MP for the PSOE, Jordi Serra, a member of the general council of Poble, Agusti Zacarés, the candidate to the Generalitat for Alicante from UpyD, David Devesa and a representative of Compromís, Francesc Ferri, the latter being deputy spokesman training in the Valencian Parliament) and social organizations represented by the Coordinator of NGO Valenciana (CVONGD), Volunteer Platform Valencia (PVCV) and the Council of Youth in Valencia in the field of education.
General Director of Integration, Social Inclusion and Cooperation of the Generalitat Valenciana, Herminia Palomar, has been in charge for the opening of this event. She underlined the importance of incorporating and addressing the social innovation from the perspective of social inclusion. Director of the Valencian Youth Institute (IVAJ), Marcos Sanchis, underlined the desire of IVAJ to become a part of new initiatives in order to promote social participation; and the President of the Association JOVESOLIDES, Lourdes Mirón, contextualized the activities that are happening under the project Red Creactiva.
Far from being merely conceptual figures, social innovation and its paradigmatic appearance in different variants of social entrepreneurship are emerging as methodological responses to a transformation context. Current economic crisis and the discrediting statements that cross political institutions have enhanced the interest of the citizens to take active part in decisions and forming or shaping the society, collective empowerment that certainly has enabled new forms of communication. Thus, social innovation is a reflection of this change in the community role, that does not only demand a new production model represented by values such as inclusion, cooperation, environmental responsibility and social justice, but also directly participates in its construction.
In the context of social innovation there was a proposal to create organs of social participation, as well as number of proposals of interest within the framework of social entrepreneurship that can promote innovation from the ideas that are related to social participation and applied for citizens, such as the idea of promoting the educational field from the values of social entrepreneurship. Those contents of the educational program have been mentioned as a part of this participatory activity.
Almost since the economic crisis started, the interest in both social innovation and social entrepreneurship has grown. Other neighboring countries and the EU itself have emphasized the importance of promoting policies to facilitate their dissemination and implementation. This increased attention confronted, however, insufficient knowledge that we have of these tools, compared with the large amount of research in the field of scientific and business innovation. It is essential to find a constructive and cooperative dialogue, a true "ecosystem", between different social spheres (public institutions, social organizations, educational sector and citizens) in order to transform these promising new methodologies into fundamental elements for social change.
RedCreactiva, whose main commitment to this field is the Second Forum for Social Innovation which will be held in September 2015, is a meeting point open to social organizations, groups, administrations, platforms and NGOs who are willing to interact and coordinate their actions in the framework of social entrepreneurship and social innovation. It is also a space to promote youth employment, creativity and socioeconomic alternatives of social participation, from an inclusive and cooperative vision.
This network, organized by the association JOVESOLIDES (project coordinator and a national pioneer in addressing this subject), Center of social innovation Sinnergiak, the iWith.org foundation, Valencian Youth Institute (IVAJ) and Foundation Esplai, currently brings together around 80 organizations and 30 more organizations are expected to join in 2015.
RedCreactiva receives financial support from Active Citizenship Program of Financial Mechanism 2009-2014 European Economic Area (EEA Grants), launched in Spain by the NGO Platform for Social Action.