The city of Valencia has become for two days the center of entrepreneurship and social innovation worldwide. The third edition of the International Forum of Social Innovation, organized by the Jovesolides association in collaboration with the Creation Network, brought together more than 50 experts from 18 European, Asian, African and Latin American countries in the Innovation Polytechnic. And a total of 300 people have discovered, shared and reinvented the world in these meeting days.
The opening ceremony of the event was attended by the Rector of the Polytechnic University of Valencia, Francisco José Mora, the Regional Secretary for Transparency, Social Responsibility, Participation and Cooperation, Zulima Pérez Seguí, the General Secretary of the IVAJ, Jesús Damián Martí, Andrés García Reche, of the Valencian Innovation Agency, The president of the Coordinator Valenciana of ONGD, Trini Blanch and the president of the Jovesolides Association, Lourdes Mirón.
Also visited the first day of the Forum the Vice President, spokeperson an minister for equality and inclusive policies of the valencian government. With Mónica Oltra we talk about social innovation and more issues. The vice president stressed the importance of social innovation in the roadmap of the valencian government that focuses on social innovation not only in the economic area but also in the social policies.
She also expressed his personal involvement with social innovation by putting on the shirt with the motto “Yo voto por la innovación social”, and taking a selfie with the president of Jovesolides, Lourdes Mirón, and the 300 participants in the event.
The main papers of the Forum
Two of the main speakers in this edition of the Forum were María Elisa Bernal and Carlo Ratti. The Colombian economist who has developed her work in Latin American politics was in charge of giving the inaugural presentation. Bernal emphasized the take-off of social innovation in Europe due to the decline in the welfare state. Bernal also stressed that in order to promote social innovation in public administrations, it is necessary to support innovative models generated from the communities.
On the other hand, the Italian architect Carlo Ratti, founder and director of the Senseable City Lab of MIT, was in charge of imparting the closing speech of the III International Forum of social innovation. The Italian architect and engineer pointed out during his conference that through the new technologies the big cities can become living and sustainable spaces, starting from initiatives resulting from innovation and social entrepreneurship.
Diversity of topics, experimentation and debate in the Forum
The III Forum of Social Innovation also had the mini-presentations of experts in this matter as; Yolanda Domínguez, who spoke about art and social activism, María Almazán who shared how it is possible to make sustainable fashion, Road4World, who discovered that the world is full of wonderful examples of social entrepreneurship, Javier Albarracín, who addressed how the use of digital social innovation can have a positive social impact on the Mediterranean, Batec Mobility, who told us how innovation can improve the lives of people with functional diversity, and Sophia Looney who spoke on social innovation can help build resilience in the most vulnerable neighborhoods.
Also in the Forum there was also time for experimentation and debate. On the one hand, during the first day a Gigalab was developed, an experimental space in which the Jovesolides association debuted its latest innovative methodology, Factor 5, based on gamification. The goal of this is to solve great social challenges through the game. During the Forum, the participants found out how to design projects to solve five major social challenges: the humanitarian crisis affecting refugees, school bullying, gender violence, conflict in neighborhoods of preferential action, or unemployment youth.
And under the name 'El Pueblo pregunta', a space was opened during the second day for the debate on social and solidarity economy. In the space they participated; Mª Luisa Martínez Celada, from REAS Country Valencià, María Amigo, of the Valencian Association of the Economy of the Common Good, José Lindo, ambassador of B Corp Spain, Emili Villaescusa, President of the Confederation of Cooperatives of the CV, And Cristina Ramón, Member of the Valencian Coordinator of NGDOs.
All this was the III Forum of Social Innovation, a meeting that will return with its fourth edition in two years to stir again social innovation, an indispensable tool to improve the world in which we live.