Social Innovation for Communities is an initiative identifying social challenges and promoting the implementation of innovative solutions
An initiative to solve the most urgent social problems in times of crisis in a country, like Spain, with lack of innovation. It is called SIC-Social Innovation for Communities and it aims at solving critical social problems in Barcelona and in Spain through implementing innovations that have been successful elsewhere. It is promoted by UpSocial, a community of renowned social entrepreneurs based in Barcelona, in partnership with the City of Barcelona, the Generalitat de Catalunya and CityMart.
The initiative is divided into four phases:
- Definition of the challenge: Local thematic clusters identify main challenges where innovation is needed. The demand for innovative solutions is the main driver of the programme.
- Research and selection: A global research of proven solutions to the challenges is conducted through CityMart.com. The selection will be made by a specialized jury that will select the most promising solutions.
- Meetings–selected innovators meet local stakeholders: The selected innovators are invited to Barcelona to meet with key stakeholders interested in investing/replicating/importing their innovation. This could mean with potential investors and funders, public institutions, interested NGOs, trade unions, or other actors that are critical to the innovation. These meetings aim to facilitate the matching of demand and offer necessary for implementation.
- Soft landing: Eventually, UpSocial supports the local implementation, providing support during 12 months to support by facilitating connections to an explicit local demand and to key stakeholders, supporting the search for investors and clients, and supporting the innovators in defining an extension strategy to other markets (Spain/EU and/or Latin America).
The advantages social innovators would win if they get selected are:
- Connections to key stakeholders: UpSocial facilitates the connections to stakeholders relevant to the innovation: being local entrepreneurs or partners, clients, providers, institutions, etc. This should accelerate and make expansion easier and cheaper.
- Support in search for investors: UpSocial creates opportunities to reach out to potential investors and funders of the innovation, and works carefully to ensure that the demand for the innovation is made explicit before the selection
- Adapting the strategy: UpSocial can also support social innovators in defining an expansion strategy, to make it economically viable, and eventually adding strategy, design and technology to facilitate its replication and sustainability.
UpSocial seeks to support the implementation of at least 5 innovations by the end of 2013.