Social innovators, researchers, policy makers, consultants, students as well as other proffessionals, wanting to promote this field in the region, gathered in Copenhagen to launch SIX Nordic and share experiences and lessons learned within the growing fields of social innovation and social entrepreneurship.
Louise Pulford of Social Innovation Exchange, Ada Wong of Hong Kong Institute of Contemporary Culture and Uffe Elbæk, former Danish Minister of Culture and founder of Kaospilot in Denmark, kicked off the event at Republikken in Copenhagen, hosted by Social+, the danish SIX Nordic country partner and host of SIX Nordic 2013.
– There is a need to learn from each other, we have different experiences from similar environments, said Pulford as she shared the historic background of SIX Nordic and the need to join forces for social innovation.
Wong shared some insights from the recently launched SIX Asia node, highlighting trends and tendencies in that region and sharing good examples of social innovation in Asia, such as Changefusion in Thailand and the Hope Institute in Seoul, founded by the forward thinking mayor of Seoul – Park Won-Soon.
Elbæk shared his view of the fourth sector taking the best out of the private, public and non profit sector and that he political world is not innovative, it is reactive. Something he hopes to see the community will change.
– We need to push past ideology and create new agendas for future society. Hard working outsiders are the ones who create actual change, says Elbæk but also warns that innovation needs to be more than a fluffy good thing if we want to see change.
Participants of the SIX Nordic launch mapped out social innovation in their region in a ”state of the nations” initiated by country representatives. A joint sense of being ”good at connecting on a global level, now we need to connect on a more local level to push social innovation forward in the Nordic countries.
As SIX is about sharing experiences and knowledge within social innovation part of the unconference was dedicated to the issue ”What are the challenges and possibilities for working with social innovation in Scandinavia?”
Sebastian Stjern of CSES held a popular session, sharing the business modells of Bee Urban Sweden, My Dream Now and Pamoja Cleantech. As did others with topics such as ”Labs for social innovation”, ”Social fantasy (for social innovation)”, ”Kids in social care”, ”What happens when you loose public funding for your project?” and more.
Day two of SIX Nordic Launch focused on the similarities and differences of social innovation in the Nordic Regions as well as discussing how do we stop celebrating the same stories of social innovation over and over again, and focus on new, emerging ideas.
Examples from Finland were shared and for the finnish speaking reader a list of finnish social enterprises can be found online here. Other examples that were shared was the swedish initiative SE Outreach Accelerator by SE Forum and many more, see the picture below.
Juding from the guest list of SIX Nordic Launch there was a large representation of Swedish participant, closely followed by Danish participants. Norway had several, but Finland and Iceland were underrepresented, something to hope will increase for the next event. Which is already planned to take place during the Oslo Innovation Week on 14-18th October.