ESTABLISHED – Social Innovation Network in Estonia!

Yesterday evening it was agreed that…


… there will be a network for social innovation in Estonia!


Social innovations are new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create new social relationships or collaborations.
(Open Book of Social Innovation, Murray, Calulier-Grice and Mulgan, March 2010) 


“Another network – again?!?” 


Yes. It is needed. For example, currently there is no single entity that has taken responsibility for advocating for and developing social innovation cross-sectorally.


I have heard that in some Scandinavian countries the ministries were fighting about would get the topic of social innovation


In Estonia Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications and Ministry of Social Affairs are still fighting about… who of them can get rid of it


The solution? Citizen initiative, of course. It will be network´s task to translate the abstract ideas behind the concept into:


However, as a participant of the network my biggest hope is to get soon to something that is symbolised by following picture.


Many stakeholders have “their piece” of social innovation. Social enterprises, developers of public services, proactive public servants, community activists… you name it. The challenge is that all those small pieces do not add up to a systemic change in our society. Without coordination, the “big picture” of grass-root level initiatives resembles a mess created by thousands of post-its that haven´t been sorted out.


For example, most of the financial resources targeted to civil society organisations still favor keeping project-based (though mostly well-intentioned) mediocrity alive…

…instead of developing innovative and (potentially) sustainable change-makers.


So – I wish the initiators of the network (from Good Deed Foundation) would achieve systemic change with their work as many beneficiaries in a variety of fields really need it!


Photo references:

shaking hands - link here

post-its - link here

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