SOCIA progress update meeting in Athens is a fact! The representatives of five partner organisations, Limitless, ICAN, We4You, Found.ation and Eolas met in Athens last week to discuss where the project stands. SOCIA will develop and test the Social Innovation Academy concept. The Academy will be the first European, fully online management training programme focusing exclusively on social innovation.

After the kick-off in Luxembourg at Limitless, the project coordinator, this time, the host was Found.ation, a privately funded and operated technology hub. It was great to meet each other in person again and to have some famous Greek salad too!

 So, where do we stand with SOCIA?

1.     We have found out the core social innovation skills. After many months of research led by ICAN and supported Limitless, comprising online surveys and interviews with tens of both already successful and aspiring social innovators, we were able to identify what exactly constitutes the social innovation skills. More on that soon in a separate article, so stay tuned, but as a spoiler we can already reveal that skills such as networking, storytelling, auto presentation, cooperation, openness, and a wide range of communication skills came high on the list, besides the ability to build partnerships and to inspire others.

2.     We have investigated the existing social innovation offer in Europe in general and specifically in 5 selected countries: Greece, Poland, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Spain. First conclusions seem quite clear – the social innovation training offer in Europe is relatively limited and very few if any trainings seem to cover all the identified core social innovation skills.

3.     We have successfully launched our Global Advisory Board and Friends community. After numerous applications and quite an overwhelming interest in the project, we were able to select the first candidates to join our Global Advisory Board and the wonderful social innovation practitioners, experts and enthusiasts to join our community of Friends. We are so proud to have you all on board. We still welcome the applications for both groups of our supporters here.

Why Social Innovation Academy in the first place?

Social Innovation has been increasingly perceived as the answer to the rising number of European societal challenges. While the European authorities, leading academics, policy experts, business people and activists agree that social innovation is the key to better future for Europe and the world, it is extremely difficult for professionals to obtain high quality training on what social innovation actually offers and, more importantly, how it can be done in practice. Social Innovation Academy will aim to change this situation in Europe and beyond. 

What’s next?

We are now starting to work on the actual Social Innovation Academy concept. Let us know if you would like to get involved in curriculum development and testing. If you are interested in keeping up with this project, you can subscribe to our newsletter, or follow us on social media (LinkedInTwitter and Facebook). We welcome all requests for collaboration here.

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