On 5 March 2019, Harvard Business Review Poland held a business breakfast in Warsaw with a focus on the topic of ‘How to unlock the potential of social innovation in Poland’. The event attracted a wide range of business representatives, along with government and public benefit institutions, all of whom were interested in finding out more about social innovation in Poland. Participants had the chance to discuss the future of social innovation in Poland, the factors that stimulate it and the potential or existing barriers to its development.
Taking inspiration from a number of lectures, separate discussions took place on the current social trends and ideas, accompanied by examples of innovative projects. The meeting was organised as part of a Social Innovation Academy project. What is the Social Innovation Academy? Social Innovation Academy (SOCIA for short) is a European online education programme (e-learning) focusing exclusively on social innovation. The project was launched and is run by a team of five partners from Europe, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme.
The meeting was initiated by Ms Mirelle Panek-Owsiańska, a member of the board of CSR Europe, who outlined seven areas considered to be well suited to social innovation. Discussion ensued around the definition of social innovations in the context of sustainable development, led by Agnieszka Siarkiewicz, a senior manager for communication with the Responsible Business Forum.
Following Ms Siarkiewicz’s discussion, the floor was handed to Piotr Zawadzki, coordinator of the ‘Social Sciences’ area at the National Center for Research and Development, who looked at the financing of social innovation.
The next item on the agenda was to present the beta version of the Academy, which was discussed by Mariusz Smoliński, Research Director of the ICAN Institute. A summary of the meeting was given after the break. During the debate, industry experts sought answers to the question of how to unlock the potential of social innovation in Poland. The discussion was moderated by Mariusz Smoliński of the ICAN Institute and featured speakers Mirella Panek-Owsiańska, Piotr Zawadzki and Jakub Wygnański from the Laboratory of Social Innovation and Research ‘Shipyard’.
With great interest generated by the lectures and expert panel alone, the quality of the meeting was also evident in the heated discussions that took place during the breaks and after the meeting. There appears to be great potential for social innovation in Poland, and we at Social Innovation Academy look forward to the emergence of new breakthrough solutions, approaches and ideas aimed at addressing the enduring issues facing our societies.
Learn more at Social Innovation Academy
If you are interested in social innovation, why not learn more at the Social Innovation Academy, the first fully online management training programme focusing exclusively on social innovation?
Why Social Innovation Academy? Social innovation has increasingly come to be 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 a 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.
The Social Innovation Academy is aiming to change this situation in Europe and beyond. If you are interested in keeping up with this project, you can subscribe to our newsletter, become one of our friends or follow us on social media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook). We welcome all requests for collaboration here.
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