On 18 June 2019, Harvard Business Review Poland held a business breakfast in Warsaw which focused on the topic of ‘How to successfully develop social innovation projects?’. 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 both the potential and existing barriers to its development.

Breakfast took place in the darkroom at Different restaurant – a social innovation project itself. The experience during the meeting allowed us to get introduced into the world of the blind, one of the groups for which social innovations are crucial for improving their quality of life.

Taking their inspiration from a number of lectures, separate discussions took place about 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) is a European online education programme focusing exclusively on social innovation. The project was launched and is run by a team of five partners from across Europe, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme.

The meeting was initiated by Ewa Sońta-Drączkowska, PhD from Warsaw School of Economics, on the basis of her experience in projects of non-profit organizations. She pointed out the most important competences of the leaders in social innovation. Afterwards, Marzena Atkielskagave information about the Santander Bank Polska Foundation (Acting as President of the Management Board). Irek Piętowski, founder of DT Makers, began his presentation with a rhetorical question: “How can a citizen-oriented design method help create social innovations?”. A very interesting discussion was generated. The last point of the programme was a presentation of the Social Innovation Academy, given by Mariusz Smoliński, the Research Director at the ICAN Institute, and related discussions on the relevance of this platform to different stakeholder groups from learners to innovation intermediaries.

The meeting was a second one of the Social Innovation Academy in Warsaw. You can read about the first one here: Social Innovation in Poland.

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  focused exclusively on social innovation?

Why theSocial Innovation Academy? Social innovation has increasingly come to be perceived as the answer to a rising number of  European societal challenges. While the European authorities, leading academics, policy experts, business people and activists all 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 put into practice.

The Social Innovation Academy is aiming to change this situation both  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.


The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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