CECAN was represented at the recent Social Innovation Conference in Lisbon, by Professor Liz Varga of Cranfield University.
With over 1,500 registered participants and high level attendance at political level, the conference marked – in the words of Commissioner Carlos Moedas – a milestone for the Future of Europe, marking a new era for Social Innovation.
In his speech Commissioner Moedas emphasised the role of social innovation to address inequality and create purpose for others, which are the fundamental questions of our time, also launching the first Horizon Prize for Social Innovation, a 2 million euroe prize to reward innovative solutions for safe and sustainable mobility for the elderly.
In his video message during the opening ceremony, President Jean Claude Juncker underlined the crucial role of social innovation for shaping the future of Europe. In his words: “…l’innovation sociale constitue un élément essentiel pour l’avenir de l’Europe et auquel la Commission que j’ai l’honneur de présider attache la plus grande importance.”
In her closing speech, Commissioner Marianne Thyssen returned to the core theme of the conference saying that: ‘Social innovation is not only about helping people. It’s about finding new answers to old questions on how to shape a society that works for everyone.’ In this regard she also underlined that social innovation is a priority for the next Multi Annual Financial Framework and that appropriate resources shall be made available.
During the two day conference scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, civil society representatives, investors, students and policy-makers, all united by their interest in social issues, took stock of the current trends in the vast domain of social innovation, formed connections and discussed new ideas for advancing social innovation today and what the future might hold.
The full programme of the conference is available here.