The Lisbon Social Innovation Declaration

EU policymakers are negotiating Europe’s next long-term budget.Sign the #SIDeclaration today to tell them that Europe needs innovation to benefit everyone.

While industries like pharmaceuticals and automotive are good at getting decision-makers’ attention, the social innovation community – a broad movement of people and organisations innovating for public benefit – often has less influence. We want this to change.

Over the past year, we have asked people working in social innovation all over Europe about how EU policy could enable them achieve an even bigger impact. We heard from more than 350 people from 19 member countries.

You told us you wanted a Europe where civil society, non-state actors and local communities are empowered to define and address challenges that matter to them, such as climate change. You shared a vision for research and innovation which gives greater recognition to the contribution of civil society and the wider public. And you spoke about the need for mainstream innovators (like technologists, firms and research organisations) to rethink their role in driving direct societal benefits.

Finally, you described challenges that can stop social innovation achieving its potential: problems with public procurement, rigid funding structures that don’t allow experimentation, a lack of skills and incentives for public officials to support social innovation.

The Social Innovation Declaration sets out the core values that we want European policymakers to follow as they negotiate the new EU budget and programming.

The Declaration includes 10 specific policy recommendations that we think cut right to the heart of these issues. We want to make social innovation a cross-cutting priority in all EU policies and programmes (such as the European Social Fund Plus or Horizon Europe), and have introduced a number of proposals aimed at using strategic partnerships between EU, national and regional authorities to unleash the power of communities and smaller organisations to drive change.

Click here to download the full Declaration 

Summary in different language: German / French / Italian / Spanish / Greek

This Declaration is a statement of intent from the community to ensure that social innovation is given the political visibility and support it deserves. We need your help to show European decision-makers that we are a powerful and determined force for change in Europe.

Sign the #SIDeclaration here and make history with us! #Spreadit4Europe

The EU will fund more social innovation because it’s the future of innovation” – Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation

You can read more about SIC’s presentation of the #SIDeclaration to Commissioner Moedas at the Web Summit, Lisbon in our press release here and in this article by Horizon Magazine.

Introducing Design culture in Social Innovation and in the Public Sector

The 20 November 2018 POLIMI/UNIBO run the hot topic workshop on the issue of how to use design competences and methodology in public sector and in social innovation.


The workshop started from the consideration that the economic, demographic, social, and environmental long-term challenges are calling for deep changes, questioning many of the assumptions that have underpinned public services and posing new challenges for institutions, policy makers, civil servants, and communities. While austerity measures are being adopted, innovative solutions based on the active involvement and engagement of citizens emerge as a new paradigm, questioning the established welfare systems and raising quite a few unsolved problems. In this scenario, design thinking (Brown, 2009) is being interpreted as a mean to generate innovative solutions, to reshape services and to change the ways in which they are conceived and delivered. The workshop will investigate how service and participatory design processes can be applied to foster innovation in the public sector, and how prototypes and small-scale experiments can be scaled and turned into diffused practices.


The workshop put together 15 people to discuss the following Main questions and challenges:

What is the desired impact of design culture on public sector and on SI?

How can we introduce design culture as an agent of change in public organisations?

How can we relate design experiments to policy making to create impact and scale innovative solutions in the public sector?



Francesca Rizzo – University of Bologna/Politecnico di Milano

Alessandro Deserti – Politecnico di Milano

Guy Julier – Aalto University

Sabine Juginger Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts

Nicola Morelli – Aalborg University

Anna Meroni – Politecnico di Milano

Daniela Sangiorgi – Politecnico di Milano

Fiorenza Lipparini – Plus value

Stefano Maffei- Polifactory – Politecnico di Milano fablab

Massimo Bianchini – Politecnico di Milano fablab

Stefano Crabu – Politecnico di Milano and University of Padova

Marzia Mortati – Politecnico di Milano


5 PhD students from the Politecnico di Milano PhD programme have been invited on the basis of their research interest as described in their dissertations.

Presentation of the Turin experimentation at the Sev Des international conference 2018

The last 21st of June the SIC experimentation conducted within the Municipality of Turin has been presented within the Serv Des international conference.

The experimentation took place from  November 2016 until June 2018 and it represents original story of introducing Social innovation in public sector as a new paradigm to deal with the challenge of how to innovate public sector offering.