Round Table "Social Innovation in Croatia"

On Thursday, 25 October 2012 a round table Social Innovation in Croatia was held. The organisers were Social Innovation Lab, GOCNGOs, the National Foundation for Civil Society Development and Ceraneo – Centre for Non-profit Organisation Development in cooperation with VERN University of Applied Sciences and HUB Initiative from Zagreb.
Representatives of associations and foundations as well as the state authority bodies and local and regional self-government units, academia, public institutions and private sector participated in the discussions. Mirna Karzen, president of Social Innovation Lab delivered a speech on the criteria for social innovation that the Lab implements. She gave examples of social innovation from other countries and talked about the European initiatives that encourage social innovation development. Vesna Lendić Kasalo, Deputy Head of the Government Office for Cooperation with NGOs, spoke about the significance of investing in social innovation and highlighted social innovation as an integral part of the National Strategy for the Creation of an Enabling Environment for Civil Society Development. Pavle Schramadei from the National Foundation for Civil Society Development talked about the efforts of the National Foundation aimed at increasing the visibility of social innovation in the Croatian society through giving awards for innovative solutions to society’s problems. Jelena Matančević from Ceraneo presented the academia activities regarding social innovation, specifically the comparative research which was funded under EU funds – WILCO Project (Welfare Innovations at Local Levels in Favour of Cohesion). It explored the ways in which local social systems promote and strengthen social cohesion.
In the second part of the round table Teo Petričević from Autonomous Centre – ACT, Ana Raguž from HUB Initiative Zagreb and Miroslav Vrankić from E-GLAS d.o.o. (E-Voice Company) presented examples of social innovation in Croatia. In the discussion which followed special importance was given to networking as a way of encouraging development of social innovation, the need for intersectoral cooperation and social innovation financing (idea, pilot projects and social innovation development).