SIAC, Social Innovation Acceleration in Cities, is a ‘joint venture’ of people from different European countries. With background in practice, research and accelerators to establish new kinds of social innovation accelerators and to build a trans national learning network, to connect research to practice.
The labs we envision are different from existing labs. Taking Social Innovation seriously, we have to acknowledge that everybody has relevant ideas and knowledge. See ‘Participants’ to see who already has joined!
Good ideas are the capital of a viable future and we firmly believe that those people who come up with world changing ideas should get structural support to bring these ideas into valid actions. Supporting social innovative projects and ideas is not just a societal benefaction, but also an real investment in the future of ourself and the next generations. A serviceable, necessary and very effective way to promote social innovations are so called Social Innovation Accelerators.
Our mission is to boost social innovations by offering the innovators the support they need to thrive by building local networks that will grow to be sustainable and self-enabling. In the mean time local partnerships are created to connect communities and neighborhoods, the citizens, to the traditional networks public authorities so far relied on. There is a lot to learn from each other and to learn how to shape these partnerships. The SIAC network aims to found such Social Innovation Accelerators in different European regions and cities. In contrary to many other accelerator programs we are open to all ideas and concepts, no matter if it‘s about founding a social business or tackle a problem through an civic initiative. A transnational learning network is the basis for a mutual learning process on how to boost social innovations most effectively. Different backgrounds bring different solutions. In cooperation with cities, universities, accompanying research and joint efforts with other European programs like TRANSIT and Urbact it stimulates the exchange between researchers, practitioners and city representatives and contributes to a often claimed intensified exchange between theory, practice and policy. Together we can make change really happen.
Luckily there is no need to reinvent the wheel. The Social Innovation Factory in Flanders, very successful in promoting and supporting social innovative projects in Belgium is one of the partners in the project. The proven concept of the Social Innovation Factory is a successful way to create a culture of Social Innovation. It is this concept that we will dynamically develop further within the SIAC (Social Innovation Accelerators in Cities) network. A lot of citizens living labs, or hubs, already exist. We work with these people and their networks that already exist. They are our participants. And, luckily a lot of cities are searching how to learn from the community, how to work cross silo, how to create new partnerships and to come to new generation democratic infrastructures. So, there is something happening out there.