UPDATE December 2014: Talking left and right we realised we need to either find a lead partner with administrative and financial capacity to form a consortium around it, or to join an existing consortium that is being formed as we speak. We’re still in talks with several organisations testing waters until January 2015. Stay tuned.
Browsing through this year’s opening calls in Horizon 2020 I found the following which aims to build cooperation and “network of networks” in the field of social innovation. We’ve been keeping an eye on this from earlier this year, and given our enthusiasm for running with many more Harmonious Hackathons, might be a good fit.
Pillar: Societal challenges
Topic: New forms of innovation
- Call description: INSO-5-2015: Social innovation Community
Opening date: 10 Dec 2014
Deadline: 28 May 2015
Description Specific Challenge: The specific challenge of this activity is to stimulate and support the establishment of a ‘Social Innovation Community’ of researchers, social innovators, end users (citizens) and policy-makers. Since the launch of the Innovation Union Flagship initiative in 2010, many actions have developed in the area of social innovation involving research and “hands on” innovation. However many related actions in the field may appear disconnected and not fully exploit the possibilities offered by more effective communication and dissemination means. This could limit the policy uptake of research results. What is needed is to better link research to practice, develop joint methods and concepts in the area of social innovation research and provide a common space for gathering evidence and identifying new areas for social innovation take up in various fields.
Type of action: coordination and support
Funding: 13 670 000 eur total (“The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.”)
Proposal idea: “The Harmonious Innovation Network” (tentative title)
More often than not, social innovation springing from the grassroots is isolated, risky and even thankless work. The project will connect key individuals and groups driving change in their local communities and harness the knowledge in a global, open platform, making it free and accessible to all. Its two interlinked components, the offline and the online, will feed into each other to enable generative exchanges between individual participants and between citizenry and research and developmental policy scene.
The three year project activities are designed around the Network’s core collaboration engine: a series of Harmonious Hackathons (HaHo), collaboratively driven events that facilitate p2p, mutual support around individual projects in a quality food provision and co-living environment. Rather than being isolated, local, short term sprints, the series will be developed as part of a bigger conversation enabling local themes to emerge and initiatives to contribute back to the global community. This builds continuity across all events in each country involved, preserves the local specifics while creating a shared pool of knowledge at European level and beyond.
- create an open infrastructure for networked local experimentation, incubation, growth and replication of social good projects
- ensure an effective offline-online interface between local initiatives and a global, ever evolving pool of knowledge where their specificities would be well documented
- build collaboration between “innovation leaders” and “modest innovators”, between technically skilled people and non-technical people, between citizens and policy makers
Launching conversation through editorialized content
We will commission a number of articles that land somewhere between innovation research and curatorial writing. The purpose of each article is to:
- Collect, validate and harmonise participants state of the arts knowledge around key themes to challenge our collective intelligence and capacity for problem solving
- Engage in the conversation people and projects already doing relevant work and that we could support and be supported by in the harmonious hackathons.
- Build support and engagement in the project from a wide range of stakeholders.
The pieces are commissioned by Edgeryders as our direct contribution towards getting the conversation and collaboration going. The commissioned editorial posts will be edited and published in an interactive digital publication.
Online engagement and PR campaign
The posts produced will be published on Edgeryders.eu and translated for higher accessibility, then pushed out on partner organisations social media channels including mailing lists. The various partners help ensure the editorial posts find their way to relevant private and public sector actors, as well as the press. Edgeryders coordinates all online engagement, community building and dissemination activities for the project. Please refer to our methodological guide for designers and managers of policy oriented online communities for more detailed information about design and implementation methodology.
We propose a series of harmonious hackathons in each partner city around one or more of the themes emergent from the online engagement process. A Harmonious Hackathon is like a hackathon, but with a lot of careful preparatory work done to ensure each participant leaves feeling their time has been well spent and that the projects worked on have made significant progress. Their purpose is to harness p2p support towards strengthening the resilience of projects and people experimenting with creative responses to systemic crises: social, ecological, economic and or political.
Harmonious Hackathons are not to be seen as a sudden burst of energy for a few days but a process that happens over months. A kind of p2p infrastructure to bring together people and projects with shared values and help them step up the game to make more impact.
The Harmonious Hackathon is female friendly, beginner friendly and perfect for collaborating on meaningful projects with interesting people from all over the world. Organisers provide calm, comfortable and beautiful working environments for participants with great food in spectacular locations.
Network weaving at larger events
Members of the network will run a number of sessions and organise activities at other events such as barcamps, community summits and conferences. This serves to disseminate ongoing work and groundbreaking hacks, as well as build bridges between people in different networks and communities.
An annual Living On The Edge event
A mix of talks and more hands on experiences presenting the insights and questions that have emerged from the various activities. The focus of the annual event is to build dedicated communities of practice around project prototypes, further development and replication.
Increasing the impact: a digital publication and mobile participatory exhibition
With local communities or discipline based communities there is rarely ever time or resources to synthesize knowledge and make it more accessible to people who do not belong to the in-group or are not knowledgeable about practices, language and topics. This is not about just about packaging and making something visible so then they will come. This is about actively seeking out people where they are and collaboratively working together to produce knowledge artefacts that help bridge gaps in perspective, are useful and generative as seen from perspective of social innovators and their stakeholders.
What are major strengths that can be highlighted in the proposal?
- Edgeryders as an established, well reputed collaboration environment: building infrastructure through dynamic ideation, prototype building, testing, replication; track record for linking research to "street" practice by bringing together citizen experts.
- The ability of HaHo to tackle deep local challenges in continuous knowledge exchanges rather than self referential, isolated initiatives
Who would be involved (not official, open list…)
Organisations, universities or municipalities of cities in Europe:
in Cluj-Napoca (Romania)
Fondazione Matera-Basilicata 2019 (Italy)
Pracownia Miejska (Konin, Poland)
Ynternet.org (Geneva, Switzerland)
Nadia is exploring possible partnerships in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden.
This is all in very early stage (merely documenting requirements and see how to improve on the idea…) If you want to get involved in this and/ or have an idea for other partners, get in touch in a comment below, thanks!