When social innovation gets involved

Accelerating the climate and ecological transition, contributing to the local and circular economy, reducing social inequalities, promoting the integration of migrants, etc.: today, influencing the responses to the major challenges facing our society is within everyone’s reach, particularly thanks to the development of social innovation ecosystems. Public actors are also moving away from their traditional position as initiators and funders of public policies and are working with citizens to co-construct the public policies of tomorrow.

Are you familiar with the “staatslabor”, “Quartieridee Wipkingen”, “Open Geneva”, or “Le French Impact” initiatives? Sometimes grouped together in neighbourhood associations or more simply in exchange platforms with no legal status, social innovation ecosystems like these have emerged in recent years. They provide a forum where citizens and local businesses can get involved in the political, social and economic life of their regions and influence local or regional political action.

Innovation at the local and regional authority level

These community-based social innovation ecosystems work with the authorities to put users of public services at the heart of solutions, and even involve them in the design and development of these solutions. We are witnessing a significant evolution on the part of administrations: using design thinking concepts, they have started to design responses based on citizens’ needs rather than their own priorities.

BG is also involved in these innovation ecosystems, as a shaper of public policy

This year, BG has had opportunities to partner with social innovation ecosystems when implementing its projects. Whether at Open Geneva, where discussions on the hospital of the future or the “sponge city” were held with participants from all walks of life, or within the framework of Smart City projects where priority is given to dialogue with the local population, BG is living up to its role as a shaper of territories, innovating for and with citizens.

(Article taken from BG Magazine 2022, updated version on the site)