The Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) has recently held a kick-off meeting for the new Horizon Europe funded Project ´Change Hubs for Ecosystemic Social Solutions´ (CHESS).

As Coordinator of the two-year Project, EMUNI was joined by its 6 partners of the Consortium: Project Ahead SC (Italy), Europos Socialinio Fondo Agentura (Lithuania), Ethniko Kentro Erevnas Kai Technologikis Anaptyxis (Greece), Technische Universität Dortmund (Germany), International Society for Professional Innovation Management (UK) and The Social Innovation Exchange (UK).

It is now widely accepted in Europe that we need new approaches if we are to tackle the systemic and urgent societal challenges we face – traditional technological or business innovation alone are not sufficient. ‘Social’ must be part of the bigger innovation picture.

With significant support from the European Commission, social innovation is currently well embedded in several policy agendas and funding streams.  There are hundreds of social innovation centres, university research teams, accelerators and educational courses, labs, accelerators and incubators of all kinds, as well as a great number of toolkits presenting the various innovation approaches and methodologies that can be applied by students and established practitioners alike.  

Despite this success, the full potential of social innovation remains untapped. The CHESS Project has highlighted a number of challenges, which it will tackle by achieving several objectives with a view to developing a pan-European and global network for knowledge transfer and exchange of
experiences of the social innovation ecosystem.

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*Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.