Press release: Research meets practice. How can social innovation transform the society we live in?

8 September, 2017

Research meets practice during the fully booked TRANSIT final conference on transformative social innovation! The event, called ‘Learning for Change: A Journey through the Theory & Practice of Transformative Social Innovation’ takes place on the 14 and 15th of September, in BlueCity 010, Rotterdam. The conference marks the end of a four-year international research project on transformative social innovation (TRANSIT).

The TRANSIT project involved 12 research institutes from Europe and Latin-America and was coordinated by DRIFT. A team of international researchers joined efforts to study how social innovations can have a transformative impact on society.

Social innovation

Social innovation is seen more and more as an effective way of dealing with challenges in our society and found its way into policy discourses across the EU. In the aftermath of the recent economic recession and the wider reconfigurations of the welfare state, the attention for social innovation as a way to empower people and drive societal change has increased. However, the optimistic assumptions about social innovation merit scrutiny, as they seem to underestimate the complexity of these challenges.

The TRANSIT conference shines a light on the emerging initiatives and networks in transformative social innovation: communities, citizens, pioneers, social entrepreneurs and policy-makers across the world, who are making change on the ground. These initiatives are currently largely below the radar of policy and media at the national and global level, but offer a very inspiring and powerful alternative to the present situation.

Transformative change towards resilient and sustainable societies

Twenty transnational networks working on social innovation will be represented at the event. This includes, amongst others, the Basic Income Earth Network that is committed to a worldwide basic income. Also present are pioneers in the field of participatory budgeting, which started in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and is now spreading worldwide, and Slow Food, a grassroots organization with over 100.000 members that working for a new system of food production and consumption.

These and other networks work with a diversity of topics, including sharing economy, living labs, co-housing and co-working, solidarity economy, local transition communities and new ways of financing, designing, energy engineering and agriculture. Not only do they experiment with new ways of doing and thinking at the local scale: these networks and initiatives, in many ways and in many places, are also collaborating on a global scale and contributing towards transformative change in society.

The event will provide a platform for connection and knowledge in support of these transformative efforts towards more just, resilient and sustainable societies, as well as invite critical reflection and debate on actual impacts and unintended consequences.

Learn more

Download the press release here or contact Stefana Cozan for more information.

The TRANSIT Conference is fully booked! Do you want to learn more about transformative social innovation? Read everything about TRANSIT at our projectpage. Staying tuned during the conference? Visit the Learning for Change-homepage or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.