Social Innovation Forum in Brussels

For two days, members of the five ESF+ (European Social Fund) Communities of Practice (CoPs) met in Brussels on 26-27 October 2023. Parents International, represented by Herminio Correa, member of the Sumervisory Board, participated in the CoP on Employment, Education and Skills.

The aim of the meeting was to:

– Build a common understanding of social innovation and social experimentation across European Member States.

– Identify synergies and cross-cutting topics among different Communities of Practice (CoPs) and remind them of the essential aim of the ESF+ Social Innovation+ Initiative: to scale up and transfer social innovations.

– Strengthen connections among different actors in the field of social innovation.

Two excellent presentations launched the discussion on the topic.

“What Would it Take to Tackle Today’s Societal Challenges” by Louis Vervloet from the ESF+ Managing Authority of Flanders, and

“Delivering on the Promises of Social Innovation” by Miquel de Paladella from UpSocial

followed by discussion panels with experts from different CoP’s.

As a complement to the program, each CoP held two workshops, to provide all participants the opportunity for practical and focused exploration of topics relevant to their respective CoPs, with the aim of promoting collaboration and idea generation within each thematic area, providing a tailored and immersive learning experience for participants.

Participants discussed their opinions and experiences on the challenges of cooperation between NGOs and public bodies (PES/municipalities) that work with integration into the labour market and training of vulnerable groups. They also discussed how to involve NGO’s in reaching out to vulnerable groups, how to finance NGO’s and monitor their work and how to decide which groups may benefit most from NGO’s services. In 2024, 54 new events are planned, 34 events of the CoPs & Networks and 20 events to support beneficiaries of EU level calls for proposal.

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