Social Innovators Academy
The Social Innovators Academy (SIA) is a network of non-formal education established by the Lithuanian Social Innovation Cluster, uniting the members of the cluster, national and international partners operating in the fields of science, education, and social entrepreneurship. The aim of the academy is to enable future innovators to address relevant and region-specific social challenges. In the process of co-education, future innovators are led from the idea to the final result, which is the implementation of an innovative social solution that creates long-term value and impact.
The process of educating social innovators will follow the same certified program that emphasizes the key competencies for social innovators: creativity, responsible leadership, resilience and openness to change, innovation and entrepreneurship, sustainability and integrity, social impact forecasting and assessment, flexibility and adaptability. The academy will use a variety of methods to develop social innovations, as well as a Design Thinking methodology that allows for the refinement of problems and their successful resolution. It is planned to focus on practical tasks and activities. The solutions developed will be tested with the members of the communities most affected by the social problem or challenge being addressed, and will be monitored to see if they are truly effective and have long-term value.
The Social Innovators Academy was established by the Lithuanian Social Innovation Cluster together with Vytautas Magnus University, Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius University of Applied Sciences, and Marijampole University of Applied Sciences. All these institutions are members of the cluster, but there is also cooperation with the Baltic countries. In the future, it is likely that the Scandinavian countries will join too and bring their best experience, which will be applicable not only in Lithuania but also in other Baltic countries.
Regional differences between the Baltic states remain to be one of the most delicate problems. Even though Baltic states are rather small countries the differences among them are significant and only growing with time. Social Innovators Academy would help meet social needs in regions and create new social connections or forms of cooperation between the public, private sector, and civil society to achieve regional development. Moreover, Social innovators academy helps unleash the potential of regional communities, develop their managerial and other competencies, and leadership skills necessary to develop social innovations. The field of social problems is much more pronounced in regions that are more distant from major cities. Therefore, Social Innovators Academy will aim to create links between knowledge transfer-empowerment organizations striving for communion in creating social innovations.
- To encourage social innovators to take the lead in creating social innovations and innovative social businesses.
- To unite the Baltic States – Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia – to act proactively in the field of social problems through the creation of social innovations and the development of social innovator leaders.
The academy will operate at several different levels:
- Local centers in the regions.
- Mobile team work.
- A virtual digital platform to share experience and find the latest information.
- A database of national and international experts.
Growing social innovators:
practice and experience France and Cyprus
Leaders grow Leaders: Facilitating Social Innovation in Regions
On April 27th, at 13:00 (EET) international representatives discussed social innovation and the development of social leaders. Experts in the field from France, and Cyprus shared their experience regarding the necessary competencies for social innovators and the eco-system leading to the successful development of social innovation as well as how to create it.
On 26 May, 10 am to 8 pm EET social innovation experts from Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, France, and Cyprus shared their experience, insights, and good examples. In the panel discussions, we discussed the peculiarities of the creation and development of social innovation ecosystems, related trends, and challenges. We also visited Vilnius St. Virgin Maria’s Church, which has become the home of a few innovative organizations and social initiatives. Also, there was a time dedicated to networking.
Event language: English.