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.

Network members

VMU is a comprehensive university devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, research, arts and innovation, and fostering critical thinking, imaginative response as well as the desire and capacity for lifelong learning of our students who will have an impact on the world, locally and globally.

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MRU – the largest social sciences specialized university in Lithuania, whose most prominent studies and research areas are: law, public security and public administration, economics, humanities, communication, politics, psychology, sociology, and management areas.

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Vilniaus kolegija /University of Applied Sciences is open to novelties. It is a flexible and continually changing higher educational institution that is harmoniously combining labour market needs with the development of promising areas of science and art.

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a higher education institution established in 2001, which conducts practical activities. Successfully provides higher non-university education and creates conditions for students to develop creativity, self-expression, and strive for personal perfection.

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Network partners

a leader in economic education and entrepreneurship education programs in Lithuania. The mission of this NGO is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in the global marketplace. Its programs reach about 20,000 students each year from more than 350 schools.

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Pasaulinė lyderystės konferencija (the World Leadership Conference) is a world-class event with a mission to inspire people to lead a fair relationship.

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Gluk Media is a leader in creating interactive media and augmented reality solutions that blur the line between the virtual and real world, integrating innovation into everyday life.

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Spotiself is an interactive platform for personality development and career planning, which enables young people to get to know themselves, discover a professional direction, plan and pursue their goals.

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Events

Growing social innovators:
practice and experience France and Cyprus
Leaders grow Leaders: Facilitating Social Innovation in Regions
Growing social innovators FB (2)
Leaders grow leaders event LinkedIn

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.

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