!"#$%&##()"*"#+*!"#$%&,The first Social Innovation Park in EuropeBilbao. 10/04/11
Social Innovation leaders have a long tradition ofcollaborative projects but a business park fullydedicated to this field has never been experiencedin Europe. The Social Innovation Park (SI Park) willhost in the Greater Bilbao area of Northern Spainconsolidated social enterprises and emerginginnovation projects aiming to create the new“Social Silicon Valley”. All of them will benefit fromthe new resources incorporated in this initiative:the Social Innovation Laboratory (G-Lab), the SocialInnovation Academy, the Social EnterpriseGenerator and the Social Angels Club.
1.-Social Innovation LaboratorySI Park will host within the last hand made tune boatin the Basque region (see picture) a laboratory foridentifying emerging social tendencies (G-Lab)applying participatory democracy methodologiessuccessfully tested by Innovalab. G-Lab will evaluatecurrent social services provided by the publicadministration to design and develop innovativetestbeds. SI Park will operate under an openinnovation framework, with membership annuallydetermining potential areas of laboratory research. Asa priority, G-Lab´s research will be royalty-free to allinstitutions present in Bilbao and it will be associatedto the leading international networks of socialinnovation laboratories.
2.-Social Innovation AcademySI Park will provide on-site and on-line trainingto bring fresh ideas to services provided bythird sector institutions, organizations andenterprises. The Social Innovation Academywill offer a regularly-scheduled programs:intensive training for civil servants, project-based education, and welcoming “spin off”training centres from the most successfulentrepreneurial schools. For this purpose, SIPark is partnering with the Social InnovationGlobal Academy project.
3.-Social Enterprise GeneratorCollaborating entities within the SI Park will be offered the opportunity to incubate newsocial enterprises and emerging tendencies identified by the G-lab will encourage SI Parkmembership to launch new projects.The new innovation entrepreneurs will be trained,mentored, and evaluated by SI Park staff, incorporating the know-how present in aprivileged social environment. SI Park will also host a pilot project led by DenokInn to generate social and cooperativeenterprises under an innovative approach. Local institution will allow social incomereceptors to test new entrepreneurial initiatives without loosing their benefits. TheDenokInn pilot will allow a large number of small and medium-sized enterprises to belocated in the park, integrating related experiences successfully tested in Sweden andFrance.
4.-Why in Bilbao?The Basque region of Spain has a long tradition of a vibrant economy powered by a deepsocial approach. This is the homeland of Mondragon Cooperative Corporation and theGuggenheim Museum. The Basque area has also demonstrated a successful history in termsof socio-economic regeneration. According to the UN Human Development Index parameters,the Basque region ranks as one the most socially balanced regions in the world.