On the 20th of November, a workshop about success and obstacles for social innovation labs was held within the SIKE project in Essen city’s Impact Hub Ruhr. Sabrina Janz and Adrian Götting from TU Dortmund University organized the event alongside with their SIKE partner Social Impact gGmbH and the project Beyond Divides.
The Impact Hub Ruhr, which is located in the inner city of Essen, served as the physical space for the event. The workshop was organized and implemented in cooperation with the local social innovation project Beyond Divides, which focuses on regional development of a particular part of the city of Essen. Yet, both projects, Beyond Divides as well as the Erasmus+ project “SIKE - Social Innovation through Knowledge Exchange” rely on the cooperation and collaboration of actors from different societal sectors. While SIKE’s main objective is to foster knowledge exchange between Higher Education Institutions and practitioners, Beyond Divides aims at gaining fellow campaigners, individuals and organisations for projects in order to exchange experiences and to strengthen social cohesion. Both projects have a strong connection to their local surroundings and aim at fostering the social innovation ecosystem of the Ruhr region.
The event was divided into two parts, with the first part aiming at enabling an exchange between social innovation labs. Thereby, the actors discussed about digitalization, transfer, communication, and how to strengthen the Ruhr area’s social innovation ecosystem. Cooperation between Higher Education Institutions and social entrepreneurs was addressed as well. Among the participants were Dortmund’s Economic Development Office, Helpteers, the Transfernetwork s_inn and Büro für soziale Innovation. The second half of the event focussed on an exchange between stakeholders and actors in the field of social innovation labs in the Ruhr region. The event allowed the participants to extensively discuss different topics and issues, and to create new networks. As an outcome, certain topics and questions were collected, serving as the basis for follow up events to further strengthen the connection between different actors in the region. Sabrina Janz and Adrian Götting presented SIKE´s Glocal Network which aims at facilitating an exchange between different actors regarding to the topic of social innovation.