• Thursday, October 12, 2023 (09:00) - Friday, October 13, 2023 (17:00)

Enabling Social Innovation: Concepts, frameworks & organisational change

Symbol of a yellow open hand bent on the right with a lightbulb in it. Text says: 'Enabling social innovation'.

Our Autumn Conference on Social Innovation took place in Helsinki, Finland, on 12th-13th October 2023.

Rationale of the conference

Does Social Innovation mean anything anymore? Or has it become an overused term to categorise any project with social ambitions? 

Our Conference in Helsinki on 12th-13th October 2023 centered around these questions.

Social Innovation seems to encompass everything and, in doing so, ends up covering nothing at all. The definition/meaning of Social Innovation has become so blurred and vague that social innovation in practice – and, in turn, the capacity of support services to implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – has been hindered.

A common understanding of what Social Innovation entails across the disability sector is therefore necessary – a reboot of what the concept means to us now.

Support service providers need to have a clearer idea of what social innovation means in order to know:

  • how it applies to them,
  • how they can implement it,
  • what impact social innovation can have on the lives of persons with disabilities and their families,
  • the existing legal and financial frameworks that can help them innovate,
  • and how to create social innovation independently, e.g., by implementing new organisational change.

Through a variety of keynote speeches and interviews, workshops, panel discussions with innovative service providers, and networking opportunities, our conference in Helsinki aimed to provide clarity, solutions, and inspiration to these issues.

Go to the conference website to learn more.


Panel 1: Social Innovation in Support Services: One Study & Two Practices: 

  • Gabriela Munares, Kveloce PPT

Panel 2:  Future design, Foresight & Innovation

  • Soile Kuitunen, Miina Sillanpää Foundation: PPT
  • Minna Koskelo, 11Helsinki Oy: PPT
  • Rajkumar Sabanadesan, SABANA Ltd
  • Wilfried Kainz, Zero Project: PPT 

Workshop 2: Catalysing change through the transferability of social innovation: the case of User-centred Funding Model:

  • Petra Rantamäki, KVPS: PPT

Workshop 3: Facilitating environment : Regulatory sandboxes (DE) & Piloting Innovation (IS)

  • Franz Wolfmayr,  Zentrum für Sozialwirtschaft: PPT
  • Peter Nausner, Zentrum für Sozialwirtschaft: PPT

 Workshop 4: Research to Foster Innovation in Disability Services

  • Renaud Scheuer, EASPD: PPT
  • Klaus Niederlander, former Director AAL Funding Programme: PPT
  • Eleonore Segard, Univeristé La Sorbonne/Paris Nord: PPT
  • Maarit Aalto, M.A. Education Survey: PPT
  • Johannes Schaedler, Siegen University: PPT

Workshop 5: EU Funds: How can they facilitate Social Innovation? 

  • Freddy Jussien, EASPD: PPT
  • Caroline Meyers, Flemish Managing Authority of ESF+: PPT
  • Maisa Kosola, KVPS: PPT
  • Daniele Bregoli, Social Services Europe: PPT

Workshop 6:  Leadership and Innovation (Speed Dating)

PPT of Rachel Vaughan and Luk Zelderloo

Workshop 8: Impact Measurement 

Find the PPT of Workshop 8 here

Workshop 9: Uptake of Digital Technologies: Is technological innovation equal to social innovation?

Find the PPTs of Workshops 9 here

Panel 4: Shaping EASPD’s Declaration on Social Innovation: driving real change on the ground

Find the PPT of this session here