Appeal to Social Innovation Camp

08.07.2013 Blog

Social Innovation Camp (http://sicamp.org/) is an institution allowing for cooperation of ‘software developers and those with an understanding of a social problem to help them start and grow technology-based social ventures’. SIC activists believe that internet and related technologies ‘hold huge potential to create change in many different ways: how people hold those in positions of power accountable; who they rely on to provide the services they need to live healthy, happy lives; or how they make a difference to something that affects them’. Through unusual, creative events they bring together talented software developers and designers with social innovators to prototype effective web-based solutions to real social problems.
 

One of such “unusual, creative events” was meeting (‘Social Innovation Camp Central and Eastern Europe’) organized in Bratislava, Slovakia from 16th-18th September 2009. Yes, it was almost four years ago, but it is still remembered as the outstanding event. The event was coinciding with the Trust for Central and Eastern Europe (CEE Trust)'s Civil Society Forum, celebrating 20 years of civil society in post-communist Europe. Social Innovation Camp - Central and Eastern Europe accepted projects ideas from seven countries in Central and Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. It was the first Social Innovation Camp organized outside of UK. Since that time the SI Camps are organised all around the World (see e.g., http://sicamp.org/global/camps-around-the-world/).

There is not so much material left after the first meeting (see e.g., http://sicamp.org/blog/2009/08/05/social-innovation-camp-central-eastern-europe-wants-your-ideas/ ) but it  is still remembered by the participants (see also http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/05/01/transparency-projects-in-central-and-eastern-europe/)

Two other SI Camps were organized in Eastern Europe in the last years. Together with the Respekt institut the first Czech Social Innovation Camp was organized in Prague from 12th-14th November 2010 (see a film of that amp at  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuHodM5UKZg). Two years later the second Social Innovation Camp in the Czech Republic was organized in Brno on 16-18th March 2012. Sixty participants was engaged in developing six innovative ideas based on online tools.

I think that it would be very profitable to organize regular Social Innovation Camp CEE and gives opportunity to proliferate ideas focused on making change in the seven countries in Central and Eastern Europe – namely Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. Therefore I allow myself to appeal to  Social Innovation Camp HQ to consider organization of annual SI  Camp in Eastern Europe (also in Poland) and through that way stimulate development of Social Innovation in Eastern European Societies.