The inaugural Cross-Border Social Innovation Conference took place in DKIT on the 22nd of November 2016. It brought together, for the first time practitioners, academics, beneficiaries and policy makers to decisively drive forward the crossborder social innovation agenda. The formation of this network is most timely considering an imminent Brexit which will result in huge changes to funding structures and potentially more difficult cross-border working. There is also a need for greater alignment in our understanding of social innovation / social enterprise and its policy drivers across sectors and, even more so, on a cross-border basis.
The Cross-Border Social Innovation Network was set up by Dublin City University, Ulster University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, and the Centre for Cross Border Studies, in association with The Wheel, Probation Board NI, Probation Service, Queens University Belfast, Fab Foundation Ireland, Creative Spark, Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, and The Young Foundation.
These organisations have wide experience in the fields of social innovation, community development and North-South cooperation and have arrived at a common understanding of the need to develop the potential of cross-border cooperation in various sectors (health, education, justice, culture and the economy) and to promote the north-south social innovation agenda.
Feedback gathered from the participants at the Dundalk conference found that attendees are all seeking more opportunities for cross-border and cross-sectoral collaboration, networking and learning. Participants also stated a clear wish for the network to be outcome driven, and not a ‘talking shop’.
The network website will allow for the sharing of knowledge and learning, promote debate and discussion across sectors and cross-border.
The network and its steering committee will seek to align policy and practice through sharing of best practice and policy forums with relevant agencies.
The website will begin to act as a ‘network of networks’ across the various sectors thus acting as an enabling platform and practical resource for collaborative work and joint funding applications.
The North South Social Innovation Network
Office of Civic Engagement
Bea Orpen Building, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland.
Tel: +353 1 700 8853
Mobile: +353 86 8686 175