Societal Innovation Camps: An Introduction
ACSI – the Aalto Camp for Societal Innovation – is an instrument for addressing societal challenges in a powerful and effective way. It combines an entrepreneurial way of thinking & working with a concrete process for developing breakthrough ideas and insights, aiming at producing real-world impact. Participants from diverse countries and disciplines work together to discover and leverage in-and-out-of-the-box opportunities for creating breakthroughs in a process of collaborative solution seeking.
The entrepreneurial discovery process increases our possibilities, opens new thinking, goes beyond the ordinary, and expands our insights into how to tackle societal innovation issues. Supported by scientific research, ACSI has proven to be an effective instrument to understand how societal innovation works and to create perspectives that stimulate societal renewal.
How does it work?
During a three to five day Camp, multidisciplinary groups develop new ideas and perspectives on real-world challenges brought to the camp by cities, regions, business organisations, universities and NGO’s. The work process is designed to support self-organising groups working in creative, open environments. After the Camp, prototypes of promising ideas are tested and improved at locations where the issues occur. This supports an open, co-creative innovation process in the real world.
At the Camps, participants from diverse backgrounds, countries and ages work together in largely self-organising groups. The lightly facilitated work process is designed to continuously frame and reframe the issues, problems, and assumptions relevant to a challenge. This leads to the creation of a range of new perspectives – new lenses through which the issues can be better understood – and entrepreneurial ways of dealing with them.
The prototyping period after the Camp is an integral part of the ACSI process. Follow-through takes place at diverse and relevant locations, with direct stakeholder engagement. Living labs and (urban) test-beds may be part of this co-creation process. This leads to more robust prototypes, to practical experiments, pilots and - with sufficient commitment - plans for fast-track realization.
Why does it work?
ACSI is a human-centred process, which begins when key people commit to take the results further. Supported self-organization drives the process, and allows diverse partners to co-create new possibilities. Cross-disciplinary creativity, collective intelligence and prototyping are cornerstones of the ACSI process. The focus on follow-through and stakeholder involvement makes it different than other many camp formulas and hackathons.
There are dozens of innovation instruments and diverse methodologies for social renewal, and hundreds of workshops take place every year, often producing promising results. But many fail to move beyond the output of the events themselves to create lasting effect in society. ACSI has shown that this can be done, even when dealing with complicated and complex issues.
Focus on the need for concrete outcomes and societal impact after the Camp builds forward momentum. Thorough attention to the whole process – the preparation, the face-to-face and virtual interaction, the protoyping period, and the follow-through at diverse locations – contributes to its success.
ACSI is an international innovation instrument, and past camps have integrated participants from more than 30 countries in actively addressing societal innovation issues. In this way the Camps build on a global network of more than 800 people with ACSI experience.
ACSI was co-developed by the New Club of Paris and Finland’s Aalto University. Since 2010 it has been run 14 times, in different forms, in Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands, and South Africa. Shorter ACSI-style sessions have also been run in Germany and Japan. Past ACSI challenges have addressed issues such as low carbon urban planning, realizing regional test-beds and demonstrators, renewing citizen-government engagement, and enhancing the innovativeness and inclusiveness of society. The process has been used to create breakthroughs in understanding complex issues and stuck situations, stimulate cross-border collaboration, explore opportunities for open innovation and help eliminate the obstacles that block them.
More information about Societal Innovation Camps is available on request.
THE NEW CLUB OF PARIS
AALTO UNIVERSITY / COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
Innovation methodology guide
Orchestrating Regional Innovation Ecosystems
EU ARCTIC POLICY
The European Union has an important role to play in supporting successful Arctic cooperation and helping to meet the challenges now facing the region.
The Arctic is an area of growing strategic importance. The European Union has an important role to play in supporting successful Arctic cooperation and helping to meet the challenges now facing the region. The EU is the world’s strongest proponent of greater international efforts to fight climate change. Moreover, it has 3 Arctic Council states amongst its members. The EU is also a major destination of resources and goods from the Arctic region. Many of its policies and regulations therefore have implications for Arctic stakeholders. The EU wants to engage more with Arctic partners to increase its awareness of their concerns and to address shared challenges in a collaborative manner.
EU Arctic policy has 3 main policy objectives:
- protecting and preserving the Arctic in cooperation with the people who live there
- promoting sustainable use of resources
- international cooperation.
As climate change and economic development accelerate in the Arctic region, the European Union intends to step up its engagement with its Arctic partners to jointly meet the challenge of safeguarding the environment while ensuring that development takes place sustainably.
The European Commission and the High Representative propose that further development of EU Arctic policy focus on 3 key areas:
- supporting research and channeling knowledge to address environmental and climate change in the Arctic
- acting responsibly to help ensure that economic development in the Arctic is based on sustainable use of resources and environmental expertise
- stepping up constructive engagement and dialogue with Arctic states, indigenous peoples and other partners.
WELCOME TO THE NORTHERN SPARSELY POPULATED AREAS
The regions of northern Finland, Norway and Sweden have many common circumstances such as sparse population, harsh climate and long distances. This part of Europe is also specifically affected by globalisation, energy-supply, climate change and demographic change. The region has a population density of only 4.9 inhabitants per km2, something that cannot be found in any other part of the European Union.
The NSPA network represents close collaboration between the four northernmost counties of Sweden (Norrbotten, Västerbotten, Jämtland, Västernorrland), the seven northernmost and eastern regions of Finland (Lapland, Northern Ostrobothnia, Central Ostrobothnia, Kainuu, North Karelia, Pohjois-Savo and Etelä-Savo) and North Norway (Finnmark, Troms and Nordland).
These 14 regions from three countries share common circumstances and objectives and are working together to raise awareness of the NSPA in the EU institutions, to influence EU policy and to provide a platform for best practise.
For more information please contact one of our four EU-offices in Brussels or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
READ MORE http://www.nspa-network.eu/startsida.aspx
NORTHERN PERIPHERY AND ARCTIC PROGRAMME 2014-2020
The Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020 forms a cooperation between 9 programme partner countries. The NPA 2014-2020 is part of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and ERDF equivalent funding from non EU partner countries.
Despite geographical differences, the large programme area shares a number of joint challenges and opportunities that can best be overcome and realised by transnational cooperation. It is the programme’s vision is to help to generate vibrant, competitive and sustainable communities, by harnessing innovation, expanding the capacity for entrepreneurship and seizing the unique growth initiatives and opportunities of the Northern and Arctic regions in a resource efficient way.
READ MORE http://www.interreg-npa.eu/