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SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AND INNOVATION FORUM

Tech for Tomorrow: Empowering Social Change through Innovation

9 September 2024
Vilnius

Climate change, increasing social inequality, demographic changes, security threats, and global health crises are the challenges we are facing every day. The military action against Ukraine lasting more than two years now and the energy and economic crises have exacerbated the situation and led to the understanding that we need to strengthen our civil societies, promote inclusion, reduce poverty, and boost our resilience.

In today’s fast-changing world with its many challenges, it is crucial to explore ways of applying technologies to tackle social and environmental issues. In response to the urgent need to harness technology in addressing emerging crises, this year’s Social Enterprise and Innovation Forum will bring together representatives from various fields to discuss these matters and inspire the leaders of change to create technological innovation. This event also gives an excellent opportunity to engage in an open dialogue with policy makers about the immediate action that can be taken to empower social business in the nearest future, thus contributing to Lithuania’s international commitments in the implementation of the European Social Economy Action Plan.

The Social Enterprise and Innovation Forum will also contribute to bringing the social and the technology ecosystems closer together, unlocking their potential to address current challenges more creatively and effectively. Such synergy will not only contribute to a more sustainable and more equitable world but also ensure that the technological progress of our time leads to positive changes in our societies.

Holding Social Enterprise and Innovation Forum at the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania is an important tradition, for it allows to directly involve policy makers in conversations about the vital role of social business and technological innovations as well as to strengthen the political will to support such initiatives. Parliament is a place where policies are made and key decisions are taken. Therefore an event hosted within its premises offers a platform for an open dialogue, raising awareness and increasing involvement of the public and business community. Finally, this event is also an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the outgoing Parliament and to outline the road map for the next political cycle after the Seimas election this autumn.

The event, held under the auspices of Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania , is co-organised by the Lithuanian Social Business Association and the Seimas Committee on Economics, in cooperation with the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation (tbc) and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania, Innovation Agency Lithuania, the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania, Social Economy Ukraine, the Parliamentary Forum for Democracy, the Lithuanian National Radio and Television (tbc), and other partners.

PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME

The event will be held in a hybrid format.

Venue: online and the Constitution Hall, Building 1 of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania (Gedimino pr. 53, Vilnius) (tbc)

9.00–9.30

 

Registration

9.30–9.40

Welcome address

H.E. Ms Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania

9.40–10.10

Opening of the Forum and introductory speeches:

  • Representative, European Commission (tbc)
  • Ms Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania (tbc)
  • Mr Kazys Starkevičius, Chair of the Committee on Economics of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania
  • Representative, German or Italian Parliament (tbc)

10.10–11.10

I. SESSION. Role of Institutions and Necessary Conditions for a Stronger Social Business Ecosystem

Description: This session will explore how social business and innovation contribute to economic growth and help address societal challenges, particularly during the crises of the latest decades. We will discuss the role that the represented institutions and organisations can play in enhancing the social business ecosystem as well as the political, economic, and legal conditions which have to be established for the sector to flourish. The presentations and interventions will focus on practical steps and strategies to foster sustainable and resilient growth of social business.

  • H.E. Mr Arnoldas Pranckevičius, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent
    Representative of the Republic of Lithuania to the European Union (tbc)
  • Mr Risto Raivio, Senior Expert, European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission (tbc)
  • Ms Vera Egreja Barracho, Strategic Advisor, Portugal Social Innovation Mission Unit (tbc)
  • Ms Goda Sosnovskienė, Founder and Director, Social Enterprise Miesto laboratorija (City Lab)
  • Representative, Seimas Opposition (tbc)

Moderator: Academic expert from a leading Lithuanian university (tbc)

11.10–12.30

II. SESSION. Participatory Open Social Innovation Through Interlinking Valuable Ecosystems 

Description: This session will discuss the ways in which social innovation and technology innovation ecosystems can be brought together to address the most pressing societal challenges more effectively. It will focus on the means to enhance cross-sectoral cooperation using the state-of-the-art technology and social innovations. The issues of combining the two ecosystems as well as the policy measures, financing strategies, and technological innovations that can create favorable conditions for this synergy will also be discussed.

Panelists: Social and technology innovation experts, innovators, policy influences and representatives of both ecosystems’ stakeholders:

  • Dr. Clara Duffner, Project Manager, Steinbeis Europa Zentrum, Germany
  • Ms. Vivien Riener, Senior Programme Manager at Grünhof e.V. – Association, Germany
  • Mr. Nicola Doppio, Open Innovation Officer, Fondazione Hub Innovazione Trentino (Trentino Innovation Hub Foundation), Italy
  • Mrs. Jolita Butkienė, Director, Social Enterprise Būk su manimi, Lithuania
  • Ms. Elisa Poletti, President, Social Enterprise Cooperativa ALPI, Italy
  • Social Enterprise from Germany

12.30–13.40

Lunch break

13.40–15.00

III. SESSION. Best Practices: Bridging the Gap between Tech and Social Innovation

This session will focus on the best practices in bridging the gap between tech and social ecosystems and on the integration of digital technologies with a view of tackling societal and environmental challenges. Experts will present successful case studies highlighting innovative solutions and discuss methods for identifying and implementing best practices across various sectors. Attendees will learn how to tailor these practices to their specific contexts, measure their impact, and overcome common challenges. The session aims to equip participants with actionable knowledge to drive efficiency, effectiveness, and positive change within their organisations and communities through the synergy of technology and social innovation.

  • Ms Dominika Tadla, Deputy Director, Department of the European Social Fund, Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy, Poland (tbc)
  • Ms Alessia Sebillo, Executive Director, Diesis Network (tbc)
  • Mr Toby Gazeley, Policy Lead, Euclid Network (tbc)
  • Ms Signe Brike, Ministry of Education and Science, Latvia (tbc)
  • Mr Karel Vanderpoorten, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for Internal Market,
    Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW), European Commission (tbc)

15.00–15.30

Coffee break

15.30–16.45

IV. PANEL DISCUSSION.

This panel discussion will bring together policy makers, social enterprise leaders, business innovators, academic experts and media representatives to explore the necessary steps and immediate actions required to empower social enterprises and impact innovators in solving the most pressing challenges. Panelists will share their insights on creating a supportive policy environment, highlight successful policy interventions, and discuss the role of technology in driving social innovation. The session will showcase best practices from different sectors, highlighting how collaborative efforts between social enterprises and technology can effectively address societal and environmental challenges.

  • Mr Florian Boukal, CEO of Grünhof e.V. association
  • Mr Petro Darmoris, Director, Social Economy Ukraine, Ukraine
  • Ms Julia B. C. Moreira, Lead Analyst and Project Manager, Swedish Social Enterprise SwIdeas, Sweden
  • Mr Edvinas Regelskis, Secretary General, Order of Malta Relief Organisation in Lithuania, Lithuania
  • Ms Rasa Mardosaitė, Founder and CEO, Social Enterprise TÁBULA rása, Lithuania (tbc)

Moderator: Mr Aurimas Perednis, renowned Lithuanian Journalist and Radio Host (tbc)

16.45–17.30

SUMMARY AND CLOSING SESSION

Summary of the discussion results and policy recommendations for further action.

  • Mr Patrick Klein, Head of Sector, Social Economy and Social Enterprise, Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission (tbc)
  • Ms Viktorija Bražiūnaitė, Director, Lithuanian Social Business Association

The number of places for contact participation in the event at the Parliament of Lithuania is limited.
We will confirm your registration in due time if there are available places.

This activity is part of the Lithuanian Social Business Association strengthening project G-A-L-I-U’24 (abilities-representation-leadership-innovation-employment) and is financed by the Ministry of Social Security and Labor.

Event organisers

Event partners

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