The Social Innovation family: what about the social economy and digital social innovation?

During the European Industry Days, taking place in Brussels, on 5-6 February 2019, a special focus was given to the wider family of social innovation including social enterprises and digital social innovation. Both the European Economic and Social Council (EESC) and DIESIS, the EU network specialised in supporting social economy and social enterprise development, organised events taking stock of the current policy situation and providing concrete examples.Continue reading

Sisters of the land

Spring is in the air, and a seed is germinating and fighting to grow. On its own, it begins to make its way, breaking earth, little by little, following the rhythms of the sun, it will go on growing. But it needs water to sprout and grow. And if the water doesn’t reach it, it will fight to find it.

Sister,

we women,

like seeds, we too are making our own way. They seem invisible at first, but they grow with the strength of our voices in a place full of life where we never stop forging community through our hands and our words.

We are also part of the life of our villages: the lullaby, the root, the heartbeat. And like seeds which hook onto the wool of transhumant animals and germinate thousands and thousands of miles from their place of origin, we resist and we fight. And we look at those who went before us and we realise why we cannot afford to remain silent.Continue reading

A look back on the smart eco-social villages pilot initiative

The Pilot Project on Smart Eco-Social Villages, initiated by the European Parliament, has been carried out by a consortium consisting of Ecorys, Origin for Sustainability and R.E.D. under the responsibility of the European Commission (Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development). The potential effect of this Pilot Project is to shape the on-going discussion on the future of the “Smart Village” policy. This pilot initiative is working alongside the ENRD thematic group on the same subject. The final event of the pilot initiative took place in Brussels on February 21st and 22nd, 2019.Continue reading

Maria Nijnik honoured with IUFRO Scientific Achievement Award

SIMRA’s Scientific Coordinator, Dr. Maria Nijnik, has been honoured with the Scientific Achievement Award given by the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), organisation that gathers more than 15,000 scientists in 700 member organizations from 125 countries. Nijnik wishes to thank IUFRO for the prize and has stated that she feels “truly happy bringing this award to the James Hutton Institute and to the SIMRA team”.
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A song to fight rural depopulation

Molina de Aragón is located at the heart of the biggest European demographic desert. Re-named as ‘Serranía Celtibérica’, this desert unites rural territories from different Spanish provinces, such as Saragossa, Teruel, Cuenca, Soria or Guadalajara. Having an area double that of Belgium, this desert hosts only 487,417 inhabitants at a density of 7.72 hab/km2. Moreover, this area has the largest ageing index and the lowest birth rate of the European Union, with a population density lower than Lapland.
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SIMRA’s brochure update!

SIMRA project has passed its half-way point! And over these two years we have been working hard: we have agreed on a definition for social innovation, characterised marginalised rural areas across Europe and the Mediterranean region and collected hundreds of examples of social initiatives, 50 of which are public in our database. We have also launched 12 case studies and 6 innovation actions that will activate rural territories and disseminate new knowledge to policy-makers and practitioners.

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Social innovation and other forms of innovation: experiences from the Forum Carpaticum meeting, Eger 2018

The Forum Carpaticum brings together the science community interested in social and biophysical sciences in the Carpathians every two years. In the programme notes it is stated that “the 5th Forum Carpaticum will specially highlight prioritized topics on biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism development and education for sustainable development (ESD).” Overall, there was an emphasis on the biophysical sciences, especially ecology, forestry and fluvial geomorphology, but there was a range of social scientists represented and some of the natural scientists are now moving towards interdisciplinary work with social scientists and also transdisciplinary work.
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