As already reported, LDnet and RSA initiated a new COST Action proposal in the Spring of 2020 and coordinated and supported its development. It was provisionally entitled ‘Community solutions – When social Innovation meets local development’.
We shared a concept note and invited researchers and practitioners interested in the topic of social innovation and local development to contribute in the development of a sound proposal. Through such partnership working we arrived at a final proposal with 85 proposers (55% female) from 30 eligible countries (57% COST inclusiveness target countries).
The proposal was successfully submitted on 12.11.2020 by the main proposer, Alistair Adam-Hernández, Academy for Territorial Development in the Leibniz Association and LDnet board member. The outcome of the selection process is expected by May 2021.
The final title of the proposed action is ‘Successful Local Innovative Development in Europe (SLIDE)’ and a brief summary is provided below.
SLIDE – Successful Local Innovative Development in Europe
Many local communities throughout Europe are facing fundamental socio-economic and demographic problems leading to ‘forgotten places’ or ‘left behind’ places. This COST Action brings together the strands of (community led) local development and social innovation and entrepreneurship, with the aim to foster place-based solutions to current and future societal challenges. These solutions need to be rooted in and designed by communities. By bringing these strands together, it explores the potential for new types of endogenous community solutions to be co-created that will promote economic opportunities through enterprise development in all its forms (social, community, inclusive) at local level.
This Action will be based on six working groups (WGs). WG 1 will explore the gaps in the academic literature that exist in local development, social innovation and citizen entrepreneurship. WG 2 will examine the network environments in which local development occurs. WG 3 will examine the policy interface. These three WGs will then feed into WG 4 and WG 5. WG 4, which will use the knowledge generated to develop workshops and select case studies to examine in detail and WG5 aims to develop methodologies and frameworks for improved development measures. WG 6 will then disseminate the information for the benefit of stakeholders in local communities, for academics, policymakers and further target groups.
Finally, the Action aims to build the capacity and develop new skills of multiple stakeholders and local communities on the ground, to improve the academic discourse and provide evidence and novel initiatives for policy makers to promote local development.