University of Deusto experience running the Basque Country’s SIKE Unit

It has been 21 months since the beginning of SIKE project. A lot of milestones have been achieved at Deusto University. 

October 2019

In March 2019, we received together with Business Innovation Brokers, our partners from Croatia, Germany, UK and Portugal at Deusto in order to present social impact initiatives and stakeholders in the Basque Country, such as Fair SaturdayImprove Change, Dual Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship in ActionInnobasqueBBK Foundation  and Koopera.

During these months, we have also started running the Basque Country’s SIKE Unit, with the aim of putting forth solutions to the changes and challenges facing society to contribute to its improvement and work for fair balanced development. This view is based on values and attitudes that centre on people as the key players in all scopes of actions. 

We work at the local and international levels, specifically in the following fields:

  • Social Competence Training
  • Transfer Knowledge to Society
  • Communicate knowledge to society
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Applied Social Research

We understand Social Innovation as “New values and attitudes in a developing world”. Adapting to a world in transformation. 

The main strategic lines of the University of Deusto are the commitment to academic Excellence in Research, Teaching and Knowledge Transfer, a University Community geared towards Innovation and Social Involvement and a quality organization that is motivated, participative and efficient, at the service of individuals and the Project. The inclusion of social innovation in the strategic plan of the University added to the privileged location of the SIKE-Social Innovation Unit at the incubator of the University of Deusto, enables a constant and intense social interaction between the University and the regional community.

The incubator is conveniently located for working on social, inclusive and conscious innovation due to both the specialization of the campus in social sciences and the path of the University in the development of third and fourth sector in the Basque Country. Moreover, it is closely linked to regional development agencies and Business Innovations Centers.

Different kind of activities such as “Entrepreneurial Breakfasts” or “Salad Days” are held at the University to facilitate networking and collaboration between entrepreneurs who are part of the incubator and the regional community.

The SIKE- Social Innovation Unit will provide working spaces for social innovation incubation, whiteboards for common use and all kind of office equipment needed for efficient development of the projects.

After having designed our SIKE workshops to train social innovators, we have to plan their implementation and schedule. Training workshops will start in January 2020, but we will start our communication campaign in the following weeks.

Local social innovation ecosystem is highly developed in the Basque Country, with plenty of organisations and institutions involved. However, we still have the challenge of raising awareness in society, spreading the word and attracting social innovators. 

Roberta Vicente

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