5th Italian Business Forum

From social enterprise to social innovation

Introduction and Concept

To cite a guru of innovation and design, Josephine Green, modern societies have been living a profound process of ‘changing of age’. In this comprehensive and unpredictable process, old social paradigms are clashing with the growing impact of the absolute scarcity of resources and fragility of the human living environment, the growing human population across the planet and its increased mobility and aging, the technology shift in the form of digitalisation, and the switch to renewable energy resources. All this is having an unprecedented impact on the dynamics of our societies. They have become increasingly interconnected and interrelated between themselves, while transiting towards the unknown. At the same time as suffering from a higher degree of uncertainty, societies are also enjoying some of the most outstanding achievements in science and arts, resulting in unprecedented milestones of human civilisation. New forms of hierarchies and collaboration, learning and, knowledge sharing have been emerging as a response to these new dynamics..

Jurij Giacomelli and audienceSocial entrepreneurs have traditionally been the ones able to cushion uncertainty and undesired effects on our societies caused by the particularism of individual interests, a lack of resources, and imbalances and market failures. Moreover, they have been a much-needed interface between new ideas with social impact on the one hand and their implementation, commercialisation and scaling on the other. Today, they are becoming the undergrowth of new forms of collaboration, innovation, new jobs creation, and even new forms of work, creative and industrial relationships. It has become clear that social enterprise as such, and many forms of collaboration and design for social innovation, represent a valuable transforming canvas in the process of the shaping of modern societies.

The 5th Italian Business Forum will focus on the passage from social enterprise as an organisational form with a significant tradition and impact in Italy – less so in Slovenia due to historic interruptions and deviations – to platforms of social innovation, which contribute to the future of work collaboration and design for social innovation.

Representatives of the governments of both countries will present the current challenges, legislative framework and targets on the horizon. A number of examples of best practice collected in the programme of the 2017 edition of IBF will depict the panorama of social innovation in both countries. All this serves the purpose of IBF: to bring the best practice of Italy and Slovenia closer together, exposing it to engage wider audiences, helping them to learn from each other and creating the conditions for an even tighter cooperation between governments, experts, businesses and individuals from both countries, and all those engaged in the relationships between these two European neighbours.