This toolkit aims to support social innovators all across Europe to develop their ideas, by using the phases of the innovation spiral. Each step is presented with a set of tools and resources that you can use to transform your social innovation idea into a viable and effective initiative.
How can we create more economic, social and environmental value in our communities? Over the last few years, the European Social Innovation Competition has mobilised thousands of Europeans to tackle that question. Whether the issue is how to make digitalisation inclusive, providing refugees with opportunities to take part in society or using place-based approaches for empowering young people in a changing economy: social innovation is about coming up with new responses to societal needs and problems.
This toolkit is meant to encourage innovators to step forward and build their capacity to deliver ground-breaking solutions. For this toolkit, we draw on the concept of the innovation spiral. We do not consider the phases of the innovation spiral to be linear, and assure social innovators that they will likely experience loops back, detours and jumps.
While acknowledging that innovation is messy, unpredictable and risky, the Toolkit takes innovators through a journey through problem definition and ideation all the way through to scaling. The toolkit covers the essential building blocks of building a social venture, structured according to the spiral, covering issues such as framing a problem, prototyping, revenue generation, stakeholder engagement and communications, sustainability and impact measurement. The toolkit is based on existing resources, and gratefully builds upon the expertise and input of coaches and workshop leaders that we have collaborated with for the Competition over the years.