The signatories of this petition endorse The Lisbon Declaration: Social Innovation as a Path to a Sustainable, Resilient and Inclusive Europe and call on policymakers in the European Union and member countries to implement its ten policy recommendations.

Over the past year, the Social Innovation Community project asked people working in social innovation all over Europe about how EU policy could enable them achieve an even bigger impact. More than 350 people from 19 member countries contributed. The Lisbon Declaration on Social Innovation is produced from these contributions, ideas and priorities. We thank everyone who has helped us produce the Declaration, and look forward to working together as a community to see the proposals implemented.


Innovation touches the lives of all of Europe’s people. New technologies, products and ways of doing things can improve our quality of life, and help tackle our greatest challenges. But innovations are not always good - they can sometimes be exclusionary, or at worst, can deepen existing inequalities.

EU policymakers are currently negotiating Europe’s long-term budget. The EU is a significant funder and supporter of innovation. For example, it is currently proposing to spend £100bn on its next Research and Innovation framework programme, and a further £100bn on European Social Fund Plus. This presents an important opportunity for Europe’s growing social innovation community to shape the future direction of European policy.

The vision of the Lisbon Declaration on Social Innovation is to put openness, democratization and inclusivity at the heart of innovation. It recognises the contribution of civil society, non-state actors, local communities and mainstream innovators in addressing challenges that matter to Europe’s people, such as climate change.

In the context of the next Multiannual Financial Framework for the period 2021-2027, we call on the EU and member countries to:

A Make social innovation a cross-cutting priority in all EU policies and programmes, by:

1.Creating a cross-service European Social Innovation Action Plan

2.Using the EU Multiannual Financial Framework budget and its key instruments to create longer-term investment and strategic support for social innovation across all EU policies and instruments

3.Creating a new European Observatory of Social Innovation Policy to mainstream and monitor the performance of cross-cutting social innovation policy approaches to help to achieve a “social triple A” for Europe

4.Helping develop the evidence ecosystem for social innovation in Europe by establishing a pan-European network of evidence centres focusing on ‘what works’ in tackling social challenges

B Use strategic partnerships between EU, national and regional authorities to unleash the power of communities to drive change, including smaller organisations, by:

5.Launching a Europe-wide initiative to expand the number of regional social innovation support organisations by 2027

6.Designing a package of supports instruments to enable the creation of locally-controlled asset-based community bodies in all European Member States by 2027

7.Establishing Social Innovation “Diogo Vasconcelos” Fellowships for people developing local change initiatives

8.Setting up a strategic initiative to better enable smaller socially focused organisations, enterprises and facilitators to access EU funding

C Foster social innovation in the public sector, by:

9.Embedding social innovation actors in governments and public-sector bodies through a new “Innovate4Europe” initiative;

10.Establishing ‘Public Procurement Pathfinders’ to connect government agencies with social innovation actors (including civic start-ups, social innovation-focused SMEs or social economy players).

This Declaration was initially endorsed by the following organisations:

  • Nesta (UK)
  • AEIDL - the European Association for Information on Local Development (BE)
  • Reves Network (EU)
  • Technical University of Dortmund (DE)
  • Social Innovation Exchange (UK)
  • The Young Foundation (YF)
  • University of the Basque Country (ES)
  • Dutch Research Institute for Transitions (NL)
  • Danish Technological Institute (DK)
  • University of Bologna - Alma Mater Studiorum (IT)
  • Social Innovation Lab (HR)
  • ZSI – Centre for Social Innovation (AT)
Thank you for your support, Social Innovation Community from Europe
Question to the initiator

Translate this petition now

new language version


  • EU policymakers are negotiating Europe’s next long-term budget. Sign the #SIDeclaration (!kzxln) today to tell them that Europe needs innovation to benefit everyone.

    While industries like pharmaceuticals and automotive are good at getting decision-makers’ attention, the social innovation community - a broad movement of people and organisations innovating for public benefit - often has less influence. We want this to change.

    Over the past year, we have asked people working in social innovation all over Europe about how EU policy could enable them achieve an even bigger impact. We heard from more than 350 people from 19 member countries.

    You told us you wanted a Europe where civil society, non-state actors and local communities are empowered to define and address challenges that matter to them, such as climate change. You shared a vision for research and innovation which gives greater recognition to the contribution of civil society and the wider public. And you spoke about the need for mainstream innovators (like technologists, firms and research organisations) to rethink their role in driving direct societal benefits.

    Finally, you described challenges that can stop social innovation achieving its potential: problems with public procurement, rigid funding structures that don’t allow experimentation, a lack of skills and incentives for public officials to support social innovation.

    The Social Innovation Declaration sets out the core values - such as openness, democratization and inclusivity - that we want European policymakers to follow as they negotiate the new EU budget and programming.

    The Declaration includes 10 specific policy recommendations that we think cut right to the heart of these issues. We want to make social innovation a cross-cutting priority in all EU policies and programmes (such as the European Social Fund Plus or Horizon Europe), and have introduced a number of proposals aimed at using strategic partnerships between EU, national and regional authorities to unleash the power of communities and smaller organisations to drive change.

    This Declaration is a statement of intent from the community to ensure that social innovation is given the political visibility and support it deserves. We need your help to show European decision-makers that we are a powerful and determined force for change in Europe.

    Sign the #SIDeclaration and make history with us! (!kzxln)

    Join us on 12 and 13 November 2018 in Seville for a chance to discuss the Declaration and how to implement it at the Social Innovation Community project’s final event. (


Not yet a PRO argument.


No CONTRA argument yet.

Why people sign

  • 6 days ago

    I would to initiate a non-profit technology company focused on education and public health, so it (the petition) benefits people like me who would like to help society but are not able to seek the same kind of funding as for-profit ventures.

  • 9 days ago

    We have to choose a positive way of change in stead of fighting eachother

  • 9 days ago

    It is time to act!

  • Alfonso Torrero , Mexico City

    on 02 Dec 2018

    Porque la innovación social ayudará a tener un mundo más equitativo, con más oportunidades para todos,especialmente incluyendo a grupos vulnerables

  • on 01 Dec 2018

    A more equitable society and economy is the only way to reach the SDG's in time, to cut 1.5 degrees C max warming of the earth, stop killing off nature and life on earth or humanity will perish and go extinct along with the other half of all mammals that half been wiped of this earth over the past 50 years.

Tools for the spreading of the petition.

You have your own website, a blog or an entire web portal? Become an advocate and multiplier for this petition. We have the banners, widgets and API (interface) to integrate on your pages.

Signing widget for your own website

API (interface)

Number of signatures on openPetition and, if applicable, external pages.
HTTP method
return format