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Senior Social EntrepreneuringBuilding capacity among seniors to serve as social change brokers in communities
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

SENIOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURINGBuilding capacity among seniors to serve as social change brokers in communitiesSocial innovations do not happen by themselves. Throughout their life cycle, they need to be supported and nurtured if they are to make an impact on society and the economy. Empowering people, driving change – social innovation in the European Union, European Commission, 2011CHALLENGEThe context for the project and at the same time the key messages from Commission policy can be split into two sets of emergence:EMERGING SOCIAL NEEDSThese include such needs generated by globalised economy, the restraint of public spending and services and the well-known demographic changes in the European population. Such needs are:- the need to re-engage seniors of all ages and backgrounds in the production of economic and social value- the need to find new solutions to existing and emerging social challenges not addressed by the open market and not sufficiently addressable by public services- the need to engage users, clients and citizens in creating such solutions- the need to create dynamic social change mechanisms to respond flexibly to the fast changing global and local economies, social infrastructures and labour marketsEMERGING CHANGE OPPORTUNITIESThese include such opportunities generated by increasing consensus among policy-makers, researchers and professionals on what kind of innovation is needed, possible and attractive, and what innovation means – including recent re-thinking of the terms innovation, social innovation and social economy.These opportunities for change recognise :- recognising that social innovation is a driver of and contributor to economic growth- recognising that social entrepreneurship goes far beyond establishing a private company and embraces all sorts of initiative-taking, whether for profit or not- recognising that authentic social innovation cannot happen to but with people, and that social innovation needs top-down as well as bottom-up initiative-taking to be successful- recognising that social innovation includes a wide range of societal challengesPROJECT MISSIONThe project objective is to mobilise teams of seniors in participating project communities and beyond to build capacity among them to serve as SOCIAL CHANGE BROKERS in these communities, spotting social change needs, bringing together relevant stakeholders and citizens and facilitate or drive the social change process, and to exploit the social change processes to sustain their activity through creating appropriate organisational frameworks, be it as volunteers, association members, employees, consultants or social service providers.The project brings together 3 top priorities in Europe 2020 policy:1. The need to retain or re-engage the increasing number of European seniors as active social and economic contributors2. The need to bring about social innovation as an alternative to traditional public services3. The need to promote entrepreneurial mind-sets and initiative-taking in the communitiesThe project brings together those policy needs in a strong, systematic and sustainable, yet practical and realistic way: - it will mobilise groups of seniors in EU communities to build capacity to act as SOCIAL CHANGE BROKERS in the communities, identifying social change needs and facilitating the change process by bringing together relevant stakeholders across relevant sectors, including activating citizens as co-drivers of social change.A senior social entrepreneur can be a CATALYST of social change.PARTNERSHIPThe consortium brings together 8 partners from 6 EU countries: practice partners, knowledge partner and an experienced quality partner.The Municipality of Aarhus, Denmark, coordinates the project.OUTCOMESThe project will along its 24 months duration produce the following key outcomes:SENIOR SOCIAL RESOURCE CENTER SUPPORTI AM A SOCIAL CHANGE BROKER – WHAT R U?PORTFOLIOS OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURINGPOLICY PAPER – LESSONS LEARNED FROM SENIOR SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURINGPOLICY PAPER/GUIDANCE – EUROPEAN FUNDING AND SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURINGResulting from the continuous transnational networking of seniors through the project and serving as platform for further European initiatives a network will be established by the seniors engaged in the various phases of the project, including:- senior social change brokers from the first group, serving as mentors for new seniors along the project- second group senior social change brokers mobilised and capacity built through the project- seniors engaged through the collaboration with what is called neighbouring communities and communities in other countriesNew initiatives can build on the lessons learned from the project and similar and might address a variety of EU funding measures.In particular, the project aims to create a qualified EaSI initiative to be submitted in 2017 or 2018, taking the Senior Social Entrepreneuring and similars.
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