Senior Social Entrepreneuring - Building capacity among seniors to serve as social change brokers in communities

Erasmus +
24 months: 2016-2018

 

Coordinator: Arhus Kommune (Denmark)

Partners:

Association Pistes Solidaires (France)

Association E-Seniors (France)

Association Generations (Bulgaria)

University of Chester (United Kingdom)

COCIS Camara oficial de comercio e industria de Sabadell (Spain)

INRCA Instituto nazionale di riposo e cura per anziani (Italy)

Working with Europe (Spain)

The 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. During 24 months of the project, it will strive 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 contributors

2.      The need to bring about social innovation as an alternative to traditional public services

3.      The need to promote entrepreneurial mind-sets and initiative-taking in the communities 

The role of the senior social change brokers is not necessarily to take social change initiatives through long and often complicated processes and to for example systemic levels, but rather to:

-          Spot and identify social change needs in the community not well addressed by the market or by increasingly scarce public services

-          Include citizens in the first phases of defining the social needs and how to bring about innovative solutions, based on existing or available resources

-          Bring together relevant and new cross-sector stakeholders for joint dialogues on the identified social needs and how innovative solutions can be created

-          Co-drive the creation of joint forces projects between stakeholders and citizens to initiate the change process

The senior social change brokers will at the same time serve as role-models and mentors for other seniors and as pioneers of entrepreneurial mentality in the community. This means that they also need to build capacity to create relevant infrastructures to sustain their initiatives, and in some cases to generate economy for themselves.

Such infrastructures or organisational forms could be: volunteering, linking to or joining an existing association or organisation, creating part time or full time employment, freelance consultancy, creating funded projects, establishing a social enterprise, offering various forms of services based on user payment

The ultimate mission of the project is to create and share well-tested models of senior social entrepreneuring that can be useful to seniors and communities across Europe and generate social and economic value, including first steps to link together senior social brokers in supportive networks at European level.