Istrian Region – Croatia (1st pilot)

Pilot Name: Regional centre for social innovation Istria – ReCeD’Istria

Creation of social innovation centers, with services for social innovators involving NGOs.

ReCeD’Istria will promote awareness and develop social innovation and foster social entrepreneurship through networking, education and providing information. It will be a service and intermediator for social innovators and the community.

As part of the first activity, the working group defined the concept of the ReCeD’Istria (purpose, function, functioning, management, business model working plan, financing, sustainability, target groups, stakeholders, partners, etc.) in order to optimize operations and reduce risk. Furthermore, they defined the public presentation and concept of the public call “3DI” for social innovation ideas. The Foundation was looking for ideas that will create new innovative solutions to address society’s needs. The Foundation wanted to enable the development of the idea up to the stage that it can be implement involving various stakeholders target groups, NGOs, public government and professionals from different fields.

Unfortunately, as the term of social innovations is new in Croatia, there was no interest in this public call. That demonstrates that it is necessary to work on awareness about social innovation – what they are, and what are the possibilities by developing this kind of ideas for the communities. The Regional center for social innovation and all activities about education and information are very needed, so the Foundation is going forward to start up the Center “ReCeD’Istria” in 2020., but also will manage to develop one new social innovation idea about developing philanthropy in the local community.

The second step is to create the ReCeD’Istria platform that will bring together information and news from various fields to help develop social innovation and social entrepreneurship that will contribute to solving problems in society.

As the public call “3DI” was ineffective, the Foundation came up with a new idea – The virtual school of social innovation that was the first pilot activity of the “ReCeD’Istria”.

The first theme of the virtual school was “Local Philanthropy – an Opportunity for Innovation and employment”. The possibility and potential that Pula has as a city in its philanthropic story goes beyond those basic socially responsible and charitable notions. Pula has a great philanthropic story that has big cultural and tourist potential. This potential can be used to raise funds and raise awareness of the importance of charity and solidarity, but through its philanthropic story, creates a foundation for future generations for socially responsible behavior and living.

The Foundation for partnership and civil society development held the first Virtual school of social innovation. The school held online for ten days from 5th to 16th of October 2020. The best idea named „Feel good house” is to create a multimedia exhibition of the history of Philanthropy in Pula, open a shop, coffee bar, start storytelling tours, launch 3D projections in philanthropic locations, and much more that you will know about soon. The next step is to realize the idea with the help of the winning team members.

Moreover, the Foundation evolved a great partnership with the University of Pula, Faculty of Economics and Tourism “Dr. Mijo Mirković” and the Faculty of Engineering. In cooperation with them, the Foundation through the ReCeD’Istria started to work with professors and students on social innovations. Additionally, during that program, three prototypes of social innovation products were developed for people with disabilities and one new program “Community case study”, a program where students work directly with NGOs to solve detected problems.

Furthermore, during the pilot action period, the Foundation Istra implemented a PR public action named “Grow your idea” with the aim to force people, NGOs, and institutions to think and create new social innovative ideas and develop them.

Noticeably, the first outcomes of the Regional centre for social innovation started to gather. The awareness and knowledge about social innovations, social entrepreneurship end social economy are beginning to spread!