Social World: inside social innovation and rights

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Posted on December 07, 2015

The World Summit for Social Development, held in Copenhagen in 1995, has defined an inclusive society as a “society for all in which every individual, each with rights and responsibilities, has an active role to play”. The pillar on which an inclusive society is built is the respect of human rights of every individual. Social justice, tolerance, fundamental freedoms, protection of vulnerable groups are just few of the elements that the culture of human rights promotes. In order to achieve social inclusion is necessary to have strongly in mind a fundamental right value that is “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights (…)”. This statement means that a healthy and inclusive society allows all members, regardless of their backgrounds, to participate in social, economic, political activities at any level. This can be achieved through an inclusive policy framework that promotes the basic right to education for all children, respect of diversities, freedom of speech and a wide access to information.
Now, 20 years after the World Summit, we are facing significant social changes where public and private sector collaborates in order to defeat social exclusion. The social economy, that includes NGO, cooperatives, charities and social enterprises, assume a key role in responding to citizen needs, working together with the public sector creating new processes and collaboration in order to achieve social innovation.
The European Commission uses the term ‘social enterprise’ to define “an enterprise whose primary objective is to achieve social impact rather than generating profit for owners and shareholders”. In the EU, according to the EU Social Business Initiative, the social economy employs over 11 million people that work in collaboration with public authorities in order to offer quality social services to improve the well-being for citizens.  Social economy play also a
role in reducing social exclusion providing education and employment opportunities to people socially excluded, re-integrating them into the participative mechanism of society.
Wise4All will be part in this process in order to build a new and more inclusive society where private and public partnerships are promoted and where profit won’t be the main objective. A new society seen through the eyes of experts that strongly believe in social innovation and in the promotion of fundamental rights.

– Creating an Inclusive Society: Practical Strategies to Promote Social Integration, DESA (Department of economic and social affairs), 2009.
– Guide to social innovation, European Commission, February, 2013.

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