The Social Innovation future in Bulgaria event, held on March 28th in Sofia, brought together more than 80 experts from the fields of social entrepreneurship , business, finance, impact activism and public authorities to discuss the future of social innovation and the role of competence centers in driving it forward.

The conference was hosted by Reach for Change – Bulgaria, BCause foundation, the Business Institute, Cleantech Bulgaria, Center for Not-for-profit Law from FUSE and Sofia Development Association. The organizations are part of FUSE and SI PLUS transnational project working for the set up National Competence Centers for Social Innovations in Bulgaria.

The conference was a great opportunity also to present the SI PLUS transnational networking benefits. Barbara Willsberger and  Jörg Mirtl from L&R Austria shared the results achieved in the trannational networks  in the sphere of administration of ESF+ for support of SI, SI and Sustainable Development, Poverty and Inclusion, set up in SI PLUS.

Experts from the hosting organizations discussed with attendees the current state of social innovation, as well as how it can be used to create a more equitable and sustainable future and presented models of structure, mission and fuctions for the Competence Scenter to be established in Bulgaria that were co-designed during an year of co-creation work in Bulgaria.  The participants at the conference disscussed that in order to promote social innovation, it is essential to create and support competence centers. These centers will be able to provide resources, guidance, and support to those trying to create innovative solutions to societal challenges. They will also serve as platforms for collaboration between the private, public, and social sectors. The conference concluded with the participants committing to work together to create a more equitable and sustainable future. They agreed to work towards the establishment of competence centers and to find ways to collaborate and share resources in order to promote social innovation.