Workshop Workplace Innovation; at EU Launch platform for social innovation

Workshop Workplace Innovation.

2011 – At the Social innovation Europe Launch Event, March  17th, 2011 a workshop was given on Workplace Innovation. Six experts from the UK, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands argued that Workplace Innovation is a key dimension of Social Innovation.
Social Innovation concerns the creation of new solutions to social problems and new social capital.
Economic performance is the main factor in the growth of welfare, creating the new jobs and wealth that facilitate the solution of social problems.  And Workplace innovation exerts a strong on performance, productivity and innovation in products and services. Besides WIN directly influences improvements in health, skills, employability and inclusion of employees.

There were presented two examples of network collaboration of parties such as companies, (local) agencies, social partners, knowledge institutions and consultancy firms: the GIB in North Rhine Westphalia and the Dutch National Center for Social Innovation, NCSI.
Besides there are several parts in Europe, including Finland, Flandres, France and Germany that have well established and sophisticated  policy mechanisms for promoting and resourcing workplace innovation. Good practices of companies practicing workplace innovation were presented as well.
But these initiatives are relatively rare and small. There are four reasons why WIN serves more attention in the European and national policies.
Firstly to build a high productivity/high wages economy to maintain welfare and social security given that there will be fewer people in the workforce.
Secondly the need to develop and utilize the skills and competences of the entire workforce to increase added value in a knowledge based economy.
Thirdly that private and public companies can benefit from technological innovations if it is embedded in workplace innovation.
And the fourth reason is that workplace innovation itself appears to be more important for sustainable innovation of products and services than technological innovation. 

The full report is attached.