In terms of social innovation, European Commission brings up the concept of co-creation on the agenda:
“The empowerment of actors is, according to research as well as practitioners <.. .> (Vale, A. 2009), what qualifies the innovation — ‘engaging citizens as co-creators’.”
As also expressed by President Barroso: ‘A successful innovation policy is one that involves all actors in society, innovation is something you do with people, not to them’ (13 October 2010). If the ultimate objective is to introduce sustainable change, then the main variable is people’s empowerment. “Co-creation and co-innovation by universities and public research organisations with businesses, social institutions, government, and citizens need a specific set of skills” (EC, 2014).
Co-Engage is built on the conviction that teaching participation through co-creation will contribute to the empowerment of all citizens, independently of their age, gender, ethnic or any other belongings.
Social innovation can be considered as a process of co-creation, since it seeks the collaboration of multiple stakeholders (Voorberg, Bekkers, & Tummers, 2014). In the digital era, these processes are enabled by the wide use of web 2.0 technologies, providing tools for cross-sectoral collaboration and co-creation. Co-Engage will address the growing demand of citizens to be actors in their lives and to be enabled to find collective solutions to some of the social issues they encounter. We will contribute to an inclusive education, embedded in lifelong learning processes, enabling all learners to be involved.
Co-Engage has been conceived by 8 European partners, active in different fields and sectors, from social innovation and services till fashion design, experienced in formal and non-formal education. Our consortium will contribute to the development of co-creation skills enabling citizens to become social innovators. Based on the exchange of experiences and learning through co-creation, our method will permit to bring in light know-how and competences engaging citizens for innovation and creativity and through this, creating bridges between divers sectors and fields of activity.