Shifting narratives in public innovation

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Wed 7, October 2020
14:30 - 16:00 CET
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Bringing innovation to the core of public policy means considering human resources as the key to making experimental approaches effective and impactful.

The session will include framed stories where creativity and imagination become tools to influence behaviour, activate alliances and create opportunities. At a time when our creative endeavours are deeply grounded in the scarcity of resources, the outcomes of collective efforts can be disruptive.

A workshop for sharing best practices, giving rise to future positive scenarios in policy innovation.


The workshop will have two different panels:

PANEL 1 (30’) - Shifting narratives: civil servants as champions of reactivity and imagination in public sector innovation

PANEL 2 (45’) - Practices from European cities


Pietro Elisei, UIA Expert, Monteruscello Agro City project (MAC), Municipality of Pozzuoli, Italy.
Fabio Sgaragli, Lead Expert URBACT Transfer Network Innovato-R, Fondazione Brodolini, Italy.
Eddy Adams, Programme expert URBACT Secretariat, URBACT Secretariat, Belgium.
Maria Andrade, Project Coordinator, City of Porto, Portugal.
Fabrizio Barbiero, Project Leader Innovato-R, City of Turin, Italy.
Oana Buzatu, Spokeperson of Cluj-Napoca City Hall, City of Cluj Napoca, Romania.
Jochem Cooiman, Innovation Officer, City of Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Fulvia Mantino, Social Services Officer - Inclusion Unit, City of Turin, Italy.
Eszter Mórocza-Tavas, Project Coordinator, Municipality of Veszprém Town of County Rank, Hungary.
Marco Pironti, Council Member Smart City and Innovation, City of Turin, Italy.
Empowering citizens
Cluj-Napoca , Porto, Rotterdam, Turin
English (EN)

Session summary

For several years already the need to do more with less resources has impacted the way of working in municipalities, pushing them to explore innovative ways of doing things. At current time, the Covid crisis enhanced the need for innovation to be more creative and to provide new solutions. A new narrative is going on about the way cities can innovate through internal and external networks allowing them to get connected and work together with policy makers and civil servants in order to provide new ideas and solutions for existing challenges.

This is the spirit of the Innovato-R network of cities which is a project of the URBACT program i.e. the European Territorial Cooperation program aiming at fostering sustainable integrated urban development in cities across Europe.

In particular, the practice that the city of Turin is transferring to the other cities is a very simple and powerful idea: the notion of empowering civil servants to come up with ideas on how to improve internal processes and provide innovative services.

Fulvia Mantino, Social Services Officer - Inclusion Unit, City of Turin, and project leader of the Turin pilot test “Relationship Architects”, runs throughout Innovato-R, shared her experience of public employee involved on this project trying to explain why taking part in a project like this was interesting, definind it a "spark that brought to brought to life much more than expected.

Together with Turin, other 5 cities have taken part to the Innovato-R network, 4 of which have presented their experience in this conference: Cluj Napoca, Porto, Rotterdam and Veszprém. Two of them, Cluj Napoca and Rotterdam, are focusing on promoting innovation connecting through electronic platforms, whereas Porto and Veszprém have focused on working with the civil servants of their municipality in a more classical approach.




Take away message

Innovation is a matter of people

According to Nicola Farranoto, City of Turin Staff Council Member, the concept of smart city is not just about technology but involves other areas such as circular economy and social impact. The key for Turin innovation strategy is putting social innovation at the core of its agenda through a human centered innovation approach based on citizens and stakeholders involvement

Eddy Adams, programme manager, URBACT Secretariat, underlined that part of the URBACT role is to equip civil servants to help them to collaborate, innovate and experiment with new ideas and approaches by creating an eco-system where cities learn, share and transfer their competencies. Turin’s Innovato-R project perfectly represents this idea of networking as a means of transmitting best practice.

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  • Posted by: Sergio Diana
    On: 06/10/2020 - 11:08am

    A common innovative communication tool

    Recent communication experiences leading to events such as, for example, Brexit or to the advent in Europe of exacerbated nationalisms antithetical to the European Integration project, should make us reflect on the need to invest on inovative communication tools. We intend to share our idea on a constructive discussion within EWRC and, precisely, to start a reflection on whether or not to invest in a project relating to the creation of a EUROPEAN NETWORK of cities (expecially small villages of europe) with a common communication tool not only for the democratic debate but also for: ----spreading the results of research and innovation in our territories; ---- European integration process; -----solving social problems - not only as regards unemployment, depopulation, youth unease, etc. .. but also, for example, regarding issues such as corruption - and contributing to the improvement of living conditions and of work in our territories; -----solve global problems; ----- involve young people, with particular reference to the NEETs; -----...... We are looking for cities interested in joining our European/international network. To find out more please write to: info@freeuropechannel.eu
  • Posted by: Marta CAYETANO
    On: 30/09/2020 - 11:34am

    waiting list request

    Please add me if there is a waiting list. Thank you!
    • Posted by: Oriana Spanò
      On: 01/10/2020 - 11:03am

      Last 2 more available

      We invite you to register now, being today the last day available for registrations at this session. Thank you for your interest!