Date: March 23, 2013
Location: National Sociological Congress “PRIVATE, PUBLIC, COMMON: Sociology and CROATIAN SOCIETY TODAY”, Zagreb, Croatia
EU FP7 WILCO was one of the panles during the congress. About 20 participants, mostly experts and researchers, listened to four presentations about WILCO before embarking on a lively discussion moderated by Prof.Dr. Siniša Zrinščak.
Prof. Gojko Bežovan gave a general presentation on the WILCO – FP7 project, taking the audience through main reseach focus, process and aims. Jelena Matančević analyzed the trends in care services for children, as well as local social services policy. Daniel Baturina’s presentation on social cohesion in Varazdin focussed on transformations in the labor market, family and child care, housing and housing policy in the context of local social politics. Prof. Gojko Bežovan introduced the concept of social innovation in general and in local social policy contexts, offering an overview of the potential benefits of the concept in practice.
The following dicussion generated specific feedback on the WILCO project and on the concepts of social cohesion and social innovation in the local environment in Croatia. Social innovation was described as an ambigious concept. It was unknown to many participants and this was the first opportunity to hear about it. Discussion focussed on the potential practical applications of social innovation, possibilities to create space for their development and how to recognize and promote innovation.
The organisers described the grassroots event as a great source of input from other researchers, helping them to draw new conclusions and deepen their arguments that arose from former analysis. They feel that the event was useful for the promotion of the project and will serve as a driver for new discussions, especially with regard to future research and practical action in the field of social policy.