Ecosystems for Wellbeing: Social Outcomes Contracting Platform
Social innovation and social entrepreneurship are now emerging as global key trends for future policy making across the European Union and worldwide. Simultaneously, there has been increasing interest for social impact investing from both organised civil society and the commercial sectors. As a result, new complementary approaches and solutions to finance social impact are starting to be tested and adopted.
The growing interest of EU Member States in social finance is leading to innovative approaches being implemented in several public policy areas, where instruments such as Social Outcomes Contracting and Social Impact Bonds are being piloted across Europe. These tools are mainly seen as a way to shift focus of public spending more towards impact/outcomes, bring efficiency for the public budget, preventative rather than reparative solutions, encourage cooperation across government as well as across sectors, stimulate innovation, and contribute to improved change management and governance processes.
The EU is taking a proactive role to stimulate and support social investments for innovation, social economy, and to help foster the European ecosystem for social impact. Prompted by Finland’s strong interest in promoting the Economy of Wellbeing as one of the key topics of its Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the purpose is to support the development and use of Social Outcomes Contracting in a way that produces greater social impact and innovation in addressing social challenges, contributing to increased social wellbeing within the EU.
Read a story by the European Investment Advisory Hub about the SOC meeting.
As next steps, it was proposed to set up a central source of technical expertise/advisory support, building on the existing Advisory Platform for Social Outcomes Contracting, supported by the European Commission and the EIB, via the European Investment and Advisory Hub. In practice the platform will support Member States in a very practical manner to implement the idea of SOC.
The conference will explore application of Social Outcomes Contracting as a tool for blending and purposing public and private resources towards positive social impact and activating ecosystems for the economy of well-being.
- The first day of the conference will focus on the current and future support opportunities (e.g. under the European Investment and Advisory Hub, Structural Reform Support Programme, etc.) available at EU level for Member States interested in developing social outcomes contracting.
- The second day will be devoted to co-creation of a potential work plan to continue fostering of EU and national ecosystems for social outcomes contracting and social impact as a next step. The event will also offer possibilities for exchange of knowledge and best practice.
The event will gather representatives of EU Member States’ governments, public sector authorities, the European Commission, National Advisory Board members on Impact Investing, philanthropic organisations and other impact actors.
The event is organised within the context of the Advisory Platform for Social Outcomes Contracting launched in partnership with the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, under the European Investment and Advisory Hub (a joint initiative of the European Commission and the European Investment Bank).
This event directly follows the high-level conference on Economy of Wellbeing, organised on the 18th and the 19th of September by Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union.