The 25th European Social Services Conference (Valletta, Malta – 26-28 June 2017) is being organised for the first time in cooperation with the Maltese Government, who will be presiding over the Council of the European Union.
Throughout the conference, a range of organisations from all sectors will be hosting interactive workshops showcasing the latest examples of public sector, digital and social innovation across Europe – and your organisation could be one of them.
Innovation – what does it mean for social services?
This special anniversary edition of the conference will explore how new innovative solutions, policies and practices can create better local social services for the future.
Important changes are underway across governments and local public services in an effort to make services simpler, better and more effective – in a word, smarter. New solutions are needed to ensure that public social services become more efficient in tackling social exclusion.
‘Innovation’ has become a bit of a buzzword used in different sectors to mean many things. So what does it actually mean for social services? How can new approaches to service design ensure greater social inclusion? How can digital government transform the way services are delivered to improve people’s lives? And what can we learn from citizen-led initiatives and new thinking from other sectors in our bid to create smarter services?
In with the new – service design, technology and social innovation
New initiatives involving users in service planning, design and implementation are becoming commonplace.
As we become used to living and working in the digital age, new technologies adopt an increasingly important role in managing people’s health and social wellbeing. The digitalisation of services to promote independent living for people with disabilities and vulnerable older people is transforming the relationship between professionals and users.
The increasingly active role of citizens and other sectors led by grassroots initiatives, social enterprises and businesses is also creating a new ‘social innovation’ space. This in turn is changing the relationship between the government, its citizens and other sectors, creating opportunities for new kinds of partnerships.
Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, the European Social Services Conference has been a long-standing pioneer in championing the value of knowledge sharing to transform people’s lives. Over the years, thousands of senior professionals have come together to share new ideas and improve services as a result.
Having introduced some of the above themes at this year’s conference in The Hague, we are looking forward to continuing the debate through a rich programme of exciting innovative practices. We very much look forward to receiving your workshop proposals and to welcoming you in Valletta next summer!