Change Hubs for Ecosystemic Social Solutions

CHESS – Change Hubs for Ecosystemic Social Solutions

Change Hubs for Ecosystemic Social Solutions (CHESS) Project, funded by Horizon EIE 2022 programme, aims to integrate social innovation theoretical and practical models to tackle local social challenges.

Social Innovatiol is now widely accepted in several political agendas and financial flux. There are hundreds of educational centres, research groups, incubators and accelerators working on this topic, as well as a great number of toolkits.

Despite this success, the full potential of social innovation remains untapped. Different project reports and academic papers published in the past five years have pointed to several interconnected barriers hindering social innovation initiatives.

The Project ´Change Hubs for Ecosystemic Social Solutions´ (CHESS) has highlighted the following challenges that merit critical attention:

  • Social innovation lacks access to finance, scaling models, and qualified personnel and is not applied enough
  • Social innovators act in silos and are not integrated into the wider innovation ecosystems
  • Social innovation toolkits are plentiful, but there is a lack of record about the tools’ effectiveness and pertinence

The CHESS project tackles the above challenges with the following objectives:

  • Integrate social innovation conceptual and practice models to address concrete and locally palpable societal challenges
  • Ensure the interlinking and connection of SI actors with broader innovation ecosystems at local and European levels
  • Test and further develop existing innovation approaches and toolkits, focusing on lessons learned from their applications in tackling societal challenges and achieving financial sustainability

Project Ahead’s role will be testing social innovation’s models and tools in Southern Italy region and support the development of enabling ecosystems for social innovation. Four Workshop are going to be scheduled in four different italian regions (Campania, Apulia, Calabria, Sicily), a mapping of the most important stakeholders, a technical analysis in cooperation with the scietifical partners (ISPIM, SIX e TUDO), an elaboration and publication of the data for the development of policies on the subject of social innovation.


On going:


Horizon EIE 2022 European Union


  • Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI) – Slovenia (Coordinator)
  • Europos Socialinio Fondo Agentura (ESFA) – Lithuania
  • Ethniko Kentro Erevnas Kai Technologikis Anaptyxis (CERTH) – Greece
  • Technische Universität Dortmund (TUDO) – Germany
  • International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM) – UK
  • The Social Innovation Exchange (SIX) – UK

*Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Horizon Europe. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.