In all V4 countries, Social Innovation (SI) was not treated with due seriousness. Innovation was primarily associated with technology or business rather than addressing social problems. We and our partner organizations endeavored to change this attitude in our everyday work. We recognized the need for diverse and effective tools to achieve our goals. As part of V4 cooperation and with Visegrad support, we established the Social Innovation Ecosystem Index (SIEI) to emphasize the importance of SI. This index provided us and other NGOs/public entities with new arguments and guidelines, highlighting why SI is crucial and where specific actions should be focused within each country. With the assistance of IVS support, we collected a map of SI barriers in three V4 countries: CZ, PL, SK.
The project findings revealed that the situation regarding social innovations was quite similar across all Visegrad countries. While various indexes suggested that Visegrad countries were prepared for social innovation, they failed to reflect the true state of social innovation. Therefore, our goal was to design an index that accurately measured the state of social innovation in the Visegrad countries and addressed the gaps in four key areas: 1) Policy and institutional framework, 2) Financing, 3) Entrepreneurship, and 4) Society. We aimed to uncover the social, cultural, and socio-psychological behaviors, views, and expectations of society, professionals, and public actors. By identifying region-specific factors that significantly impacted each country’s potential and readiness for social innovation, we aimed to facilitate its implementation.