Insights from the 6th edition of the SIRENE Expert Hub

On the 22nd of March 2024, experts met for the sixth time on the occasion of the 6th Expert Hub Workshop. As usual, the first section of the workshop was dedicated to the co-design session, where participants were invited to provide their point of view on the topic of implementing responsive environments. After this interactive moment, the Social Innovation Framework (SIF) was presented, followed by an overview of the Roadshow and the European Week and, finally, by the explanation of the SIF voting process. 



Carina Dantas from SHINE opened the workshop by introducing the agenda and giving an extensive overview of the upcoming events: the Capacity Building Workshops, the 7th Expert Hub and, looking ahead, the European Week scheduled at the beginning of October. Focus was then made on the numerous and relevant occasions in which the SIRENE project was presented by project partners, such as the Digital Health & Wellness Summit 2024, the ENSA General Assembly and the webinar “Let’s talk PHC!” organised by the WHO. 

Link to PowerPoint presentation


Under the guidance of Dr Matteo Zallio, the co-design session focused on the challenging question: “How can the implementation of responsive environments be incorporated into organisations’ business as usual?”. This time, the experts worked together in plenary under the moderation of Matteo Zallio.

Participants’ feedback on the subject was clustered in macro areas, which are reported below:

  • Cultural change

Experts point out that one first and crucial step is to support a cultural change in the organisations wishing to implement SHAFE and responsive environments- oriented initiatives and actions. Specifically, they stress the importance of including key concepts related to SHAFE in the organisational culture for enabling their concrete integration and effective communication. One way of facilitating this process might be to align SHAFE principles to the measurement of organisations’ performance; this could help managers and staff to implement them daily. 

  • Training

Emphasys is made on the necessity to train employees and entrepreneurs on key concepts related to the topic of SHAFE/responsive environments, so that they can familiarise with them and understand their potential impact on their role. Connected to this, experimenting new approaches and ways to improve SHAFE is needed, but this should be done first by providing training opportunities. Even before training, expectations associated with the implementation of SHAFE/responsive environments actions and initiatives within an organisation should be calibrated based on employees, customers and users’ needs, to ensure their actual feasibility and sustainability over time.

  • Future-thinking applied approaches

Experts highlighted the importance of testing and piloting new solutions in real-life contexts, and the need to create a multidimensional network of organisations coming from different domains and with complementary expertise and know-how.

  • Process mapping

It is considered important to integrate responsive capabilities into organisations’ workflow. However, alongside this, the need to first map organisational processes to understand where and at what level SHAFE-inspired actions can be effectively integrated is also stressed. Transparency is raised as another indispensable element that should be guaranteed when encouraging changes at organisational level.

  • Challenges to face and gaps

An assessment of organisations’ resources and staff’s training needs is deemed essential to lay the foundations for implementation. As part of this assessment, technological readiness should be also evaluated to prevent obsolescence from becoming an obstacle.

  • Incentives and new methods

Funding opportunities, grants and recognition from institutions is evaluated crucial both to bring general attention to such a relevant theme and to sustain organisations and entrepreneurs to invest in it internally in the frame of their business. 

The Social Innovation Framework

Willeke van Staalduinen from AFE illustrated the Social Innovation Framework (SIF) on SHAFE, one of the main project outputs, which is intended to: increase the awareness of innovation actors on the concepts of social innovation, and on the methodologies and the necessary skills to implement social innovation; raise awareness on potential business opportunities, funding and investment in the sector; create alliances and synergies between different stakeholders within the ecosystems and between them. She dwelt on the SIF main contents and explained that, as done for some of its intrinsic tools (the Manual and the Good Practices Blueprint), the SIF itself will have to be validated by experts.

In the wake of Willeke’s presentation, Adele De Stefani from ISRAA listed the series of actions and events foreseen by the SIRENE Roadshow, which is aimed at collecting feedback and amendments on the SIF from experts and ecosystems. The roadshow will culminate in the final voting on the occasion of the 7th Expert Hub Workshop (14th June 2024). Finally, the presentation was concluded with the announcement of the SIRENE European Week planned in Brussels in the first week of October 2024.


Voting system


This final slot of the Expert Hub Workshop was dedicated to the presentation of the voting process. Willeke van Staalduinen from AFE described how experts will be asked to contribute and illustrated the template for the collection of amendments within expert’s ecosystem and the timeline of the process.

To watch again the Expert Hub workshop of 22nd March click on the video below.

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