• “Cities and governments need to create new opportunities and the only way to do that is stimulate innovation”.

    Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  • “Integration, through devolution, is what drives local innovation…our ultimate goal is user-centred innovation that engages citizens and enables communities to flourish”.

    Janet Menard Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services, Ontario, Canada
  • “In order to gain real innovation you need to start outside… from the stories of people. Focus on new interactions. Stories can help people to be empowered”.

    Chris Sigaloff Director of Kennisland, The Netherlands


Building on the key messages from the 2017 conference, the 26th European Social Services Conference (ESSC) will explore how we can improve services by empowering the people and communities which are at the heart of social welfare.

Last year’s conference showcased a growing appetite for new innovations and welfare technology in service planning and delivery.  It highlighted how services are being  transformed across Europe with innovative approaches empowering service users and presented approaches being used by public services to actively incorporate and develop new technology to respond to increasing demands.

Looking forward, the ESSC 2018, will address ways to use these new initiatives to invest wisely and create a sustainable welfare ecosystem to empower people and their communities in the longer term.

With this in mind, the 26th ESSC will explore the following questions:

  • How can we use public budgets, tools and human capital more efficiently?
  • How do we best invest in the empowerment of service users in the longer term?
  • How do we best develop a professionally trained, agile and supported workforce equipped for future social needs?
  • And how do we work better in partnerships and across sectors to design services that promote economic and social investment?

Building on the 2017 edition, the conference will inspire, empower and equip all those who share a commitment for a social Europe to invest smartly in our future – one that is people-centred, fully inclusive and sustainable.

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