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Posted at 22 October 2016 by Nathalie SORITA in category Articles

Societal responsibility and new governance

«Societal responsibility and new governance : A challenge to innovate for European managers of social organizations »

15th of september 2016 in Dijon France


More than 130 managers, trainers and researchers from Luxembourg, Romania and France 0have participated to this conference, the final event of a project financed by the new Erasmus + 2014-2020 program[1]. The objectives of the project were to identify, formalize and promote responsible and innovative practices in the management of social organizations. 

Denis Vallance[2], the witness of this conference, reaffirmed in his summary in what ways the challenge of this innovation is linked to the other societal challenges of our time. For the social organizations, the challenge is about the extent of the situation: how to better meet the needs of populations, whose conditions of living are becoming even more vulnerable of the ongoing social, economic, cultural, politic and climatic changes.  If we can say that the social innovation is historically linked to the existence of the development of social organizations, we have to accept the reality that they are facing more and more constraints in terms of budget, legislation and a regress in the political thinking of social progress.

These societal changes question the efficiency and performance of social organizations, and consequently the exercise of their public/private governance within and in their territory. In what conditions could they make the transition from a social to a societal responsibility imposed by these challenges?  How do we, the stakeholders can favour the development of the knowledge, intelligence and collective creativity needed for this transition? 

The main innovation present throughout the whole life of the project is one of discontinuity: a change of managerial paradigm. Management has recently been considered as the deficient parent of innovation[3].  Francis Boyer [4]  deems the management dimension to have « the most arduous evolution ( a change in technology takes between 6 to 18 months, a cultural change between 1 and 5 years). But arduous does not mean impossible, because the difficulty does not concern the capacity to open to new ideas, but rather to get free from the old ones. »

The project brought into focus how nowadays the managers start and maintain innovative practices in the areas of climate change, user involvement, governance of organizations and of the territory. The project's stakeholders acknowledged the relevance of the Societal Code as a common reference of social managers and of practices such as collaborative management.

Two lines of innovation, which firstly invites us to change our view of people and things. Changing perspective to find the consistency of the human condition, its vulnerabilities, but also its skills and capacity to better apprehend the complexity of reality to initiate and support transformative practices that respond to the politic and societal stake of « good living » (buen vivir) in Europe.


We invite you to discover the community of experimenters created in this project, which takes the form of a free platform where you can find information and presentations of initiatives by managers from Luxembourg, Romania and France, all with reference to the Societal Code. 

The short-term objectives of the platform are: 

  • enlarging the circle of the first experimeters ;
  • reaching other european countries ;
  • reporting the implementation of the initiatives, their results and the lessons learned ;
  • developing an offer for e-learning/face to face training for social managers.

We invite you to join us, create your account and ask for the affiliation to the community : http://societal.eu/fr



[1] The program supports actions in the fields of training, education, youth and sports. I

[2] Denis Vallance is the President of the National Union of Training and Research Actors in Social Intervention in France (l'Union Nationale des Acteurs de Formation et de Recherche en Intervention sociale en France - UNAFORIS). 

[3] Reference to the pole done in 2013 by Ipsos

[4]Francis Boyer, The most innovative managerial practices in the world, Journal of Net, 2015, http://www.journaldunet.com/management/expert/58679/les-pratiques-manageriales-les-plus-innovantes-du-monde.shtml


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