Conference Report: The Cow and the Squirrel

Conference Report: The Cow and the Squirrel

16.10.2012 Blog

On 24-25 September, researchers, policymakers, social entrepreneurs and other key social innovation actors gathered in Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmö in Sweden to discuss solutions to Europe’s current and future social challenges. The 2-day annual conference of the EUCLID Network carried the title “The Cow and the Squirrel: What is your strategy for survival?”.

Although the title probably caused raised eyebrows at first, it quickly became clear that there was a deeper and very serious meaning behind it, i.e. how do we gear ourselves for meeting Europe’s future social challenges? Do we hang our hat on a system of big, heavy resource-intensive and sometimes slow “cows” requiring a lot of external support? Alternatively, do we see the solutions coming from small, quick, adjustable and self-sustainable “squirrels”? Although the overall answer to this question may be obvious, the question of how to get from the former to the latter was by no means given in advance.

The two-day conference exposed the participants to a mix of presentations, workshops and even physical game-like exercises on topics such as “social inventions”, “confessing your innovation sins”, “the money market” and “bridging the gap”.

The TEPSIE team was represented by project manager John René Keller Lauritzen who made a presentation about social innovation in Denmark subtitled “From academic concept to strategic policy instrument”. He was also a member of the panel discussing the involvement of the public sector as a catalyst for social innovation.

To read more about the conference, please go to