ELIF launch event (online webinar)

Revitalising community-led innovation in Europe 


24 November 2022

AEIDL – the European Association for Innovation in Local Development – is launching the European Local Innovation Forum (ELIF) to revitalise community-led innovation across Europe. 

Innovation driven and implemented by local communities is essential to boost the transformative changes Europe needs. Community-led innovation means any new and creative process, service or product that emerges in a local territory as a result of a participatory process involving local communities and actors in order to seize new opportunities or address local challenges. Hence, it offers opportunities to encourage positive change and generate local socio-economic and environmental welfare.

ELIF is a space for experts and organisations operating and connected at local level – in both urban and rural settings – to exchange ideas, learn from experiences and draw lessons to boost innovation in local communities across Europe. Its ambition is to maximise the power of gathering like-minded people and community-oriented organisations to help improve local lives and ultimately generate more cohesion in Europe. Participation is free and is not based on any membership fee. 

The ELIF launch event aimed to :

        • Boost exchange about the importance of community-led innovation to respond to modern societal challenges and opportunities in Europe;
        • Debate how community-led innovation is being supported in Europe;
        • Raise awareness and build a common understanding of the European Local Innovation Forum and its added value for local actors (promotion);
        • Share common interests and co-design the focus of the ELIF Thematic Communities.


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Presentations and recordings
  • Welcoming of participants and introduction
    • Isabel Carvalhais, Member of the European Parliament (Video)
    • Enrique Nieto, AEIDL's head of the policy unit and coordinator of the European Local Innovation Forum (ELIF) (Presentation, video)
  • Local voice: Experiences from innovative community-led initiatives
    • Integrating migrants into local communities in Utrecht (the Netherlands) | Jan Braat, Senior policy-advisor migration and inclusion, Municipality of Utrecht (Presentation, video)
    • Citizen laboratories for cooperation and innovation in urban and rural areas (Spain)| Marcos García, Citizen Laboratories (Presentation, video)
    • Innovative communities in rural areas (Ireland) | Gabriel O’Connell, CEO of Monaghan Integrated Development (Presentation, video)
  • High-level policy panel discussion: policy support to community-led innovation (Video)
    • Wallis Goelen-Vanderbrock (European Commission, DG REGIO), Senior Expert attached to the Deputy Director-General for Inclusive Growth, Urban and Territorial Development
    • Radim Sršeň, Deputy Minister of Regional Development, Czech Republic
    • Antonella Noya (OECD), Head of the Social Economy and Innovation Unit
  • ELIF Thematic Community on Territorial development
    • Serafin Pazos, AEIDL Senior expert on rural and territorial development (Presentation, video)
  • ELIF Thematic Community on Community-led social innovation
Report of the event