BENISI consortium acts as “network of networks” bringing together a number of players along four key “axes”. These axes are important for the promotion of social innovation across and their scaling up process and include:
- New infrastructure for knowledge sharing based around five geographic clusters
- Reach across different types of social innovations & social innovation actors
- Flexible framework for different types of scaling
- Open network structure allowing diverse stakeholders to participate
Development of new infrastructure for knowledge sharing: The project program will promote dissemination and propagation of intellectual capital through the development and implementation of new processes and knowledge management procedures linked closely with on-the-ground delivery resources, focused on five different geographic clusters. This geographic delineation of clusters is largely based on the INTERREG programme.
- Cluster 1: Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland
- Cluster 2: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway
- Cluster 3: Italy, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Malta
- Cluster 4: Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Romania andCroatia
- Cluster 5: United Kingdom & Ireland
Reach across different types of social innovations:The consortium partners are able to represent the different sectors operating in the social innovation field: social innovation incubators (represented by i-Propeller and by the HUB Network), public sector bodies (represented by EURADA), cooperatives and social economy actors (represented by DIESIS) and philanthropic foundations (represented by CariploFoundation and PEFONDES).
Flexible framework for different types of scaling: The consortium partners will be drawing on their own resources and programs to scale the social innovations selected for focus in this program. However, to aid in the identification of best opportunities for collaboration and sharing of intellectual capital across the network, the consortium will draw upon research into successful scaling of social innovations in order to provide a common framework for consortium partners to discuss social innovations, match social innovations to resources required, and guide the identification & replication of best practices for supporting social innovations.Four different types of scaling – scaling strategies – are specified, and throughout the project programme each scaling strategy is championed by a consortium partner with responsibility to oversee progress & identify opportunities within that scaling strategy.
Open network structure allowing diverse stakeholders to participate: The consortium has created the infrastructure for ongoing collaboration by an even wider group of organisations with interest in the scaling of social innovations through the launch and animation of the Social Innovation Ambassador Network (SIAN). The SIAN will allow organisations that share a common goal for scaling social innovations an opportunity to systematically participate in a project to coordinate for scaling, but on their own terms. Too often opportunities for cooperation are lost to being too ambitious and demanding in the terms and conditions for participation. Many organisations have their own programs and processes for scaling and supporting social enterprises. This consortium provides a mechanism for this diverse group of actors to become aware and get involved as they see fit.
The project will ensure coordination and collaboration between its partners through the development of common tools and formats to communicate actions taken to support social innovations. Key coordinating mechanisms will include tools such as a common approach to identifying social innovations and social innovations that are suitable to scaling, capturing key activities being undertaken in each of the scaling pathways, and a common approach to reporting and tracking.
 C. Weber, A. Kroeger, K. Lambrich, ‘Scaling Social Enterprises – A Theorectically Grounded Framework.’ 2012 Academy of Management Annual Meeting, submission #15804.