Human Power Hub
City/Region : Câmara Municipal de Braga , Portugal

The Human Power Hub (HPH) consists of a space for training, co-creation and experimentation that generates social innovation. It promotes the construction of a social innovation ecosystem, and as such is an Integrated Social Innovation Center.

The creation of HPH is based on the theoretical assumptions "Community Sense", "Public Procurement / Social Procurement", "Transitional Arena", "Impact Measurement" and "Blended Impact", making it an entrepreneurial, the context of social innovation, structuring, development and implementation of strategies. HPH takes on three challenges: realizing the potential of social innovation; monitoring and evaluating social investment impact; and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Agendas addressed
Social inclusion and integrationLocal economies and employment
Pathways followed
  • Involve citizens through participatory implementation
  • Encourage local private and civic engagement
  • Promote social innovation supporting inclusion
  • Nurture a sharing economy

One of the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy is to reduce, at least, 20 million people at risk or in situations of poverty and social exclusion. However, it is noted that the countries of the European Union (EU) are far from meeting this number. In 2014, it was recorded that 25% of the EU population live in this situation.

In Portugal, and specifically in Braga, the problem is similar where more than 1/4 of the population live in poverty or social exclusion. This happens in a city known for its entrepreneurial character and based on a strong and exporting economy.

Thus, the emergence of spaces for training, co-creation and experimentation generating social innovation, promoters of the creation of ecosystems of social innovation, materialize in centers of integrated social innovation. And in this need HPH is born.

In Action

The HPH is born of needs that have come up over time, with contributions from projects developed under the European Capital of Youth 2012, Ibero-American Youth Capital 2016, URBACT Boostinno, URBACT Summer University, IMPACT HUB Network, Eurocities - SAF, Eurocities - EDF and Cities4Europe.

The URBACT Local Group ecosystem, made up of Braga Social Network, CLDS Braga 3rd Generation and Municipal Youth Council, was a catalyst for the beginning of the solution construction.

The idealization of HPH was based on the theoretical assumptions "Community Sense", "Public Procurement / Social Procurement", "Transitional Arena", "Impact Measurement" and "Blended Impact".

In this assumption, HPH assumes 3 challenges:

  • To realize the potential of social innovation;
  • Monitor and evaluate the impact of social investment;
  • Develop SDG for Agenda 2030.

The HPH approach is participatory, collaborative, integrated and transversal, and promotes the cross-fertilization of methodologies, working methods, social agents and institutions for the development of a trans-sectorial ecosystem of social innovation.

HPH has the presence and the involvement of all those who constitute civil society. This time, it reveals itself as the axis of interconnection between the four-helix paradigm of knowledge production that will trigger social innovation. The innovation of HPH goes through the quadruple propeller: public, academia, private / corporate sector and civil society / social agents.

1. Public - Incubation and space for collaborative coworking:

- Training and qualification in social innovation;

- Incubation of social innovation initiatives;

- Social innovation think tank spaces;

- Spaces of social meetings between social agents (social actors, activists, corporate volunteers, etc.).

2. Academia - Observatory of social innovation:

- Monitoring of social innovation processes;

- Measuring the impact of social innovation initiatives;

- Development of studies, reports and technical documents of social innovation;

- Applications for national and international social innovation funds.

3. Private / corporate sector - Corporate social responsibility 3.0 - Municipal social responsibility

- Creation of the municipal corporate social responsibility strategy;

- Creation of a responsible investment fund;

- Development of processes of acceleration of social entrepreneurship;

- Integrated management of corporate volunteering.

4. Civil society / social agents - Social entrepreneurship

- Development of entrepreneurial initiatives;

- Development of pre-acceleration and acceleration processes in the various trends of social innovation;

- Entrepreneurial initiatives financed by the responsible investment fund;

- Definition of social mentoring and mentoring processes with key actors.


The results and impacts achieved by the solution, whether in the short, medium and / or long term, and that its implementation at local, national and international level is enhancing and generating social innovation through efficient and effective social innovation initiatives in solving social problems, including:

  • Creation of an Integrated Social Innovation Center that follows a participative, collaborative, integrated and transversal approach;
  • Creation of a trans-sectoral ecosystem of social innovation based on the quadruple propeller of the paradigm of knowledge production;
  • Design of social innovation initiatives within the social context;
  • Design of social innovation initiatives that take on a transversal nature of work methods and methodologies;
  • Increase social participation and social awareness of the various social agents in the face of the problems identified in the context and social environment in which they are inserted;
  • Recognition and understanding of access to opportunities for creating and generating social innovation;
  • Promoting good practice and community dialogue;
  • Awareness raising for social inclusion.

We can also approach the work in the design, implementation and evaluation of social innovation initiatives designed by our partners. These partners are interested in supporting the work we have developed and with the intention of replicating and institutionalizing the Project in its region and social context where these initiatives already present results in the development of social innovation.

The networking network in which these entities are inserted has already developed work within the framework of the European Capital of Youth 2012, Ibero-American Youth Capital 2016, URBACT Boostinno, URBACT

IMF, Eurocities - SAF, Eurocities - EDF and Cities4Europe and have already presented results in the fight against some social problems such as the social exclusion of disadvantaged groups, unemployment with a special emphasis on young unemployed and the absence of innovation ecosystems Social.


After the process of mapping, monitoring, selection and evaluation through the Observatory of Social Innovation, each year of implementation, the support and training were provided through:

Incubation of corporate volunteering,

mentoring and mentoring processes,

training and training in social innovation,

meetings between specialized social agents and the promoters of social innovation initiatives,

the implementation of applications for social innovation funds at national and international level,

among others that conformed to the HPH Program and to the needs of the promoters of social innovation initiatives.


Among the impacts is still possible to substantiate:

Increase in the number of social innovation initiatives in the local, national and international community;

Increased number of stakeholders in the replication and institutionalization of HPH in their social context;

Recognition of opportunities to access and support the development of social innovation initiatives;

Recognition of work methods and methodologies in the design, implementation and evaluation of social innovation initiatives;

Awareness of the social problems identified in the context and in the social environment where the social agents are inserted;

Awareness of the importance of initiative, proactivity and entrepreneurship in local, national and international development;

Promotion of good practices and community dialogue, to exchange ideas, visions and working methods that generate social innovation;

Increase in the social participation of the various social agents;

Encouragement of communication and articulation between the actors of the different social sectors;

Promoting community involvement in HPH dissemination and dissemination activities and initiatives.


The positive social impact that has been achieved with the implementation of HPH has been the generation of a trans-sectoral ecosystem of social innovation, entrepreneurship, experimentation and empowerment, contextual recognition of social innovation, structuring, co-creation, development and implementation of social innovation initiatives in the social contexts allocated to the intervention matrix.

Challenges and lessons learned

In the creation phase, HPH was aimed at the Braga target group capable of generating social innovation in its initiatives, with the intention of reaching the entire community and, in the long term, national and international civil society.

The characteristics inherent to HPH, its innovative and differentiating factors, its effectiveness and efficiency, its potential for generating social impact, its guaranteed sustainability, its evident potential for scalability and its need for institutionalization and appropriation by social systems growth.

Submission Paper HPH


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