Workplace Innovation Limited helps to build a very special relationship between Scotland and the Basque Country
Workplace Innovation Limited has been supporting Scottish Enterprise and the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa in the Spanish Basque Country as each develops its own approach to promoting the uptake of workplace innovation by companies.
We suggested that both organisations could benefit by exchanging ideas and experience with each other, and that this might open wider possibilities for collaboration between the two countries.
The first steps are described below.
Peter Totterdill, Director of Workplace Innovation Europe Limited and Clare Alexander, Head of Workplace Innovation at Scottish Enterprise,
talk about Workplace Innovation at the Workshop.
Clare Alexander (Scottish Enterprise) writes:
On 15th-16th June I had the pleasure of accepting an invitation from the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa and Sinnergiak Social Innovation (part of the University of the Basque Country) to speak at a dialogue workshop in Donostia-San Sebastian, and to meet policymakers, companies and other stakeholders. The workshop formed part of a wider workplace innovation programme, sponsored by the Department for Economic Promotion, Rural Development and Regional Balance.
Participants on the day included key policy-makers and invited representatives of development agencies, employer confederations, universities, the Chamber of Commerce, and enterprises. In total 50 people took part.
For my presentation, I was fortunate to share the platform with Peter Totterdill (a Director of Workplace Innovation Europe), and our slot focused on the role of workplace innovation in territorial development.
The Conference session was an excellent forum to explore and discuss our shared approaches to workplace participation and innovation.
Later in the visit we met representatives of ASLE (the Basque Association of Labour Organisations - see http://asle.es), who explained how workers facing redundancy could use their anticipated unemployment and social benefits to protect their jobs through investment in the company through a form of collective shareholding. This unique approach appears to work well and is heavily supported by the Government.
We also embarked on the first of three Company visits which allowed us to see policy in practice: Salto Systems, an innovative manufacturer of world-class access control systems (http://www.saltosystems.com/en-gb/); Ampo (www.ampo.com) including its ‘Creative House’ where all employees can take time out to develop innovative ideas and solutions (see http://ampo.com/news-media/photo-video-galleries/photo-gallery/); and the famous Mondragón Cooperative Corporation´s Headquarters where we were given a presentation of the cooperative movement in the Basque Country including a meeting with the Corporative Research Centre on Participation and Innovation (www.mondragon-corporation.com).
A key highlight of the visit was a meeting in the historic headquarters of the Government of Gizpuzkoa with the Deputy for Economic Promotion (Ms. Ainhoa Aizpuru) and the Director of Economic and Knowledge Promotion (Mr. Antton Tomasena). We were deeply impressed by the Government’s support for workplace innovation and its imaginative approach to unlocking the region’s economic, technological, human and cultural resources to build its territorially distinctive model of development and inclusion.
There was clear agreement from both sides on the potential benefits of collaboration between Gipuzkoa and Scotland, and we have agreed to host a reciprocal visit to Scotland in September 2017.
An exciting and worthwhile visit! A big thanks to Egoitz Pomares of Sinnergiak Social Innovation for hosting this event and for his wonderful hospitality.Back to Scotland Leads the Way