The Covid-19 pandemic affects all countries in the world without distinction, its economic and social consequences depend very largely on income, pre-existing levels of vulnerability and individual criteria such as gender or age. Like the climate crisis, it accentuates social inequalities. In order to face these two global challenges, it is today essential to work together to find solutions that are commensurate with the needs and threats facing future generations.

When employed at the service of people, innovation has the power to effectively and sustainably meet the social needs of today and tomorrow. By imagining new socio-economic models, using technology differently and transforming the way we act, innovation enables us to adapt and move towards a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient society.

On the frontline of crisis response and close to emerging social vulnerabilities, associations and the wider voluntary sector have always been at the forefront of social innovation. Innovation is at the very origin of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement: the creation of National Relief Societies, the neutral role of health care workers in conflict zones, the development of international humanitarian law and a myriad of innovative solutions aiming to support  the most vulnerable in society. Since then, the Movement has not stopped exploring new ways and means of achieving its mission and today it represents the largest network of social innovation worldwide. 

RED Social Innovation

Initiated by the French Red Cross and the Spanish Red Cross, RED Social Innovation is supported by the Solferino Academy, the think tank of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It also counts on the partnership of the international network of social entrepreneurs Ashoka and the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). RED Social Innovation is an international social innovation network that promotes social innovations designed and developed within and beyond the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in order to foster the exchange of good practice between different countries and National Societies. 

Launched in March 2021, this digital platform is available in three languages: English, French and Spanish. The platform gives insights into innovations such as 21, the Social Innovation Accelerator launched by the French Red Cross, which supports volunteers and employees in the development of projects with a positive social impact. You can equally find out about EntamAR, a solution from the Spanish Red Cross that uses augmented reality to improve the daily life of children hospitalised for long periods of time. You will discover the intrapreneurship methodologies developed by the volunteer network of the Ecuadorian Red Cross, the creation of Lamu fablab in Kenya that reinvents local craftsmanship through the use of 3D printing, the development of automation and artificial intelligence at the British Red Cross, the digital solutions implemented in Denmark to facilitate language learning for migrants, the creation of a chatbot named Clara by the American Red Cross which advises people who wish to donate blood, or RedCloud, the network and intrapreneurship incubator in Italy.

All over the world, social innovation provides effective solutions to complex issues that public administrations and private organisations cannot tackle alone. RED Social Innovation aims to bring together all stakeholders: public, private and voluntary sector actors committed to responding to the biggest challenges of the day and thus build a more resilient society.

We invite you to explore, share and contribute to RED Social Innovation so that we can ensure the benefits of innovations are felt by all volunteers and employees, and to build, together, a more equitable and inclusive society.

Jean-Christophe Combe,
Chief Executive Officer of the French Red Cross

Toni Bruel,
General Director of the Spanish Red Cross