A conference entitled „ZöldIT” Digital and Green Innovations in Hungarian Local Communities was held on 23 March 2023 in Kaposvár, where Mr. Zoltán Kivés, Deputy State Secretary for Local Government at the Ministry of the Interior, was also invited to present the running municipal development projects. The professional event is held every year, and this year’s conference focused on the green and digital transition of municipalities, which can be connected to LIFE LOGOS 4 WATERS project.
Nowadays, there are numerous social innovations implemented in Hungary, but seems like there are no focused framework, legal and financing background for the development and systemic management of the social innovation environment, and for supplementing the economic and technological innovation processes with social issues. Recognising this, the National Laboratory for Social Innovation (TINLAB) was established supported by National Office for Research, Development and Innovation (NKFIH), and in cooperation with three universities (Eötvös Loránd University, University of Miskolc, University of Pannonia) as well as non-governmental research and knowledge transfer organization, the Harp Foundation. The URBAN21 conference series has a number of successful events, and became an important networking place for representatives of the profession, where they can discuss the current issues and challenges and good practices yearly.
The 2023 URBAN21 conference’s main goal was to promote the sustainable urban development in the country, with a special focus on domestic settlements already developing Sustainable Urban Development Strategies, also to provide practical help in planning the green transition and digital transformation, and in launching the necessary improvements.
The conference was opened by Károly Szita, Mayor of Kaposvár Municipality, followed by a presentation by Mr. Zoltán Kivés, Deputy State Secretary for Local Government. In his presentation, he presented the innovative local projects coordinated by the Ministry of Interior, and he explained why municipalities can and will be key players in local adaptation, and gave an overview of the results of the LIFE-MICACC project and the objectives of the LIFE LOGOS 4 WATERS project. After this was followed by a number of other interesting presentations, as well as two exciting panel discussions were organized with on Carbon Neutral Urban Programmes and Smart City-examples and good practices titles.
Both on-site and online participants were able to learn about social innovations and good practices from national and international level, which could provide inspiration for sustainable ideas. The event also highlighted the importance of networking and cooperation in social innovation activities.