Umeå, Sweden September 16–17, 2019

Empower Europe

– European Social Progress Cities Summit

Download programmeDownload declaration

The battle for a fairer, healthier more equitable, socially progressive and balanced society that acknowledges its diversity will be won or lost in cities. Progressive, innovative cities look at themselves from within a 360º perspective. This lens helps seeing the needs and priorities of differing groups – the young, the old, women, men, differing ethnicities and origins, abilities and lifestyles. Only when these are aligned do cities work well. To be creative and innovative today means operating within planetary boundaries, being focused on peoples’ deeper needs and worries. It involves creating emotionally satisfying, well connected places that are also pioneering in fostering a circular economy. The transition towards this better city cannot be tackled piece by piece or in a business as usual approach. This requires courage and determination from public, private and civic forces. This is where the 1st Social Progress Cities Summit and the discussions we invite you to take part in, comes into their own deeper needs and worries.

Monday, September 16


Delegates arriving
All participants will stay at
Stora hotellet

6.30-8:00 PM

Welcome to the 1st European Social Progress Cities Summit!
REX (Rådhusets festsal, Town hall, Rådhustorget Main square)
Dress code: smart casual
Light food and drinks

"Measuring social progress", Michael Green, CEO, Social progress imperative “Localizing the Social progress index”, Pye Nyunt, Head of Insight & Innovation | Policy & Participation, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

Tuesday, September 17

8:30 AM

Registration opens at P5, Väven (entrance from Storgatan)

Welcome to Umeå and northern Sweden

  • Janet Ågren, Mayor, City of Umeå
  • Rickard Carstedt, Chairman of the Regional Development Board at Region Västerbotten
  • Swedish government representative (tbc)

A European Union perspective – European Social Progress Cities summit

  • Mr. Philippe Martin, DG Research and Innovation, European Commission

Summit, key-notes

  • “SPI in Europe”  Moray Gilland, Head of unit, and Paola Annoni, Principal Statistician, Economic Analysis Unit, DG Regio
  • “EU SPI Pilot project - Measuring what matters”, Susana Franco, Orkestra-Basque Institute of Technology
  • “The Human Centered City”, Charles Landry

The 1st European Social Progress Cities Summit, Moderator, Mr. Charles Landry

9:10-9:30 AM

9:30 AM

9:40 AM

10:40 AM

Interactive session and good practices

  • William Dufourcq, Directeur de Site: Les Grands Voisins et Les Cinq Toits, Paris
  • Fredrik Lindegren, Head of Culture, City of Umeå, Culture on the cutting edge, and how to use our collective imagination.

Coffee break

11:00 AM

12.00 PM

4:00 PM

3:45 PM

3:30 PM

3:00 PM

2:20 PM

12.50 PM

Declaration, Signature event with participating city representatives

  • Benefits of a network of progressive cities, experiences from the European Green Capital Network Matthew Bach, ICLEI
  • Signing of European Social Progress Cities Declaration

End of session

Press briefing and photographs

What’s next?

Cont. Social progress Mayors input

  • City of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • City of Mariehamn, Finland
  • City of Prague, Czech Republic
  • City of Umeå, Sweden

Lunch (P5)

Social progress Mayors inputs (moderated by Charles Landry)

  • City of Bilbao, Spain
  • City of Bratislava, Slovakia
  • City of Gdansk, Poland
  • City of Groningen, Netherlands
  • City of Leuven, Belgium

9:00 AM

Evening programme, Tuesday, September 17

7:00 PM

6:30 PM

Walk from hotel/P5 to Sävargården (15-20 minutes, weather permitting)

Summit Dinner – Evening entertainment

Location: Sävargården, Gammlia
Dress code: smart casual

Post events Wednesday, September 18 (P5 venue)

9:30 AM–16:00 PM

EU-SPI Peer Learning Event back to back with the 1st Social Progress Cities Summit Umeå, Sweden

The focus of the event will be on Multi-level governance: Sharing good practices of cooperation and challenges to improve social progress between national and regional and local levels (cities-regions, NUTS2-NUTS3, etc.).

The objective is to discuss the issues of policy making and data collection on different levels and the challenges that occur when the spatial frameworks are not matching – how to address a result from an indicator (the EU-SPI) that needs to be addressed on different levels of policy making. The event also aims to inspire the participants to share good practices in city-region coordination to support (any specific field of) social progress. We aim to discuss on which levels the EU-SPI, an indicator that is measured on NUTS-2 level, is relevant for policy making.

You may register here!


Moray Gilland has worked for the European Commission since 1996

He has over 20 years of experience in regional policy matters, including a decade spent travelling to all corners of Europe in the name of Interreg.  He is currently Head of Policy Development and Economic Analysis in DG Regional and Urban Policy and has led the preparation of the new cohesion policy proposals over the last three years.

Michael Green is Chief Executive Officer of the Social Progress Imperative

An economist by training, he is co-author (with Matthew Bishop) of Philanthrocapitalism: How Giving Can Save the World and The Road from Ruin: A New Capitalism for a Big Society. Previously Michael served as a senior official in the U.K. Government’s Department for International Development, where he managed British aid programs to Russia and Ukraine and headed the communications department. He taught Economics at Warsaw University in Poland in the early 1990s. His TED Talks have been viewed more than four million times, and his 2014 Talk was chosen by the TED organization as one of the ‘most powerful ideas’ of 2014 and by The Telegraph as one of the 10 best ever. Michael is @shepleygreen on Twitter.

Pye Nyunt is the Head of Insight & Innovation at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham.

A local government serving a population of 211,000 residents in the east-end of London. He and his team are responsible for pioneering the ward-level application of the Social Progress Index and updating the index annually; now covering the three years from 2016 to 2018. Since its launch, the index has contributed to developing a local not-for-profit energy company to tackle fuel poverty, a focus on regenerating old council housing stock (reducing the non-decent proportion of housing from 55% to less than 10% across the borough), and the launch of a Community Food Club that has, to date, prevented over 50 homelessness applications – an idea based on the European social supermarkets model. Pye actively works across multiple local public services and is increasingly bringing more health, policing and fire data into the Index, which has been transformative for local policy making, service design and importantly inclusive growth; providing an evidence base to ensure the borough fulfils its mantra of “leaving no-one behind”.

Rickard Carstedt is Regional Councillor (Social Democratic Party).

And Chairman of the Regional Development Board at Region Västerbotten in Northern Sweden. Mr. Carstedt previously served as Chairman of the Public Transportation Committee and as Ombudsman at the Swedish Trade Union Confederation.

Philippe Martin works for the Clean Planet Directorate, Ecological & social transition Unit at the European Commission, Research & Innovation Directorate General

Philippe Martin puts his creativity at the service of society and the environment. Phil currently leads the Social Innovation Matrix Team at the Research and Innovation Directorate General of the European Commission. His achievements span finance, technical, non-technical, and social innovation, the risk assessment of emerging technologies, and climate science. In particular, he created new financial instruments for research and innovation, for ecoinnovation and for social innovation. He co-authored the EU Action Plan on nanotechnologies. He facilitated the identification of EU GHG emission reductions for the Kyoto negotiations, explained fast climate/vegetation feedbacks, predicted changes in malaria receptivity with climate change, co-authored the first report on climate change and US water resources, and contributed to the IPCC from its creation. He supported the drafting of the Lisbon Declaration on Social Innovation. Phil earned an MBA from ESSEC in Paris in Decision and Negotiation Analysis, a DEA in Energy Economics and Geopolitics from the University of Paris and the French Nuclear Commission and, as a Fulbright Scholar, an MS and a PhD in Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley. He wrote his PhD thesis in environmental physics and climatology on vegetation/atmosphere interactions at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO, USA.

Paola Annoni is Principal statistician at the European Commission

Paola has extensive experience working in the private and public sectors, particularly in the area of measurement in the economic and social sciences, especially in the fields of composite index construction and survey data assessment. She is responsible for the European Regional Competitiveness Index (RCI), The European regional Social Progress Index (EU-SPI) and the European Quality of Government Index. In the Unit of Policy Development and Economic Analysis, where she has worked since 2014, she is also responsible for econometric modelling for regional growth estimation, monitoring of different thematic aspects of cohesion policy and providing analytical input to the European Semester process. Before joining the European Commission as economic analysist she worked as researcher in statistics at the University of Milan and, prior to that, as researcher in environmental physics in CESI Ricerca (Milan).

Charles Landry is an international authority on the use of imagination and creativity in urban change

He is currently a fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin. He invented the concept of the Creative City in the late 1980’s. Its focus is how cities can create the enabling conditions for people and organizations to think, plan and act with imagination to solve problems and develop opportunities. The notion has become a global movement and changed the way cities thought about their capabilities and resources. Charles helps cities identify and make the most of their potential by triggering their inventiveness and thinking and by opening up new conversations about their future. His aim is to help cities become more resilient, self-sustaining and to punch above their weight. Acting as a critical friend he works closely with
decision makers and local leaders in the short and longer term. He stimulates, facilitates and inspires so cities can transform for the better. He helps find apt and original solutions to seemingly intractable dilemmas, such as marrying, social creativity, innovation and tradition, or balancing wealth creation and social cohesiveness, or local distinctiveness and a global orientation.

Susana Franco is a researcher at Orkestra-Basque Institute of Competitiveness

She holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Nottingham and joined Orkestra in 2010. Her area of expertise is territorial competitiveness and regional development, with a particular interest on issues related to employment and wellbeing. She has previously worked as a researcher and lecturer at various British and Latin American universities and as a consultant for several United Nations agencies. She also acquired experience in matters of development through work carried out at an NGO.

William Dufourq

Since 2014, William and his teams are in charge of running Emergency Housing Centers in Paris open to the public with different type of social, cultural and programmation activities. The 2 main centers are les Grands Voisins and les Cinq Toits and are managed by the French Charity Aurore which is specialised in emergency housing and social work targetting homeless, vulnerable population as well as refugees and asylium seekers. Lawyer specialised in European Law, William started in 2002 as a lobbyist in Brussels during 2 years before turning to the Emergency Humanitarian sector. From 2004 to 2009, he was Country Director in Palestine, Haiti, Chad with Doctors of the World (MDM-France) before taking the position of Emergency Director from 2009 to 2013 with Action Against Hunger (ACF France).