Consorzio Social Lab is a CONSORTIUM OF SOCIAL COOPERATIVES (Ngos active in social, educational and health services) established in 2013 in Bitonto, Italy.

     It includes 8 Members, 3 social cooperatives Type A : they manage services for inclusive education and training (Sinergia, OPS, Ulixes), 5 social cooperatives Type B: they manage services for job integration of vulnerable target groups (Tasha, Oltre il muro, Polimnia, La rosa blu, Luxes) and 2 NGO’s (Associazione Sinergia, Banco delle Opere della Carità): their mission is to promote social and cultural activities the first, and food waste prevention and recycle the second.

The mission of our organization is to promote social inclusion, social innovation, employability’s opportunities and local development, with a specific focus on the involvement of vulnerable people or persons at social risk.

The strategy that we apply to reach these goals is based on 2 main activities: the production, processing and selling of local products, food etc.; the implementation of cultural and educational services.

The first operative step was the promotion of a project of social entrepreneurship, “Borgobontà”, in the city of Bitonto, to create employability opportunities in the food sector (social restaurant and pizzeria) connected to educational activities (recreative space for children) and social inclusion.

Starting from this initiative we implemented in the local area several entrepreneurship activities aimed at promoting employability of vulnerable beneficiaries, through public-private partnerships: “Chiostro San Domenico”, in a re-built construction in the historical center in which are organized cultural events, activities for children (Museum of Toys), food selling (through the empowerment of women of the historical centre, some of them  belong to families with social and cultural problems); “Rigenera 167” is an  initiative of urban regeneration in the suburbs area through the implementation of cultural activities in different sites such as the Music house, the Children city, the Football field, and other public sites that need to be re-valorised.

Bitonto  is considered in the metropolitan area of Bari as one of the cities with high social disadvantage, because of high unemployment rate, drugs’ traffic, high rate of crimes (actually the city is considered the centre of the illicit traffic of drugs managed by the criminal families of the province of Bari).

Social Lab was established with the aim to give a new opportunity to the city to emerge, through the valorization of the traditional and cultural activities that make this territory important (Bitonto was in the final list of possible Italian Culture Capital for 2020).

For this reason we are involved in several initiatives that promote active inclusion target groups at vulnerable condition, specifically: long terms unemployed persons, disabled people, refugees, youth at risk of deviance, women with personal/social/economical/cultural difficulties.

Despite of its young history, Social Lab has many experiences and several activities implemented on educational and inclusive field, this because each organisation member of the Consortium has many years of experience in the topics of education and social inclusion, that they carry out daily in the territory of Bitonto.

We started also to focus on transnational cooperation experiences, aimed at developing innovative solutions for the local development, and sharing of good practices with European partners.

We are coordinator of 2 strategic partnership funded by Erasmus+ program in the field of adult education, and we are partner of other 3 projects in the same field.

From 2016 Social Lab signed a partnership with R.O.A.D., the local network of organizations active in the field of educationa and training, employability and social inclusion of people at risk of exclusion.

The board of Consorzio Social Lab has 7 members (representative of the organizazion members), and 1 CEO.

The key staff of Consorzio Social Lab is a group of experts of the organisation’s members, who lead the different working areas:

– 1 projects coordinator, with +10 years of experience in adult education, in the last years has high experiences and training skills  on non-formal education methods.

– 1 financial manager , with +10 years of experience in the management of public funded projects

– 1 training developer, with specific experience in design and implementation of training courses

– 1 canteen services coordinator, responsible for the food chain projects

– 1 educational services expert, responsible for the implementation of educational activities with vulnerable target groups.

All the activities are promoted through the website and Facebook Page “Consorzio Social Lab”.