Centers Of Social Innovation /







Websites, books and Articles discussing Social Innovation

THE SOCIAL INNOVATOR, a joint project between NESTA and Young Foundation "to bring together the people, experience and issues involved in designing, developing and growing new ideas that meet pressing unmet needs." Social Innovator is now being hosted by the Social Innovation eXchange or SIX - a global community of over 700 individuals and organisations committed to promoting social innovation and growing the capacity of the field.

the Global Ideas Bank[[1] formed in 1995 and meerged with the Institute of Social Inventions

a thought provocation:

Social Innovation Won't Save the World by John Converse Townsend on the German Ashoka Website. He thinks social innovation "is merely a tool. ... its impact is determined by the vision of those who use it. Great architecture isn’t created by hammers. It’s created by architects and carpenters with highly developed vision."

Social Innovation Centres

A very contested term, as we saw already:

Positioning of a Social Invention Centre: "Government departments representing health, agriculture, mining, and fisheries typically have extensive laboratories because they know that research is clearly important to furthering their policies, programs and services. The social departments, on the other hand, have generally not recognized the need to invent new methods of addressing the needs and problems of their clients. To a large extent they believe that adjusting policies and renaming programs will serve them adequately."
"The purpose of a social invention centre is to create solutions to the social needs or problems of a large organization such as a company or government department."
"Social invention centres reporting directly to senior management stand in sharp contrast to small local experimental projects that may take place in conjunction with one or two local offices. These projects may be funded in part by the department or, perhaps more frequently, by foundations and other well-wishers. Because they are so small and isolated from senior management their inventions seldom gain the attention of the policy-makers and therefore, regardless how stellar their results there is very little likelihood that any will be adopted by the department. This is a pity because there are many idealistic social innovators working in hand-to-mouth agencies hoping that their projects will be recognized and scaled up in the organization."

Social Innovations in Rural Areas





Social Innovation Awards


For the tenth time already in 2014, the SozialMarie awards put social innovation before a broad public. About 2000 projects have been submitted since the first SozialMarie edition in 2005 and 135 of these have won awards. Every year, outstanding socially innovative projects that strike by their innovative force and creativity compete for the prizes endowed with 42,000 Euro. Eligible for submission are projects from anywhere in Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic. In Slovakia, Poland, Croatia, Slovenia and Germany for practical reasons projects must not be more than 300km (as the crow flies) away from Vienna.

"Social innovation drafts solutions to pressing social challenges. It provides room for new approaches, gives innovative answers and lays news paths. Social innovation either reacts to a new social question or it solves a known problem by a new practice. Action can be taken by the affected social group itself, it must in any case be appropriated and co-implemented by those concerned. In this manner, social innovation creates sustainable, exemplary solutions that inspire others." (Unruhe Private Foundation, 2013)

Some Winners:

Other projects on European scale we are in touch with

TRANSIT (TRANsformative Social Innovation Theory) is an ambitious research project that will develop a theory of transformative social innovation which is about empowerment and change in society. It is co-funded by the European Commission and runs for four years, from January 2014 until December 2017. TRANSIT will utilize a research method which encourages feedback from social entrepreneurs and innovators, policy makers and academics to develop a theory with practical relevance. The theory will be based on insights from other theories e.g. transition theory, social movement theory and institutional theory. (Contact Iris Kunze)