Social Innovation

Social innovations are novel or more effective practices that prove capable to tackle societal issues and are adopted and successfully utilised by individuals, groups and organisations concerned.

In the same way that new products and processes become innovations only with success in markets, social innovations must generate lasting value for target groups. As part of social change, social innovations include services, rules, procedures, and social practices more effective than comparable concepts. Turning an idea to become a social innovation, it needs to meet social demand, providing capability to resolve an issue, and receive acceptance by those concerned. Beyond resolution of particular needs, social innovations provide influence pertaining to adaptation and development of various modes of governance.
Increasing importance of social innovations is generated by globalisation – with high impact on large parts of the world society. Creation, implementation, and research regarding social innovation attain significance not only in the domains of NGO’s and civil society, yet also in public administration, policy making, business enterprises, and social partner’s institutions. Individual behaviour may be subject to social innovation as well as corporate development, education systems, teaching methods and learning, or rules of societal constitution (e.g. social security, pension and tax systems, health provision, measures concerning environment …).

ZSI has worked on the definition and measurement of social innovations for many years before this term became a buzz-word in international cooperation. We are happy to share our knowledge and experience with you.

For more information please go to: Scientific comprehension and definition of social innovation

Ansprechperson: Univ. Prof. Dr. Josef Hochgerner


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