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Legal basis: non-profit limited liability company

The Centre for Social Innovation (ZSI) is a scientific institute, founded as a not for profit association under Austrian law in 1988 and duly operationalised since 1990. On 1st of July 2014 the Centre for Social Innovation changed its legal basis to a not for profit ZSI GmbH (Limited Liability Company, LLC).The ZSI Association is retained and acts as the sole owner of the ZSI LLC since 1st of July 2014.
The Executive Board (EB) of the ZSI LLC is elected by the General Assembly of the ZSI Association for a three years term. ZSI follows the model of a self-governing institution.
Diversification of services and a broad spectrum of expertise guarantee the independence of the institute, its level of employment and the achievement of its purpose.
Since many years ZSI works in many projects commissioned or supported by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy.

Structure of ZSI

ZSI is organised along three departments

The executive board consists of:

Mission statement: "All Innovations are socially relevant"

ZSI conducts research on the social embedding and impact of all types of innovations, and contributes to the design and diffusion of socially accepted and sustainable innovations to meet social challenges.
By deployment of innovative research, education, advisory services and co-ordination of networks, we create new knowledge, reflect and configure existing knowledge, evaluate measures, develop concepts and forward their implementation.
As independent and globally acting scientific institution, we are engaged in the development of theories, methodologies, instruments and measures as well as in the dissemination of a systemically conceptualised broad innovation approach.

Definition of social innovation by ZSI

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. - For more information cf. 'Scientific comprehension and definition of social innovation'

Strategic principles

ZSI works in science and praxis, linking research systematically with application. Many ZSI-projects transcend scientific domains, and thus are interdisciplinary. Some also include collaboration with professionals and laymen from non-scientific realms. With this nexus between scientific and practical knowledge the criterion of trans-disciplinarity is fulfilled.

Ethical code

ZSI considers the European Charta for Researchers and the Code of Ethics of the International Sociological Association (ISA), as well as the RESPECT Code of Practice for Socio-Economic Research.

Facts at a glance (Update May 2015)

70 projects / 56 team members (34 female) / up to 7000 unique visitors per month on our website (awstats) / more than 1200 subscribers of ZSI eJournal / more than 1700 subscriptions on ZSI Facebook / arround 30 social media canals by current projects / additionally 1000s of visitors at our project related websites and more than several 10.000 subscribers of our project related eNewsletters
Please also visit the Press & ZSI Media area or check our ZSI News!