New ZSI-Discussion paper on defining social innovation

21. May. 2015

Social innovation is a term used globally. While everyone likes to use the term, what it refers to is not always clear.

This ZSI Discussion paper explores different definitional approaches or intentions –legitimating, theoretical, action-reflection, broad and distinctive– and considers why a definition of social innovation is important and what the crucial ingredients, informed more by practice than theory, might be. Following lessons learnt from postmodernity and critical theory, social marketing, democracy, governance and social entrepreneurship, we arrive at a definition that is value-laden, distinctive and focused -from inception to impact -on equality, justice and empowerment.

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Tags: social innovation, theory