Work and Equal Opportunities


Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change

SI-DRIVE extended knowledge about social innovation (SI) in three major directions:

  • Integrating theories and research methodologies to advance an understanding of SI, leading to a comprehensive new paradigm of innovation.
  • Undertaking European and global mapping of SI, thereby addressing different social, economic, cultural, historical and religious contexts in eight major world regions.
  • Ensuring relevance for policy makers and practitioners through in-depth analyses and case studies in seven policy fields, with cross European and world region comparisons, foresight and policy round tables.

SI-DRIVE involved 15 partners from 12 EU Member States and 10 from other parts of the world. The approach, that was adopted carefully, interlinked the research process to both the complexity of the topic and the project workflow. First, cyclical iteration between theory development, methodological improvements, and policy recommendations. Second, two mapping exercises at European and global level. Initial mapping captured basic information of about 1000+ actual social innovations from a wide variety of sources worldwide, leading to a typology of SI (testing the SI perspectives proposed by the BEPA report) and using this to examine the global SI distribution. Subsequent mapping used the typology to focus on well documented SI, leading to the selection of 10 cases each for indepth analysis in the seven SI-DRIVE Policy Fields. Third, these case studies were further analysed, used in stakeholder dialogues in 7 policy field platforms and in analysis of cross-cutting dimensions (e.g. gender, diversity, ICT), carefully taking into account cross-sector relevance (private, public, civil sectors), and future impact.

The outcomes of SI-DRIVE covered a broad range of research dimensions, impacting particularly in terms of changing society and empowerment, and contributing to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.


Section: Work and Equal Opportunities


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Tags: diversity, education, employment, foresight, gender, ICT, internationalisation, mapping, poverty, social innovation, theory

Type: Research

Program: FP7, SSH (Social Sciences and Humanities); large scale Integrated Project

Submission Date: 01/2012

Project Status: Finished

Start/End: 01/2014 - 12/2017

Project Duration: 48 months