The state of social innovation in Europe

Social innovation becomes part of innovation systems

Section: Management including Cross-Project Activities

European Social Innovation Week, 15-19 September, 2014, Tilburg/NL

Opening keynote, abstract:


The current state of social innovation in Europe

Josef Hochgerner, Centre for Social Innovation, Vienna

Whilst social innovation increasingly receives attention since a couple of years, such acknowledgement still is fragmented along several rupture lines: Advertency in fact continues confined to rather small segments of politics, business, science, public administration, media and broader public spheres. However, compared to the very low recognition of social innovation only about ten years ago, the rising interest in the topic appears extremely impressive without any doubt to all involved in social innovation development. For sure, social innovation these days has gained relevance in European research funding, promotion through competitions, awards and networks established through private or public support. Nevertheless social innovation still remains a poor relative compared to what exists in terms of infrastructure (Innovation Systems) for the advancement and financing of typical forms of business innovation, mainly based on novel features of technologies.

Moreover, the state of acceptance, promotion and of concepts of social innovation differs a lot between various regions and countries in Europe. Such differences should be seen and analysed on the one hand against the historic background of countries, mainly regarding their respective national traditions and functioning (or none) as a welfare state - as such one of the most relevant systemic social innovations of the 20th century. On the other hand the most pressing societal challenges (e.g., increasing poverty, economic crisis, climate change) are convincing arguments across Europe that social innovation must become as important – in all sectors of society – as the conventional innovation paradigm in the corporate sector.

The keynote therefore addressed issues of conceptual development, the scope and key areas of research and practical social innovation development by elaborating on a number of selected measures and successful innovative projects resolving societal challenges.

Authors: Hochgerner (external Senior Strategic Advisor), J.


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Tags: social innovation, sustainability

Category: Vorträge

Publication Date: 2014

Procurement: Online (download)