Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
Elgar original reference
Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch
Chapter 8: Social innovation research: a new stage in innovation analysis?
Social innovation is ‘à la mode’. It figures prominently around the world in diverse policy programmes, and is a strategic reference point for social movements and organizations that aim to fight poverty, overcome social exclusion, empower minorities, etc. It has a key role in the Millennium Agenda, in Barack Obama’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, in the EC’s Innovation Union Programme (BEPA 2010), in OECD policy advice on the role of social entrepreneurship in combating social exclusion and socioeconomic restructuring (Noya 2009; OECD 2010) and in the strategies of organizations and foundations such as Ashoka Innovators for the Public, the Skoll Foundation, and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship with a global outreach promoting market driven social innovation (Elkington and Hartigan 2008; Reich 2011). The significance that various mainstream strategy and policy documents accord to social innovation (hereafter SI) varies greatly. Nonetheless, one commonality stands out: they interpret it in economic, indeed often in narrowly market-economic, terms.
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