Table of Contents

The International Handbook on Social Innovation

The International Handbook on Social Innovation

Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research

Elgar original reference

Edited by Frank Moulaert, Diana MacCallum, Abid Mehmood and Abdelillah Hamdouch

The contributors provide an overview of theoretical perspectives, methodologies and instructive experiences from all continents, as well as implications for collective action and policy. They argue strongly for social innovation as a key to human development. The Handbook defines social innovation as innovation in social relations within both micro and macro spheres, with the purpose of satisfying unmet or new human needs across different layers of society. It connects social innovation to empowerment dynamics, thus giving a political character to social movements and bottom-up governance initiatives. Together these should lay the foundations for a fairer, more democratic society for all.

Chapter 14: From ‘book container’ to community centre

John Andersen, Kristian Delica and Martin Severin Frandsen

Subjects: business and management, social entrepreneurship, development studies, development studies, geography, human geography, innovation and technology, innovation policy, politics and public policy, public policy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, sociology and sociological theory, urban and regional studies, regional studies, urban studies


The case study discussed in this chapter concerns the design and development of a community centre in the disadvantaged neighbourhood of Gellerup located in the city of Aarhus in Denmark. The case illustrates that it is possible for formal public institutions to be creatively and socially innovative and bridge the gap between bureaucratic modes of organization and the human needs and social relations of marginalized people. It is an example of a creative institutional set-up that supports citizen empowerment and advocacy for the neighbourhood and represents an alternative to mainstream new public management modes of organizing public sector institutions. Community Center Gellerup (CCG) was initiated by a local public library branch, community workers and local civil society organizations (CSOs) with the objective of developing a multifunctional community centre uniting library services, health promotion and a counselling service for ethnic minorities, the latter being the majority among the local residents.

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