Recently social innovation has become important and influential in policy and academic circles. Through cooperatives, micro-financing or citizen owned energy systems social innovation starts and ends in the social – it always builds new relationships and new values through new forms of interactions. Promoting the idea of empowerment of those involved social innovation as an experimental laboratory has the potential to reshape society, and through citizen engagement and empowerment it facilitates transformative social change. Political leadership incorporated social innovation to solve societal challenges and already acknowledged social innovation through various institutional frameworks, such as the Office for Social Innovation in the US, the UK Government Advisor to the Prime Minister on Social Innovation.
The EU structural funds and Cohesion policy provides support for initiatives in social inclusion, migration, urban regeneration, the social economy, microfinance, health and ageing, incubation, workplace innovation and regional strategies. The main idea behind the European Commission’s investment in social innovation is to upscale social innovation into public policies and offer a space for social policy experimentation.
SciCafe 2.0 could offer a platform, Citizens’ Say, to help this upscaling and provide a tool to explore the links between social innovation and Society’s’ capacity to address pressing societal challenges.
The Open Book of Social Innovation, http://youngfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Open-Book-of-Social-Innovationg.pdf
European Commission Guide to Social Innovation,
Moulaert,F., MacCallum, D., Mehmood ,A., Hamdouch A (eds.) The International Handbook On Social Innovation: Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research. 2013 page 528.
Bekkers, V.J.J.M., Tummers, L.G., Voorberg, W.H. (2013). From public innovation to social innovation in the public sector: A literature review of relevant drivers and barriers. Rotterdam: Erasmus University Rotterdam. Paper to be presented at EGPA 2013 Conference, Edinburgh, 11-13 September 2013.