Towards a New Innovation Paradigm – Mapping the World of Social Innovation

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Jürgen HOWALDT, TU Dortmund, Germany
The importance of social innovation in successfully addressing social, economic, political and environmental challenges of the 21st century is recognised not only within the Europe 2020 strategy but also on a global scale. However, despite this growing awareness of the significance of social innovation, there is still no sustained and systematic analysis of social innovation, its theories, characteristics and impacts. As a novel approach to address complex problems in global health, social care, education, energy, and environmental policies, social innovation has been embraced by stakeholders and communities on the local, regional and even national level.

But what are the conditions under which social innovations flourish? Who are the stakeholders and in what capacity do they understand and develop social innovation? How do social innovations diffuse and lead to social change? What are the success factors for assessing social innovations in communities, cities, regions, and states?

In light of the increasing importance of social innovation the paper presents the results of the global mapping of the research project SI-DRIVE and gives an overview of the current situation and observable trends in the field of social innovation. The mapping gives insights into the highly diverse world of social innovation, the variety of actors and their interaction, and the systemic character of the concept. It includes social innovations in education and lifelong learning, employment, environment and climate change, energy supply, transport and mobility, health and social care, and poverty reduction and sustainable development.


Howaldt, J.; Schröder, A.; Kaletka, C.; Rehfeld, D.; Terstriep, J. (2016). Mapping the World of Social Innovation: A Global Comparative Analysis across Sectors and World Regions. A deliverable of the project: “Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change” (SI-DRIVE).