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Social Innovation

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Effie Amanatidou

on 20 January 2014

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Transcript of Social Innovation

society in the driving seat
enhance individuals’ capacity to act (empowerment)
participation for all (equity, social cohesion)
new forms of participation

develop capacities
Values (democracy, empowerment, participation, equality, equity, solidarity, social cohesion, openness, social responsibility, re-distribution principle)
solutions alternative to the mainstream

Social Innovation
An uncharted, or maybe mischarted, territory?
Social vs. technological innovations
Social innovations
new ideas
social needs
social relationships
social practices
social interactions
social vs. technological innovations
The empowerment dimension
Beyond co-creation;
Society in the driving seat from the start
& throughout the whole innovation cycle
Social values
A major driving force of social innovation
Scales of 'sociality' in social innovations
From social innovation to social economy
Social (& Solidarity) Economy
Social economy:
placing service to the community ahead of profit;
autonomous management but open and participatory;
democratic decision-making process;
the primacy of people and work over capital in revenue distribution;
blurred boundaries between production and consumption;
importance of values and social missions.
David Harvey's Crises of Capitalism
Social (& Solidarity) Economy
Social innovations
social in its ends & means
better solutions than existing alternatives
Misleading &
4th order of sociality
3rd order of sociality
A non-profit organisation, set up in 1997 in France, providing gymnastics for the elderly that's been replicated in several countries
The Hiriko project, a new concept of urban mobility also promoting social inclusion
A private company developing the Ofbug protein using insects which allows raising soy-free, natural-fed, pastured poultry.
The Internet
The steam engine
The mobile phone
2006 Peace Nobel Prize winner Grameen Bank owned by 8.3 million poor, rural women in Bangladesh.
The Barefoot college, started by a very small group of determined educated youth looking for alternative ways of addressing poverty in rural India by “grafting formal urban knowledge on rural wisdom”
A cooperative of 270 workers, of which 150 suffer some form of mental illness or handicap, offering high-quality dairy products whilst ensuring the social integration and labour market participation of its members.
A Koi.SPE (social cooperative) in the Greek island of Leros providing jobs and enabling social integration to mental patients.
A group of runners that combine regular exercise with helping their communities.
A self-managed neighbourhood composting network
A community-driven waste management project.
A community-driven bank serving favelas in Brazil and issuing the local currency of Palmas
A community-based self-help training programme for disadvantaged parents
Grassroots innovations:
empowerment, deprived groups, develop capacities, bottom-up solutions,
alternatives to mainstream (the new type?)
Values underlying the cooperative movement & non-profit sector
SI seen to meet needs neglected or poorly served by market & state
Social Economy
Manuel Castells on Alternative Economic Cultures
Voices for Social and Solidarity Economy: Towards an Alternative? UNRISD Conference in Geneva last May
Social economy enterprises:
2 mil. (10% of EU total)
11 mil. employees (6% of EU working population)
70% in non-profits, 26% in coops, 3% in mutuals
160 mil. members
Present in every sector of the economy
But what do people say?
Gibson-Graham's Diverse Economies:
Capitalist, Alternative Capitalist, Non-capitalist
2nd order of sociality
1st order of sociality
social in both ends and means
solution more effective, efficient, sustainable than existing alternatives

Not profoundly different from other types of innovation
new ideas (products, services and models)
meet social needs
create new social relationships collaborations
affect the process of social interactions
It is the values that make the difference. The same that underlie the cooperative movement & non-profit sector
The Market
The State
The Household
The Social Economy
The Grant economy
How much do we know? How much should we know before designing policies supporting social innovation?
Thank you!

Not just about social innovation, it's about how we understand the world we create makes our lives better... but what if we get it wrong?
Full transcript