Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change
SI-DRIVE extends knowledge about social innovation (SI) in three major directions:
• Integrating theories and research methodologies to advance understanding of SI leading to a comprehensive new paradigm of innovation.
• Undertaking European and global mapping of SI, thereby addressing different social, economic, cultural, historical and religious contexts in eight major world regions.
• Ensuring relevance for policy makers and practitioners through in-depth analyses and case studies in seven policy fields, with cross European and world region comparisons, foresight and policy round tables.
SI-DRIVE involves 15 partners from 12 EU Member States and 10 from other parts of the world. The approach adopted carefully interlinks the research process to both the complexity of the topic and the project workflow. First, cyclical iteration between theory development, methodological improvements, and policy recommendations. Second, two mapping exercises at European and global level. Initial mapping will capture basic information about 1000+ actual social innovations from a wide variety of sources worldwide, leading to a typology of Social Innovation (testing the Social Innovation perspectives proposed by the BEPA report) and using this to examine the global Social Innovation distribution. Subsequent mapping will use the typology to focus on well documented Social Innovation, leading to the selection of 10 cases each for in-depth analysis in the seven SI-DRIVE Policy Fields. Third, these case studies will be further analysed, used in stakeholder dialogues in 7 policy field platforms and in analysis of cross-cutting dimensions (e.g. gender, diversity, ICT), carefully taking into account cross-sector relevance (private, public, civil sectors), and future impact.
The outcomes of SI-DRIVE will cover a broad range of research dimensions, impacting particularly in terms of changing society and empowerment, and contributing to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
Photo credit: Free Grunge Textures via Flickr – available here.