what makes innovation social


While business innovations are (primarily) profit-driven, social innovations are (primarily) aimed to creating positive social and societal impact and better meeting old and new needs, especially those otherwise unmet


Social innovation process crosses traditional roles and boundaries, between citizens, civil society, the state and the private sector. It creates new relationships and builds capacity to do things differently


Any subject who can act as initiator and implementer of social innovation, whose activity is intentionally and primarily oriented towards meeting social needs, and whose action model is able to involve a plurality of stakeholders

a team game

Social innovation initiatives are carried out by a variety of actors, including social economy organisations (third sector entities, NGOs, social enterprises…), public sector entities, private companies, intermediaries, universities and citizens. Each actor may have more than one role, contributing to building a broad ecosystem governed by different dynamics and functions, modes of interaction, interests and decision-making processes. Cross-sector collaborations and the multilevel dimension are a specific value of social innovation initiatives that, by exploiting their respective complementarities and synergies, allow to address complex and wide-ranging social problems.