27 September 2017

Social innovation - concepts and international trends

Date: 27 September 2017
Time: 12.30 - 14.00 hrs
Venue: Ravelijn, RA 1315
Speakers: Prof.dr. Jürgen  Howaldt, University of Dortmund, Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund - howaldt@sfs-dortmund.de


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 challenges for a comprehensive innovation policy, which focuses on new participation structures, empowerment and human resources development as basic conditions for social innovation?

In light of increasing importance of social innovation the presentation looks at the theoretical concepts, areas of empirical research and observable trends in the field of social innovation on a global scale. On the basis of the results of the global research project SI-DRIVE it gives an overview of the current situation and the perspectives of social innovation research.

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).


Prof.dr. Jürgen Howaldt is director of Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund, TU Dortmund University and professor at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. He is an internationally renowned expert in the field of social innovation. He has consulted German as well as European policy-makers and has also presented his concept of social innovation in all parts of the world. In 2011 he was one of the organizers of the international conference “Challenge Social Innovation” in Vienna. Member of the Science Forum Ruhr; Affiliate of SIERC (Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Research Centre, Massey University, New Zealand); Co-founder of the European School of Social Innovation; Expert of the German Federal Chancellor’s Dialog for the Future; Scientific Coordinator of the global research project SI-DRIVE, funded within the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission.

Postal address: Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund, TU Dortmund University | Evinger Platz 17 | 44339 | Dortmund | Germany