Social innovation futures: beyond policy panacea and conceptual ambiguity

E. Amanatidou, P. Benneworth, M. Edwards Schachter, M. Gulbrandsen

Research output: Working paper


Social innovation is once more an increasingly popular notion circulating as an apparent means tosolve the Grand Challenges of the 21st Century. But this common-sense idea of social innovationis based on a quasi-concept, where processes of innovation are absent. To restore someacademic rigour to this important concept, we argue more attention need be paid to theseinnovation processes in social innovation, and that there is value in using innovation conceptsdrawn from other areas of innovation studies (disruptive innovation, innovation systems,institutional innovation and socio-technical transitions) in highlighting how small-scale socialexperiments can ultimately lead to the solution of pressing societal problems. Through a subtlecritique of the current policy conception of social innovation, it is possible for the field of InnovationStudies in general to help provide better insights into social innovation processes and ultimately tolead to better support frameworks and interventions for promoting solutions to these GrandChallenges
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOslo
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameTIK Working Paper on Innovation Studies
PublisherSenter for teknologi, innovasjon og kultur Universitetet i Oslo


  • social innovation,
  • grand societal challenges,
  • disruptive innovation,
  • innovation systems,
  • institutional innovation,
  • socio-technical transition


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