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Social Innovation by Mind Map: Social Innovation
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Social Innovation

Social Innovation, a sub-map related to the Innovation_Study, see:

alternative pathways in science and industry

Alternative Pathways in Science and Industry/ Activism, Innovation, and the Envrionment in an Era of Globalization by David J. Hess / Related to research inside science and industry the author refers to an "epistemic modernization"  this one "feres to the process by which the agendas, concepts, and methods  of scientific research are opened up to the scrutiny, influence and participation of users, patients, non-governemental organizations, social movements, ehinc minroity groups, women and other social groups that represent perspectives on knowledge that may be different from those on eocnomic and political elites and those of mainstream scientists" p°47

epistemic modernization

diversification of social composition

community-oriented research, in 70s developement in europe of #science shops#, community based participatory research and environemental justice, Paulo Freire "methodology of the oppressed"

activist reserach, action research, participative research, con-ricerca

through opposition/ non-dominant research fields /

Social innovation growth

pull factors "effective demand"

innovators as campaigners


identification of direct and indirect consumers appropriate

money availability

structures of power

push factors "effective supply"

"can be defined as the mirror of effective demand; supply is effective when the innovation's form has become well-fitted to patterns of likely demand, and when it has become possible to demonstrate its effectiveness, and how easily it can be implemented and replicated / i.e.: the spread of parallel currencies (Local exchange trading systems, time banks, even air miles and the currencies in virtual worlds like second life)

relative advantage

compatibility and complementary conditions

weak competition


Cheapness and value for money

Trial and error processes

Big specificity social innovation: LACK of MONEY

"In all of our cases studies the innovators had to work hard to bring demand and supply together. Yet in fields other than social innovation, specialised organisations exist to help (technology transfer, venture capitals, universities and umbrella bodies) […] By contrast, in the field of social innovation, there is rarely much money to invest or the institutions to effectively mediate between supply and demand"

systemic weakness diffusion

weak incentives for public agencies and NGOs to copy or fund more effective alternative models

absence of intermediary bodies and networks that specialise in connecting supply and demand

relative absence of resources for social research and development

lack of access to capital to fund growth in social organisations

under-developed labour markets for managers to oversee growth

Some definitions

"The term refers to the generation and implementation of new ideas about how people should organize interpersonal activities, or social interactions, to meet one or more common goals" in "Social innovation: Ten cases from Benjamin Franklin", Michael D.Mumford, Creativity Journal, 2002, vol.14, N°2, 253-266

"Social Innovation refers to new strategies, concepts, ideas and organizations that meet social needs of all kinds - from working conditions and education to community development and health - and that extend and strengthen civil society. [..] It can be used to refer to social processes of innovation, such as open source methods. Alternatively it can be used to innovations which have a social purpose - like microcredit or distance learning. The concept can also be related to social entrepreneurship (entrepreneurship isn't always or even usually innovative, but it can be a means of innovation) and it also overlaps with innovation in public policy and governance. Social innovation can take place within government, within companies, or within the nonprofit sector (also known as the third sector), but is increasingly seen to happen most effectively in the space between the three sectors" Source: wikipedia

Social innovations uderstood as they:" > Can be defined and potentially spread beyond their initial context (and are not entirely context-specific) > Are provided by organisations rather than being only about lifestyle choices; > Meet socially recognised needs (as opposed to merely personal needs or demands); and > Work in circumstances where normal commercial markets and existing public organisations have failed" "In and out of sync, The challenge of growing social innovations", Geoff Mulgan with Rushanara Ali, Richard Halkett and Ben Sanders, NESTA, 2007

How to study it?

Main difficulty to study social innovation is methodological "social innovation are typically diffuse events involving interactions among multiple parties over rather long periods [..] identification and attribution of a creative act is not at all easy" p°254

Historic and leadership studies

identifying introduction, development, adoption innovation inside processes and technologies

Models of diffusion

uncontrolled diffusion

: "the less controlled the diffusion, the more likely is that the innovation will adapt in different ways according to local conditions (pluralistic way)"

more directed diffusion by a 'parent' organization

innovators may try to prescribe processes and methods (like the 12 steps programme from AAA or the principles of the Local Exchange Trading Systems)

promotion through informal and formal networks




Being taken over by larger organizations

Some examples


GnuLinex, Spain> Extremadura


femmes et logiciels libres



local trade exchange systems

LETs and SOL, Uk and France


infoespai, catalonia

xarxa sense fils


kiva, international

virtual open source libraries

gutenberg project, cyberspace

mitopencourseware, mit and cyberspace

wifi communities

FON, international



google-earth, mapping genocide in darfur, cyberspace, katrina peoplefinder project, tunisian prison map

PPGIS, MapHub, Maprain, Mapserver, CMAP: Who represents me?, healthcarethatworks

hardware durable

la fabrique du libre, france> nantes

one laptop per child, international

designthatmatters, africa

openarchitecture, international

Symputer, india

virtual environments

secondlife grid, cyberspace

Benjamin Franklin: the subscription library / fire department/etc.

the ultimate state of SI: self-management as autopoïesis

"An autopoietic machine is a machine organized (defined as a unity) as a network of processes of production (transformation and destruction) of components which: (i) through their interactions and transformations continuously regenerate and realize the network of processes (relations) that produced them; and (ii) constitute it (the machine) as a concrete unity in space in which they (the components) exist by specifying the topological domain of its realization as such a network." (Maturana, Varela, 1980, p. 78) "[…] the space defined by an autopoietic system is self-contained and cannot be described by using dimensions that define another space. When we refer to our interactions with a concrete autopoietic system, however, we project this system on the space of our manipulations and make a description of this projection." (Maturana, Varela, 1980, p. 89)


hacklabs e-print archive

ThirdSector/CivilSociety Specificities

possible "added value"

niche of expertise isndie Voluntary and Community Organizations (VCO)

possible "association revolution" (Salamon and Anheir)

public services delivery by third sector increasing