Social innovation in European regions and beyond. Policy and practice implications for the European Union, member states, regional governments and civil society

Colin Combe | Simone Baglioni

EMES Conferences Selected Papers Series, ECSP-R11-03
Session: Social impact assessment

The paper presents the case for further research to advance knowledge on social innovation policies and practices in three identified areas of work-family balance, education and services for the elderly.

In particular, the proposed research features the development of a methodology designed to better measure and elaborate the impact that social innovation has on economic and social development. The research also addresses financial and recognition gaps that have, so far, constrained social innovation as a model of entrepreneurship in Europe and beyond.

The value of the proposed research lies in addressing the factors that have conspired to diminish the impact of social innovation, such as fragmentation across policy fields and geopolitical areas, with the aim of ensuring much greater transferability across contexts. To date, most social innovation initiatives have been context specific.

The proposed research aims not only to reveal the real impact of social innovation, but to create a common body of knowledge that transforms a series of isolated experiences into a comprehensive policy framework that can be applied by policy makers.

Thus, the key aims of the proposed research is to develop new methodologies for the evaluation and diffusion of social innovations and to elaborate recommendations for subnational, national and European levels on how to improve social innovation processes and dynamics.

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