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Source: Atlas of Social Innovation

Map of Social Innovation

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Social Innovation is on the rise: as a lived practice, social innovations take countless approaches and present a wide array of success stories. On a policy and public level, interest in the concept has been growing over the last years and the international scientific debate has gained momentum. At the same time, there is an increased awareness of the complexity of challenges modern societies are facing and the resulting requirements that innovation processes have to meet.

Against this background the Atlas of Social Innovation aims to provide a comprehensive overview on the multifaceted concept of Social Innovation. Leading experts open up new insights in the current trends of social innovation research and making data gathered during the EU/FP7 SI-DRIVE project in an easy-to-grasp way accessible to public. The Atlas gives a general overview of the concept of Social Innovation, its multiplicity and diversity, its initiators and other actors involved in the development process; their location in different countries and regions globally. It will further provide answers as to which pressing societal issues and challenges different social innovations will provide answers to.

By building up a knowledge repository for a growing community of practitioners, policy makers and researchers it should open up new avenues to unfold the potential of Social Innovation.

The Atlas of Social Innovation provides two distinct ways for exploring the field of Social Innovation – either via the brochure Atlas of Social Innovation: New Practices for a Better FutureSI-DRIVE’s final Deliverable to the European Commission or via an interactive, global map at which various Social Innovations have been highlighted.

Atlas of Social Innovation: New Practices for a Better Future

The Atlas of Social Innovation gathers leading experts to deliver new intelligence on the diversity of Social Innovation complemented by the results of the international research project SI-DRIVE. The articles reflect the diversity, broadness and usability of Social Innovation in different parts of the world, prove the variety of actors and their interaction and explore the systemic character and concept of Social Innovation. They provide insights into the current trends of Social Innovation research, thereby building up a knowledge repository for a growing community of practitioners, policy makers and researchers. The Atlas of Social Innovation ultimately opens up new avenues to unfold the potential of Social Innovation in the search for new social practices enhancing a secure future evolution and allow people to live a richer and more fulfilled human life.

Atlas of Social Innovation: World Map

Social Innovation is on the rise and a powerful tool for coping with future and current major challenges and social needs. The world map of Social Innovation aims to provide comprehensive data and exciting insights into the variety of ideas, solutions, actors, policies, cultural contexts and themes defining and enclosing Social Innovation. It visualizes the myriad of SI initiatives worldwide, spanning policy areas from Education, Employment, Energy Supply and Climate Change, Mobility, Health and Social Care as well as Poverty Reduction.  Stakeholders and innovators, policy-makers, scientists, entrepreneurs and everyone interested in the rich world of Social Innovation is welcomed to use the map as a source of information as well as to map such initiatives and activities that are dedicated to addressing the social, economic, political and environmental challenges of the 21st century.

Project Realization

This website is provided by Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund, Faculty of Social Sciences, TU Dortmund University.

Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund
Faculty of Social Sciences
TU Dortmund University
Evinger Platz 17
Germany – 44339 Dortmund
email: [email protected]

The technical realisation and web-design was provided by Unternehmen Online


This website was made possible with funding by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Data Provision and Support

The brochure Atlas of Social Innovation: New Practices for a Better Future and the comprehensive dataset for the world map were provided by the large-scale international research-project SI-DRIVE.

The SI-DRIVE project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 612870.

In Collaboration With:

The European School of Social Innovation was formed to assist and enhance a holistic concept of innovation: the predominant economic values of innovations in business and technology, revaluated by accounts on their social dimensions regarding origins and impact, shall become associated with societal values of social innovations in public, business and civil society sectors. ESSI, as a School of Thought, considerably shapes concepts and activities in the field of Social Innovation, as it facilitates the collaboration between members that can form consortia to plan and execute projects of different kind.

Background of SI-DRIVE

SI-DRIVE started with taking up the results of the Conference “Challenge Social Innovation” resulting in the Vienna Declaration 2011. Based on this starting point, SI-DRIVE aims at deepening our knowledge about Social Innovation as a driver of social change. This knowledge helps to underpin policy actions of the EU, of other international organisations and of policy makers. The understanding of the concept and framework of Social Innovation leads to better designed and targeted policy support measures, and to more effective implementation and upscaling of social innovations.

SI-DRIVE thereby has resulted in:

  • A better understanding of the relationship between policy and Social Innovation;
  • A better understanding of how social innovations can have an important role in societal transformations;
  • Clear evidence of the importance of policy support for social innovation;
  • Recommendations for policy makers at the national, EU and global levels, taking into account the policy context.

Based on the developed theoretical framework and the empirical results, the experts and partners of SI-DRIVE (25 partners from all over the world and 13 high level advisory board members) elaborated main policy recommendations summarised in this declaration. The recommendations pertain to advances in our understanding of Social Innovation, in supporting and resourcing social innovation initiatives, and in measuring and governing social innovations. The recommendations are addressed to all actors with an interest in stimulating Social Innovation.

The empirical basis of SI-DRIVE is including:

  • more than 1,000 mapped social innovations all over the world,
  • more than 80 in-depth case studies,
  • the results of fourteen conducted policy and foresight workshops in seven policy fields (education and lifelong learning, employment, environment and climate change, energy supply, transport and mobility, health and social care, poverty reduction and sustainable development),
  • the recommendations of two International Policy Round Tables.

The SI-DRIVE project would not have been possible without the dedication of its partners:

  • Technische Universität Dortmund – Sozialforschungsstelle (Social Research Centre) – TUDO – Dortmund, Germany (Coordinator)
  • Applied Research and Communications Fund – ARCF – Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Australian Centre for Innovation – ACIIC – Sydney, Australia
  • Austrian Institute of Technology – AIT – Vienna, Austria
  • Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, University of Cape Town – UCT – Rondebosch Cape Town, South Africa
  • Centre de recherche sur l’innovation sociale, Center for research on social innovation University of Quebec – CRISES – Montreal, Canada
  • Corporation Somos Más – SOMOSMAS – Bogota, Colombia
  • Heliopolis University – HU – Cairo, Egypt
  • Instanbul Teknik Universitesi – ITU – Istanbul, Turkey
  • Institut Arbeit und Technik / Institute for Work and Technology, Westfälische Fachhochschule Gelsenkirchen – IAT – Gelsenkirchen, Germany
  • Institute of Socio-Economic Development of Territories of the Russian Academy of Sciences – ISEDT RAS – Vologda, Russian Federation
  • International Organisation for Knowledge Economy and Enterprise Development, FORENINGEN – IKED – Malmö, Sweden
  • Kazimiero Simonavičiaus Universitetas – KSU – Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Laboratorij Za Drustvene Inovacije Udruge, Social Innovation Lab – SIL – Zagreb, Croatia
  • Lama Development and Cooperation Agency – LAMA – Florence, Italy
  • Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research – TNO – Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Ryerson University – RU – Toronto, Canada
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences – TISS – Mumbai, India
  • The Young Foundation – YF – London, United Kingdom
  • United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean – ECLAC – Santiago de Chile, Chile
  • Universidad de la Iglesia de Deusto / University of Deusto – UDEUSTO – Bilbao, Spain
  • University Danubius Galati – UDG – Galati, Romania
  • University of Bradford – UoB – Bradford, United Kingdom
  • Zentrum für Soziale Innovation / Centre for Social Innovation Vienna – ZSI – Vienna, Austria.