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Frank Moulaert | ASRO - Faculty of Engineering, KU Leuven


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Frank Moulaert | ASRO - Faculty of Engineering, KU Leuven

  1. 1. PROMOTING SOCIAL INNOVATION: THE CATALYSING ROLE OF RESEARCH Frank Moulaert, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven/Newcastle University/ MESHS Lille h"p://  
  2. 2. POINTS COVERED   Positioning: 20 years of research on social innovation   What is social innovation?   Social science research on social innovation   The role of social innovation in economy and society   Policy making to promote social innovation   The role of science in promoting social innovation   Socially innovative innovation policy   Spreading the benefits of innovation across Europe   Some bibliography
  3. 3. POSITIONING: 20 YEARS OF RESEARCH ON SOCIAL INNOVATION   Research on social innovation goes back to some of the founding fathers and greatest names in social science: Max Weber, Emile Durkheim, Joseph Schumpeter, …   In the 1970-1980s articles and a synthesis book by Chambon, David and Devevey “Les innovations sociales” (PUF, 1982)   At the end of the 1980s social science renews it interest in the study of social innovation.
  4. 4. WHAT IS SOCIAL INNOVATION? - 1 The tendency today is to use social innovation as a common denominator for practices and organizational changes promoting the inclusion of people into the economy and society … Social innovation serves as a kind of a federating concept for practices of charities, social enterprises, CSR initiatives, etc. Although this intuitive-inductive approach to SI is useful, it should be combined with scientific approaches, because these have reconstructed the logic of social innovation initiatives and processes.
  5. 5. WHAT IS SOCIAL INNOVATION? - 2 Some definitions from different social science literatures:   Michael Mumford: “… the generation and implementation of new ideas about social relationships and social organization.” (2002, p. 253)   Chambon, David et Devevey: “des innovations sociales”…“des pratiques visant plus ou moins directement à permettre à un individu - ou à un groupe d’individus - de prendre en charge un besoin social - ou un ensemble de besoins - n’ayant pas trouvé de réponses satisfaisantes par ailleurs” (1982, p. 8)
  6. 6. WHAT IS SOCIAL INNOVATION? - 3   SINGOCOM (ALMOLIN, 2005: Moulaert et al. 1990): Social innovation is path dependent and contextual. It refers to those changes in agendas, agency and institutions that lead to a better inclusion of excluded groups and individuals into various spheres of society at various spatial scales. Social innovation is very strongly a matter of process innovation, i.e. changes in the dynamics of social relations, including power relations. … as social innovation is about social inclusion, it is also about countering or overcoming conservative forces that are eager to strengthen or preserve social exclusion situations. …. social innovation therefore explicitly refers to an ethical position of social justice. The latter is of course susceptible to a variety of interpretations and will in practice often be the outcome of social construction.
  7. 7. SOCIAL SCIENCE DISCIPLINES WORKING ON SOCIAL INNOVATION   Management science and organisation theory   Approaches covering links between economy, society and environment   Fine and creative arts   Spatial development approaches (Integrated Area Development)   Governance and public administration
  8. 8. THE ROLE OF SOCIAL INNOVATION IN ECONOMY AND SOCIETY To examine the role of social innovation in economy and society a number of questions about the relationships between goals and means, context and process, etc. should be examined. In the FP projects I coordinated on SI the following questions were of high significance:   Purpose (or finalité) of the SI initiative? Or in reaction to?   Transformation of social relations – Organizational aspects   Role of special agencies (leadership, creative individuals)   Place and Space - Path dependence, spatial embeddedness, articulation between spatial scales, spatial networks   How to bypass the tension between SI norms and the reality in firms, communities, public administrations, etc. ?
  9. 9. EXAMPLE FROM URBAN DEVELOPMENT COLLECTIVE ACTION AND POLICY Focus  of  Social  Innova/on   “Scale”   “Finalité”  (In  reac/on  to?   To  improve?)   Governance  (Social   learning,  coopera/on,   decision-­‐making  and   communica/on,  …)   Ins/tu/onal  leverage  (Law   making,  funding,  public   ins/tu/on  building,  …)   Neighbourhood   Mul7-­‐dimensional   neighbourhood   development  plan  –  IAD   covering  housing,  public   space,  social  services,     Neighbourhood   commi"ees,   Neighbourhood  Councils,   Social  Enterprises       Neighbourhood   Development  Agencies,  City   funds,  EC  Community   Ini7a7ves       City   City-­‐wide  development  plan   covering  city-­‐wide  services,   transporta7on  network,  …   Networking  among   development  actors       City-­‐wide  administra7on   with  clear  district   competencies,  Chamber  of   Commerce+  (Social   Economy)   Region  -­‐  Na7on   Na7on-­‐wide  sustainable   development  agenda  for   ci7es   Interscalar  policy  learning   networks  –  Mul7-­‐scalar   governance   City-­‐Funds,     Social  economy  laws  and   ins7tu7ons    
  10. 10. POLICY-MAKING TO PROMOTE SOCIAL INNOVATION Policy making should either be socially innovative itself or/and catalyse (other) socially innovative initiatives:   Socially innovative policy-making: policies built through greater democratic participation, joint learning networks among different citizens groups, targeting social cohesion goals along with (or instead of) competitiveness objectives   Catalyse SI initiatives by providing them with legal frameworks and supportive institutions, building customized funding mechanisms privileging social and ecological allocation criteria   The role of multi-level governance   Special focus on: education policy developing SI skills – R&D policy for social innovation
  11. 11. THE ROLE OF (SOCIAL) SCIENCE IN PROMOTING SOCIAL INNOVATION   Research on social innovation themes in a diversity of disciplines, but especially in an interdisciplinary way, i.e. by building ‘joint-up’ analytical frameworks (e.g. management science, spatial planning and public administration addressing social innovation in neighbourhoods)   Research on a better integration of social, organizational and technological innovation   Research through social innovation: changing the partnerships in research teams – Working towards transdisciplinary research involving different types of actors in the sequence of stages in a research process (with research on methods of participation, co- learning, co-design, co-production, co-monitoring, …)   Methodological developments supporting inter and transdisciplinary research.
  12. 12. INNOVATION POLICY   Look at innovation policy in an inclusive way, considering the links between social, technological and organizational innovation   Develop research agendas with a particular focus on social innovation   With a significant attention for institutional innovation (corporate and organizational governance)   Educational policy: educating multi-dimensional cultural beings, citizens, ecologists, economists, leaders, …capable of being effective in democratic social relations   Regional policy   R&D policy reoriented following foci in the this and the previous slide.
  13. 13. SPREADING THE BENEFITS OF INNOVATION ACROSS EUROPE   “Spreading the benefits of” is a social process. Social processes are about social relations, social learning, collective action, building of value systems …   Which benefits? Innovative social relations is one benefit. But for the purpose of?   There is increasing discontent about some emblematic ‘innovations’ in the Europe of the last two decades: + Decentralised governance and coordination threatening Social Europe + The individualization of Social Europe + “Control Europe” and the issue of security + The hegemonic style of high tech sectors (medicine, ICT, large scale construction, …)
  14. 14. SPREADING THE BENEFITS OF INNOVATION ACROSS EUROPE This creates problems of thrust and legitimacy, leads to managerial approaches to politics and policy, … (The privatization of public space.)   This discontent can be overcome by resocialising the political debate and by attributing a ‘socially innovative’ content to innovation processes in all spheres of society.   Socially innovative research on social innovation can significantly contribute to overcome this discontent.
  15. 15. BIBLIOGRAPHY   A. Mehmood and F. Moulaert ‘Spaces of social innovation’, in A.J. Pike, A. Rodríguez-Pose and J. Tomaney eds. (2010) A Handbook of Local and Regional Development. London: Routledge   Moulaert, F., Martinelli, F., Swyngedouw, E. and Gonzalez, S. eds (2010) Can neighbourhoods save the city? London: Routledge.   Moulaert, F. (2000; 2002) Integrated Area Development in European Cities. Oxford: Oxford University Press   Moulaert, F. , D. MacCallum, A. Mehmood and A. Hamdouch eds. (2012) International Handbook of Social Innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.