Social Innovation

Social innovations are new social practices that aim to meet social needs in a better way than the existing solutions,resulting from – for example – working conditions, education, community development or health. These ideas are created with the goal of extending and strengthening civil society. Social innovation includes the social processes of innovation, such as open source methods and techniques and also the innovations which have a social purpose—like activism, virtual volunteering, microcredit, or distance learning. There are many definitions of social innovation, however, they usually include the broad criteria about social objectives, social interaction between actors or actor diversity, social outputs, and innovativeness (The innovation should be at least ”new” to the beneficiaries it targets, but it does not have to be new to the world). Different definitions include different combinations and different number of these criteria (e.g. EU is using definition stressing out social objectives and actors interaction). Transformative social innovation not only introduces new approaches to seemingly intractable problems, but is successful in changing the social institutions that created the problem in the first place.