Social innovation

What is social innovation?

  • Social innovation involves looking for new solutions to social problems and producing new or different public services. (Cels et al, 2012: 4).
  • The guiding principle here is not institutes, programmes and organisations, but social reality. Around that, the relevant parties connect with each other in new concepts. 
  • Social innovation seeks to bring about a smarter society with more public value.

Many social problems can be defined as "wicked problems".
(Van Delden, 2013)


  • not simple and clear-cut and so difficult to solve
  • a solution almost always requires a network of parties, knowledge and disciplines
  • devised solutions can again lead to new problems

wicked problems


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