ITSSOIN - Social Innovation and Civic Engagement (ITSSOIN)
- Project Identification
- Project Period
- 3/2014 - 2/2017
- Investor / Pogramme / Project type
- European Union
- MU Faculty or unit
- Faculty of Economics and Administration
- Cooperating Organization
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Universidade da Coruňa
London School of Economics and Political Science
Research has made seminal contributions to describing the size and scope of the Third Sector, including volunteering as an
essential component. However, most of the research has focused on economic benefits (revenues, employment etc.). We
highly value these efforts, but posit that the core contribution and main impact of the sector on socio-economic development
lies in the creation of social innovation.
Our claim is that the Third Sector is better equipped to foster social innovation as the market or the public sector. We will
build a set of testable hypotheses that relate to its key characteristics, e.g.: (1) strong value sets; (2) persistent multistakeholder
constellations; (3) the mobilisation of multiple resources.
Against the update of structural data, we aim at testing these hypotheses on the qualitative impacts of the Third Sector in
terms of capital buidling (e.g. social networks, culutral values or political participation) and their direct link to social
innovation. We set out to investigate organizations with a special emphasis on volunteering at the micro level, which serves
as a bond from and into society. The analysis will include a screening of framework policy conditions and discourses
(citizens/media) on the roles and functions of the sector. This strategy will be executed in case studies against major social
innovation trends of the last years.
The fields we aim to study across 9 countries are: (1) arts & culture; (2) social services & health; (3) environmental
sustainability & consumer protection in finance; (4) work integration & community development; all of which are of vital
importance face to current societal challenges.
By doing so we will not only redefine perspectives on the sector to stress its main impact as driver of social innovation, but
also relate to recent EU research (SELUSI, TEPSIE, INNOSERV, WILCO or CINEFOGO) to lift the investigation of social
innovation to systemic level highlighting comprehensive innovation ecosystems.
Total number of publications: 1