Theme 10: Social innovations, products and services

Social economy is a driver of social innovation, especially regarding societal and environmental challenges, and social cohesion. This appears usually with respect to sustainable development, but other features of social innovation are particularly driven by social economy organisations, too. This is for instance the case in relation to:
• quality of products and services (e.g. user-friendliness, hard-to-reach target-groups),
• quality of production/provision processes (e.g. involvement of users as a precondition for social innovation, labour conditions, outcome orientation),
• but also in relation to cultural diversity and multi-ethnic aspects, or more generally in social change.
Social services constitute a large field where these aspects did particularly develop in recent years in spite of or due to the changing regulatory context in Europe and beyond. Market-oriented governance, privatisation and various rescaling processes have resulted in a multiplication of stakeholders and in a ‘hybridisation’ of public, commercial and social economy providers. The challenges for the latter consist in re-shaping their proper identity, in finding ways to strengthen their specific role as initiators of social innovation (including regulation). Contributions to Theme 10 are therefore invited to focus on theory and/or practice evidencing the unique quality of social economy organisations in social innovation. This includes considerations of regulatory frameworks that could boost the strengths of social economy organisations in an emerging ‘new public governance’.
Design by YAKA Faire | Sitemap | Disclaimer