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The theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for building social innovation in Europe

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Social innovation for social change

Measuring the effects of innovation in social systems and concepts will help create positive social change that will benefit European society.

Industrial Technologies

Major world challenges such as unemployment, climate change, a rapidly ageing population and decreased public spending are prompting policymakers to propose new approaches for social innovation. This requires effective impact assessment of new solutions, as well as effective financial support systems and capital market instruments. TEPSIE (The theoretical, empirical and policy foundations for building social innovation in Europe) represented an EU-funded project that strengthened social innovation to encourage social change. It developed ways to assess the effectiveness of innovations, policies and programmes that promote social innovation. This involved supporting policymakers and researchers to plan and implement social innovation more effectively by reviewing theories, identifying gaps and highlighting priorities in the field. Apart from conducting a comprehensive overview of social innovation and measuring its effectiveness, the project team worked on pinpointing and removing barriers to social innovation. It also explored the generation of capital flows required for social innovation and engaging the public in discussions on the topic. TEPSIE built a dynamic online research community in addition to launching a related research website. It exploited social media platforms as tools for disseminating its messages and organising events such as workshops and conferences on social innovation. Articles and policy papers have also been published on the subject in parallel with the project’s dissemination efforts to reach stakeholders. Building on the latest research, the project team disseminated its results to decision makers. It outlined what works in social innovation in areas such as health, education and energy, in addition to exploring how to grow and scale the concept. From enabling a better social system and a more streamlined public sector, the results of the project are expected to encourage the creation of a better civil society across the EU.


Social innovation, social change, capital market, public sector, civil society

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