SI Drive Newsletter

Issue #5 / March 24th 2015


Welcome to the SI-Drive Newsletter

FiFth edition

Welcome to the fifth eNewsletter of SI-DRIVE, a large-scale research project funded in the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme (FP 7). In our fifth edition we focus amongst others on the analysis framework of the project and the forthcoming Social Innovation Conference 2015 in Vienna.




Save the Date: 18-19th November 2015, Vienna

Welcome World, Welcome social innovation


Social Innovation 2015: Pathways to Social Change
Research, policies and practices in European and global perspectives

“Pathways to Social Change” is going to be the key event on social innovation in the year 2015. It is planned and designed by mutually complementary research projects on social innovation that reach out to world-wide experiences and concepts of social innovation. The conference will connect researchers with policy makers and practitioners of social innovation.  

The conference is hosted by two projetcs under FP 7:

  • Social Innovation – Driving Force of Social Change – SI-DRIVE,
  • Transformative Social Innovation Theory – TRANSIT,
and NET4SOCIETY, a network of National Contact Points in Horizon 2020.

They are joined by two collaborative partners:

  • Creating Economic Space for Social Innovation – CRESSI and
  • Boosting the Impact of Social Innovation in Europe through Economic Underpinnings – SIMPACT.

Registration and programme details will be available soon. Further information is available here. For enquiries in advance please contact as communication node of the local organisers: Berenike Ecker, (SI-DRIVE)


Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Map® got the world’s dimensions right – social innovators work on making it a better place to live!
Credits: "Fuller projection rotated" by Eric Gaba, Wikimedia Commons user Sting. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.



The SI-DRIVE Analysis framework

the challenges of research design for social innovation: finding the right synergies from multiple disciplines

Research on social innovations draws from a range of disciplines that includes social policy, political sciences, economics, and sociology. Each discipline has its independent set of paradigms and associated controversies. While social innovations can be analyzed as drivers of change, they are also studied as outcomes of practices and institutions. The theoretical perspective of SI-DRIVE aims to advance existing research to combine and connect important discourses in social sciences, explicitly along the practice theories, network theories and theories of social change – focusing on social innovations from the micro, meso, and macro perspectives. This is the given background to facilitate the establishment of coherent methodologies to identify and promote social innovations.

[Read more]



On the theory of social innovations

Tarde's neglected contribution to the development of a sociological innovation theory


The term "social innovation" becomes more and more significant in social and political discourse. However, so far there is still no theoretically grounded, practicable concept of social innovation. Through recourse to the social theory of Gabriel Tarde, with its focus on social inventions and social practices of imitation, social innovation can be identified as a specific mechanism of change, and hence the analytical perspective can be directed towards society as a locus of innovation. This provides valuable input for an integrative theory of innovation, and for the analysis and shaping of social transformation processes.

Read more in:
Howaldt, J./Kopp, R./Schwarz, M. (2015): On the theory of social innovations: Tarde's neglected contribution to the development of a sociological innovation theory.


New SI publication



the European Social Innovation Competition 2015

Open for Entries!

The launch of the 2015 edition of the European Social Innovation Competition took place on Monday 23rd March at European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, Poland.

Organised since 2012 in memory of Diogo Vasconcelos, the Competition calls all Europeans to come up with solutions to the problems affecting our society.

This year’s competition is themed around "New Ways to Grow". Europe’s growth model should grow through entrepreneurial, game changing ideas. The three best projects will be awarded a prize of EUR 50 000.

Further information is available here.




SI LIVE 2015 is coming!

MArk your Calendar

Building on the success of SI LIVE 2014 in Lisbon, Social Innovation Europe will be running SI LIVE 2015 in Berlin this year on 22nd-23rd June.

Hosted by the BMW Foundation, the event will explore the future of social innovation in Europe. Further information will be available soon.

Conference on the future of SI in Europe



At the Base of Business

Presentation of a Publication


The new publication titled “Inclusive Business: Answering the Call” will be presented by the authors – Lucia Dal Negro (De-Lab), Elena Como (LAMA) and  Mirko Tricoli (ActionAid) with a preface written by Jeremy Millard (Danish Technological Institute) – on 26th March 2015 at Lumsa University, Rome. The event will be an opportunity to promote a debate around internationalisation, ethical entrepreneurship, and social innovation.

“Inclusive business” refers to a business approach that has already been adopted by many companies at international level to work with and include the deprived communities. The publication, produced by De-Lab with the contribution of SI-DRIVE researchers Elena Como and Jeremy Millard, aims to stimulate a debate around this model and the opportunities for inclusive business “made in Italy”.

For more information contact:





The European Journal of Workplace Innovation...

... available online


The European Journal of Workplace Innovation, a new online open access journal hosted by the University of Agder, is now live. Go to

It is published by the Department of Working Life and Innovation at the University of Agder, Norway, within their set of online journals. The plan is to publish two issues a year. The first issue was published in February 2015. Interestingly for the SI-community, the journal will welcome articles that collect short cases from as many member countries as possible. It will also be encouraging reviews of alternative perspectives on innovation, including the recognition that workplace innovation incorporates diverse perspectives and debates.


SI journal online



Coming Soon ...

Sixth SI-Drive Newsletter


The sixth SI-DRIVE newsletter will be issued in June 2015. Amongst others, it will focus on the first results of the global mapping of social innovations.

Please register at our si-drive website if you are willing to receive regular information.


Sixth SI-DRIVE newsletter


  Cover Foto: © Nic McPhee, Flickr  
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EU This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 612870.