The ecosystem of social innovation

Despite many recent efforts there is still no complete, theoretically sound definition of SI able to describe the commonalities and differences in the many relevant sectors in which SI occurs. Moreover, there is no systematic quantitative analysis describing the enablers, critical success factors and obstacles so as to efficiently support SI across the board.
This conceptual imprecision carries with it the risk that the concept can be used ‘to disguise an agenda of further liberalisation and public service withdrawal’. The SI-Drive project’s final report expands the notion of SI across the sectors and points to the need for an SI ecosystem. It emphasises the need for public policy and government to play a new role in creating a suitable framework and support structures, for the resources of the economy and civil society to be brought into play, and for science and universities to contribute with supporting measures (e.g. education for SI performance and know-how transfer).