This book brings together the latest thinking on social innovation from researchers around the world.
Social innovation is now a truly global phenomenon. While practice has rushed ahead, theory has lagged behind.
Social innovation can be problematic - for instance, what’s seen as ‘social good’ might change over time, and expectations that it can solve all society’s biggest challenges may be unrealistic. Academic research can provide a much-needed critical perspective.
But social innovation holds significant potential to show a new path for society - if, we take an ambitious, or as political philosopher Roberto Unger puts it, “maximalist” approach in pursuing it.
If we can better understand social innovation, we have a better chance of making the most of its potential.
This new collection explores the practice and process of researching social innovation, its nature and effects. Combining theoretical chapters and empirical studies, it shows how social innovation is blurring traditional boundaries between the market, the state and civil society, thereby developing new forms of services, relationships and collaborations.
New Frontiers in Social Innovation Research was funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and Nesta, building on the Social Frontiers conference held in London in 2013.