Social Innovation in the public sector Powerpoint

Social Innovation in the Public Sector
EGPA Conference 11 Septembre 2013 Edinburgh
Victor Bekkers
Erasmus University Rotterdam
• Social innovation as a rising star and the
LIPSE project.
• Why is social innovation a ‘magic
• What is social innovation?
• What are drivers behind social innovation?
• What about citizens and governments?
• Social innovation as a magic concept:
some questions?
Social innovation: a rising star
“combines public and private resources to grow
promising community-based solutions that have
evidence of results …. America's challenges are
being developed every day at the grass roots -and government shouldn't be supplanting those
efforts, it should be supporting those efforts”
(Obama’s social innovation fund)
“The idea is to give local communities more
power and to encourage people to play an active
role in these communities. The assumption is that
these communities set up co-operations,
charities, mutual and other social enterprises to
deal with the local and concrete needs that
citizens encounter. (Cameron on the Big Society)
Social innovation is “ about new ideas that work to
address unmet needs. We simply describe it as
innovations that are both social in their ends and
in their means” (European Commission)
To identify relevant drivers and barriers that explain the
success or failure of social innovations in the public
sector, and to give policy recommendations.
To learn from cross-national and cross-sectoral
comparisons to understand how social innovation
practice convergence or diverge between states
To advise policymakers and researchers on potential
future pathways for social innovation in the public
sector that can enhance productivity, growth and
competitiveness in countries
To contribute to the governance of social innovation in
the public sector
Social innovation as a magic concept
• Four developments merge:
– How to meet new societal challenges,
like global warming, (youth)
employment, growing elderly
population? Responsiveness of
– How to deal with needs that really
matter to citizens and companies?
Efficacy and legitimacy of governments
– How deal with the budgettary crisis of
government? Austerity and efficiency
– How to make use of the self-organizing
power in society? How to use this
power of individuals and
Social innovation as a magic concept
• To produce need-oriented outcomes
• Open process of co-creation with relevant
stakeholders: collaborative innovation
• Game-changer: fundamentally changes
existing relations, positions and playing rules
• Beyond technological innovations
• Re-allocation of public values thereby
reinventing publicness
The essence of social innovation
• Innovation as a process
– Learning, trial and error,
– Qualitative discontinuity with
the past (radical,
transformative change)
– Ecological perspective
• Co-evolution between
different environments
• Interaction between
different stakeholders
• Specific (institutional)
environment and local
Building blocks of drivers and
• The broader
• The innovation
• The innovation process
• The diffusion and
adoption process
Drivers and barriers of social
A. Innovation environment
A1. Political &
A2. Legal culture
in the public sector
C1. Resources
B. Innovation process
B1. Linking
B2. Support & cocreation of endusers
B3. Risk
B4. ICT & Social
C. Innovation adoption
C2. Innovation
C3. Learning
A3. State &
A4. Resources &
dependency in
organizations &
C4. Isomorphism
Citizens and governments
• Citizen participation
– As co-implementor of existing
rules and programs
– As co-creator or co-design
– As initiator : self-organization
• Expectations regarding
possible outcomes
• Expectations regarding
efforts to participate
• Level playing field and
‘weak interests’
• Representativeness of
Citizens and governments
• Governments
– Formal witdrawal but
informal steering problem
of ‘letting go’ and ‘the
open back door’
– Persistence of existing
– Weak interest and level
playing field
But also: Self-organization
paradox: self-organization
requires strong government
Social innovation as a magic concept:
some questions?
• Is social innovation more than a rhetoric strategy to legitimize the
withdrawal of government and the downsizing of the welfare state?
• Is social innovation as form ‘conspicious production’: it is the process that
counts: inspiration, sense making and learning that matter not the
outcomes that have been produced?
• How relevant are the outcomes and to whom? Cui bono? The proof is in
eating the pudding
• How are these outcomes being legitimized? New values and the reallocation of existing values: re-definition of (in)equality, solidarity and
freedom? Other forms of publicness??
• Does context matter? Are some states and policy sectors more social
innovative than others?
• How to overcome innovation bias? Looking for ‘failed innovations’?
• Did policy makers and society make use of the ‘austerity ‘ policy window
to change the ‘rules of the game’?
Further information
[email protected]
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