2nd CoSIE Policy Brief published


Complex societal challenges, such as an ageing society in conjunction with austerity in public services are immune to quick-fix solutions. Societal challenges are wicked in a sense that they have multiple possible solutions and the ‘goodness’ of each solution always depends on the adopted approach.

This policy brief acknowledges the conventional approach to social innovation in terms of innovative activities and services that are motivated by the goal of meeting societal needs. Such needs are predominantly disseminated through organisations whose primary purposes are societal, and who call for changes in both our thinking and our actions. Wicked challenges should not be thought of as problems to be solved per se, but conditions to be managed.

Drawing on public service logic, service-dominant logic for value (co)-creation and complexity thinking, this policy aims to broaden policymakers’ mindsets and provide heuristic tools to practitioners to capture emergent social innovation.

It proposes the following five recommendations: 1) support self-organisation and enable emergence, 2) cultivate the ecosystem of social innovation, 3) tackle uncertainty by providing small wins, 4) ensure diversity by promoting feedback and sense-making and 5) enrich interaction through digital technology. The recommendations emphasise the interactive nature of social innovation and speak of the need for systemic change.

The policy brief includes several highlights from the CoSIE project.