Back to top

Co-creating a Social Innovation Research Agenda for Europe

To date, social innovation practice has been ahead of theory. Research has been catching up in recent years, partly owing to increased interest from research funded bodies. It is widely acknowledged that social innovation research and practice need to be better linked; one way of addressing this is to stop repetition and overlap in research and effectively address the remaining gaps. With this objective in mind, the EMES network started a collaborative effort to give researchers the opportunity to co-create a future research agenda on social innovation, including a variety of stakeholders.

We now present the result of this joint effort, which involved a core group of researchers who identified a selective number of topics and actions, covering different types of topics based on consultations during several international conferences; the coordinators of 15 European projects on social innovation funded by the EU; participants in a Facebook discussion group and an online survey, and a group of experts for final feedback.

Read the report: Co-creating a Social Innovation Research Agenda for Europe

Result of a truly collaborative process, this report is a useful snapshot of themes addressed and gaps in knowledge that we recommend to complete and update regularly. 

The SIE research agenda draws from a research community that shares the purpose to identify approaches to study SI free from instrumental objectives. Research approaches represent different perspectives on how SI can be studied: as an aspect of an evaluation process, a policy area, an organisation, a technological trend. The number of topics evaluated in this joint research agenda are by no means exhaustive: stages in a process, policy fields, communities etc. The document highlights possible approaches to study or further the study of SI - where we stand with research on these topics and what is necessary.