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The public sector should support social innovation, not seek to define it

In Sweden, the trend towards supporting more social entrepreneurs and greater social innovation has visibly gained pace during recent years. Due in part to a shift in public perception, this form of entrepreneurship with societal benefits is fast gaining recognition as an important constituent in the development of a sustainable society – in ecological, social and financial terms.

There has, of course, always been a presence of organisations with good purposes and enthusiasts with good hearts. But developments in information technology and the digitalisation of media have created new possibilities for these enthusiasts, at the same time as climate threats, global injustices and financial crises have created the urgent need for new, creative solutions.

A Swedish example when it comes to injustices in our society is for instance Hopeful Staffing, the world's first agency for homeless people. Fighting climate threats is for instance Adopt a bee – Honey for free. Solvatten (translated; "Sunwater"), is a business who has invented a household water treatment unit, which saves lives.

Dr Sophia Lövgren is a board member at both the Euclid Network and the Ideell Arena and is secretary general of Remarkable Parents in Sweden.