Social Innovation

Social Innovation 

Co-coordinators : Dr. Zina Nimeh and Dr. Serdar Turkeli

Professorial Fellows: Prof. Dr. René Kemp and Prof. Dr. Shyama Ramani


Social Innovation Working Group is an inter-specialisation working group between “Social Protection Policy Design & Financing” and “Innovation, Institutions and Development” specialisations at UNU-MERIT/MGSoG Master of Science Public Policy and Human Development programme, composed of masters students who plan to write their master theses on social innovation.


Social Innovations, National Systems of Innovation and the SDGs

Social innovations essentially refer to new social value creation in the economic systems that are intended to create, sustain, distribute or disseminate social or environmental value. Within a national system of innovation (NSI), social innovations are meant to serve underserved needs. Thus, social innovations are likely to be very important for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Governments worldwide recognize that they cannot mobilize the necessary resources and capabilities for this purpose alone. Hence, they have called for cooperation from all societal stakeholders to assume responsibility and strive to contribute to the SDGs. Thus, increasingly social innovations are associated with intended, planned, coordinated, goal oriented and legitimated actions by a variety of social agents working alone or in groups. Non-governmental economic actors ranging from civil society, social enterprises, start-ups, firms and multinationals are aligning their strategies and forming creative consortium to tackle global challenges. However, many such innovations do not achieve the expected social impact. Why? That is what we aim to explore in this work group in order to reflect and provide suggestions and recommendations for greater sustained performance of social innovations.


Key Projects


Key Readings (30)

Module I – Social Innovation and Human Development (10)

Module II – Transformative Social Innovation (6)

Module III – Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (6)

Module IV – Social, Frugal and Inclusive Innovation, and Emerging Markets (9)