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ITSSOIN book is out!

The ITSSOIN book is out as ebook. It is open access and you can get a free copy here:

Anheier, H.; Krlev, G.; Mildenberger, G. (eds): Social innovation – Comparative perspectives.

The book investigates socioeconomic impact. Since it is hard to establish causality and to measure social propertieswhen investigating impact, especially at the level of society, the book narrows down impact to one priority aspect: social innovation—understoodas organisations’ capacity to generate novel ideas, ways and means of doingthings, and of addressing public and social problems of many kinds.
This volume’s primary assertion is that the third sector, specifically through stimulating civic involvement, is best placed to produce social innovation, outperforming business firms and state agencies in this regard.By investigating actor contributions to social innovation across seven fieldsof activity,
“Social Innovation: Comparative Perspectives” develops our understanding of why and how the third sector is central to functioning, cohesive and viable societies.
This volume is based on contributions of the project “ITSSOIN—Impact of the Third Sector as Social Innovation” funded by the EuropeanCommission under the 7th framework programme. It will be of insight across disciplines, in particular to the growing social innovation community,innovation researchers more generally and to non-profit scholars. The practical relevance of the book will be of interest to European and nationalpolicy makers and practitioners across different sectors.


ITSSOIN goes Lisbon – Presentation of results at the conference „Opening up to an ERA of Social Innovation”

You may have heard of the conference „Opening up to an ERA of Social Innovation” that will take place at Lisbon on 27th and 28th of November. It is jointly organised by the European Commission, the Portuguese Government and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. “The conference will take stock of social innovation today, review new trends in this vast domain, set the scene for lively and stimulating discussions, and promote networking among innovators, entrepreneurs, and other value creators driven by a social ideal.”

ITSSOIN was invited to present results in an exhibition. In addition the Primary Investigator of ITSSOIN, Helmut Anheier, will take part in a discussion on “The Next Social Innovation Wave” on Monday afternoon.

See for yourself:

Case studies on social innovation available

The results of seven ITSSOIN case studies are now available under Publications.

The aim of ITSSOIN was to investigate the role of the Third Sector and other actors in fostering social innovation. Our case studies in the fields of Arts & Culture, Social Services, Health Care, Environmental Sustainability, Consumer Protection, Work Integration & Community Development provide new insights on this timely issue.

In a comparative setting, the case studies trace back particular social innovation streams and identify focal points and milestones in their evolution. Once these and actors engaged in the process have been identified, the documents discuss organizational properties and field conditions which have supported the emergence of social innovations.

In addition to other central ITSSOIN results on the role of volunteering in social innovation or media perceptions of the Third Sector, central insights from the case studies will be discussed during the concluding conference, taking place in Brussels on February 20th. If you are interested in participating in the conference, please register here.


ITSSOIN project review

The last months were a very productive time for ITSSOIN. Prior to the completion of the case selections (published here), we had several internal meetings and events.

In March, our consortium meeting took place in Milan, hosted by Bocconi University. At the centre of this meeting were the upcoming case studies, the case selection process the stakeholder workshops and ISTR 2016.

The stakeholder workshops were held in May and June in each of our empirical work packages. Researchers along with a range of other stakeholders were invited to discuss ITSSOIN’s work in progress.

Several members of the ITSSOIN consortium participated in the ISTR conference in Stockholm in June. We presented ITSSOIN findings on volunteering, media perceptions & policy discourses on social innovation and the third sector in Europe. Our second contributions was a tentative glance at findings from the ITSSOIN case work.

On 17-18 October, the ITSSOIN consortium will meet again in Brno (Czech Republic) to discuss the results of the empirical work and to prepare for the final phase of the project.

The empirical results of our case studies will be published soon.

Reports on ITSSOIN field descriptions available now

Based on the country selection carried out in work package 2 ITSSOIN_D2_4_Country selection a compilation of seven highly insightful field descriptions in nine ITSSOIN countries is available for you to download now on

Over the last months, ITSSOIN partners engaged in extensive analysis of the structure and dynamics of the various fields they had agreed to research on. The resulting deliverables of work packages 4-7 now allow us to draw a clear picture of the structures in the diverse fields of arts and culture, community development, environmental sustainability, health, consumer protection in finance, social services and work integration.

All descriptions inform about the most important actors from the state, the market, and the third sector as well as the central regulative characteristics and their most important changes over the past 10 years. Yet, what is more – addressing the question of social innovation, we managed to identify up to 8 innovation streams per field and country! A promising result to carry out a well-informed case selection and proceed to the next research steps, analyzing those dynamics in depth.