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The ITSSOIN conceptual framework – concluded and available

The conceptual framework of the ITSSOIN project has been concluded and approved by the European Commission. It is now available in the form of separate deliverables which result from work package one (WP1) dealing with the ‘Conceptual Foundations & Hypotheses’. The deliverable D1.1 ‘ITSSOIN_D1_1_Social Innovation as Impact‘ describes not only the understanding of social innovations underlying the ITSSOIN project’s work, but also the relevance of the third sector for this subject. The deliverables D1.2 and D1.3 elaborate on different perspectives which will be considered in the project. D1.2, ‘Report on the European Social Innovation Policy Framework in Light of Third Sector & Civil Society Actors’ (ITSSOIN_D1_2_Policy frameworks third sector), evaluates policy frameworks that affect social innovations in different European countries and on the EU level. Similarly, D1.3, ‘ITSSOIN_D1_3_Perceptions of the thrid sector’, discusses the existing knowledge on the media and volunteers’ perception of the third sector. All papers serve as a basis for the formulation of testable hypotheses in the deliverable D1.4, ‘ITSSOIN_D1_4_ITSSOIN Hypotheses’. Another paper, the ‘ITSSOIN_D1_5_Research Brief’ (D1.5), summarises the most important results of previous work and describes how these results will be incorporated in our research strategy and what we consider to be the most relevant project outcomes.

Additionally, the first deliverable of WP2 (‘Mapping and Extending Knowledge on the Third Sector’) is also available; D2.1, ‘Theory and Empirical Capturing of the Third Sector at the Macro Level’ (ITSSOIN_D2_1_Theory and empirical capturing third sector), describes how these conceptual considerations will be framed theoretically and how the resulting questions and hypotheses can be evaluated empirically.

The deliverables can be found under ‘Publications’ on our homepage or accessed following the links in the text above.

The second ITSSOIN Consortium Meeting – a constructive event

The second meeting of the ITSSOIN Consortium in Copenhagen was very successful.

Insights resulting from the research steps conducted in the first months of the project were presented and discussed.

On the basis of literature reviews and theoretical considerations the Consortium substantiated that the analysis of media perception and policy frameworks with reference to the third sector’s role in generating social innovations is a new approach to both of these research fields.

A constructive discussion on these initial results revealed that the media’s perception of the third sector and the policy frameworks strongly differ across the various EU countries.

The present results will determine the selection and the detailed analysis of empirical cases of social innovation in different empirical fields examined throughout the project.

More fine-grained results will be available on our homepage in 2015.

ITSSOIN at the ‘International Social Innovation Research Conference 2014’

Gorgi Krlev and Stina Preuss from the Centre for Social Investment have represented the ITSSOIN research consortium at the fifth “International Social Innovation Research Conference” (ISIRC) which has taken place on September 1-3, 2014 in Northampton with 60+ attendants from all over the world.

Find out more about the ISIRC at:

The presentation of ITSSOIN research has focused on our first conceptual report ITSSOIN_D1_1_Social Innovation as Impact. We have been glad to see an active engagement of participants in the discussion of our fundamental research hypothesis and the research strategy. This highlights the salience of the proposed research issues, their timeliness and the appeal of ITSSOIN’s proposed research direction. Suggestions which will (or have already) received careful consideration are: sensitivity towards negative effects of the innovation imperative to third sector activities; consideration of innovation failures next to innovation success; or openness towards multi-stakeholder involvement in innovation processes.

First ITSSOIN report released!

In a collective effort performed by all partners we have produced our first report called “Social Innovation as Impact of the Third Sector” that lays the foundation for the ITSSOIN project. For specifics and the full report, please follow this link.

The report illustrates why there is good reason to relate social innovation to the third sector as its core contribution to socio-economic impact and why we presume that the third sector is better positioned to stimulate, create, and develop social innovation than the market or the state. However, it also shows that this reasoning is faced with some existent critique and that insights on particular issue are still quite ambiguous. Generally, we will move from these presumptions to a set of testable hypotheses and explore them in in-depth case studies across seven organisational fields: culture & arts, social services, health care, environmental sustainability, consumer protection, work integration, and community development.

The questions we will address are: How strongly and in which social innovations are third sector organisations involved and which role do they play therein as relative to other innovation actors?

More details on how we approach these issues theoretically and empirically will be provided by our next report on the theoretical and empirical capturing of the third sector, which we hope to publish online in the course of October.

You can download the full report here: ITSSOIN_D1_1_Social Innovation as Impact

The report can be found permanently under “Publications.”

Second Consortium Meeting in October

The ITSSOIN partners will hold their 2nd Consortium Meeting on October 20-21 in Copenhagen at the Copenhagen Business Schools (CBS). The main purpose is the discussion of the project hypothesis that results from first empirical insights and the conceptual design. Drawing on this the social innovations being of special interest in the research fields arts & culture; social services & health; environmental sustainability & consumer protection in finance; work integration & community development can be identified. This leads to the selection of cases that will be analyzed throughout the second project year. For the debate on important empirical developments network partners are invited to join the meeting.

Press Release: ITSSOIN – Assessing the impact of civil society


The Centre for Social Investment coordinates a European research project

How can organizations and committed citizens promote social innovations? A European research consortium deals with the question of the impact of civil society in a new project, which is coordinated by the Center for Social Investment (CSI) at Heidelberg University. Scientist from eleven research and public institutions and nine countries examine what kind of impact the Third Sector or civic engagement has on society. The results should be seen as policy recommendations for practitioners to promote innovations in Europe. The European Union funds the project “Impact of the Third Sector as Social Innovation” (ITSSOIN), which started in March 2014 for a period of three years with 2.5 million euros. Altogether 3.1 million euros are available for research work through further third party funds.

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