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Theme Social Innovation

Innovation for whom? Universities as drivers of social innovation for sustainable development
Universities, as institutions of higher education and knowledge production, have potentially a central role to play in enhancing and promoting social innovation activities aimed at alleviating social ills. New insights on societal problems such as social exclusion, ecological sustainability, criminality and emission levels would benefit large parts of the population and counteract inequalities in society. It would seem like a natural and fitting task for universities to foster research on social innovation.

In practice, however, universities in most countries of the world have for long geared their Third Mission activities towards research and innovation aimed at technology transfer to industry - typically not impacting income distribution in a positive way – rather than supporting social-innovation activities.

Social innovation can be manifested in several forms. Just like commercial innovation, social innovation can take the form of a product, production process or technology but it can also be an idea or a principle, a social program, or rules and regulations. It is our hypothesis that most social innovations consist of a combination of these forms. A further hypothesis for this theme is that the manifestations and combinations of forms of social innovation are not uniform but differs over the academic disciplines and technology fields they emanate from.

The theme aims to understand the diverse set of internal and external factors that influence the ability and interest of universities to engage in social innovation. Through case studies, the ambitions and activities in the area of social innovation at Lund University will be examined and evaluated in an international context.

Social Innovations at Lund University?

Theme Social Innovation works with mapping out social innovation at Lund University (a new insight or a changed solution to a problem).

If you know of any examples of social innovations, or work with something related to this area, we would greatly appreciate if you could answer the questions below in our survey. 

It only takes three minutes to fill in the questions.

To the survey.

Bo Göransson (Coordinator)

Associate Professor, Business Administration
School of Economics and Management, Lund University
Bo [dot] Goransson [at] fek [dot] lu [dot] se
+46 46 222 1414



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