What Responsible Businesses can Learn from Social Innovation

Antoniou, Josephina orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-0169-1299 (2019) What Responsible Businesses can Learn from Social Innovation. In: Responsible Innovation. Springer Briefs in Research and Innovation Governance . Springer Nature, pp. 37-50. ISBN 978-94-024-1719-7

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-024-1720-3_4


This chapter presents initiatives and success stories from the realm of social innovation with the aim of identifying elements of Responsible Innovation (RI) and their significance. The motivation behind selecting social innovation to highlight the positive impact of RI practices is twofold. Focusing on social innovation provides, primarily, an opportunity to investigate the business perspective, by looking into cases where businesses have reconnected with the community through shifting their focus towards serving society, as a means to become more successful. Often this leads to immediate benefits for the business but also sets the framework for a long-term strategy that goes beyond well-known corporate social innovation activities, to encompass further activities that potentially initiate and support both social and environmental change. In addition, the focus on social innovation allows a better view of the community perspective, by considering the public as important business stakeholders, i.e. consumers and customers. As such, the public increasingly demands that business
practices are handled in a more ethical way. As societies become more vulnerable due to economic instabilities, resource crises and political changes, the public demands adoption of new ways of thinking, and it is often implied that the road to a successful economic, and often cultural, transformation needs to go through social innovation. Undoubtedly, the goal of social innovation is to provide socially beneficial solutions that drive economic growth, but the task is not an easy one.
Therefore, RI is essential for driving society forward, especially when it comes to the key aspects of employment, education and social inclusion.

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