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Social innovation: forms, evidence, and perspectives 
José Francisco Romero-Muñoz (Benémerita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla)
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Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

We invite STS scholars to present examples of social innovation. We want to explore and discuss the various forms that social innovation takes in practice. Our panel will make analysis of how evidence of social innovation can be seen and how to foster innovations processes for the common good.

Long Abstract:

Social Innovation (SI) continues to gain importance as an alternative paradigm to other forms of innovation, focusing on generating social value and not just private value. The interest in SI can be seen in the growing academic literature of the last two decades. Likewise, it is included in various political speeches of international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations, the European Commission, The World Economic Forum, among others. SI is often introduced as the most convenient paradigm to face the social, economic, political, and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Although certain academic literature presumes various positive experiences of SI, frequently, it is difficult to find clear conceptions about what it means with evidence that shows its existence and effectiveness. Various criticisms are frequently mentioned in the available studies. It has been said that the body of literature is inconsistent, ambiguity persists in the term, and that it is not clear whether it should be considered as a phenomenon or a theoretical framework. Despite all, the current global context requires SI to reduce the problems that are common to everyone. Problems such as climate change, the eradication of poverty, gender equity, cannot be tackled without forms of social collaboration and innovation. We invite STS scholars to join a discussion of the diverse forms of social innovation and its evidence. We propose a panel that supports the cross-fertilization of STS and other studies on Innovation and Technology (for instance Hess, D. J., & Sovacool, B. K. (2020). Sociotechnical matters: Reviewing and integrating science and technology studies with energy social science. Energy Research & Social Science, 65, 101462). In this way, contributions from various disciplinary fields will be welcome; especially those that present empirical research results that uncover evidence-based forms of social innovation.

Accepted papers:

Session 1
Session 2
Session 3