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Game-changers & Transformative Social Innovation

October 29 2014

Blog post by Flor Avelino

During a 2-day academic workshop at the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (1-2 September 2014), 25 scholars from across the world gathered to discuss the role of ‘game-changers’ in transformative social innovation processes, from the perspective of various inter-disciplines and world regions. This workshop was part of the TRANSIT research project, which seeks to theorise the dynamics of transformative social innovation, understood as the process through which social innovations contribute to societal transformation.


The focus of this synthesis workshop has been on unpacking and discussing – both theoretically and empirically – the ‘game-changers’ of our times (inter alia climate change, resource depletion, economic crises, increasing inequality) and to explore how these game-changers relate to different forms of social innovation and transformation. More information on the concept of game-changers and transformative social innovation can be found in the TRANSIT working paper which employs the Economic Crisis and the New Economy as empirical illustrations. The workshop consisted of discussions around this and 9 other paper presentations. The papers were distributed beforehand to allow for in-depth discussion. At the end of the workshop, participants were challenged to discuss the practice of transformative social innovation, across four cross-cutting themes: governance, social learning, monitoring and resourcing.  

This workshop report provides a synthesis of main workshop insights and contestation points. Further, the report describes some highlights of the paper presentations and discussions, and a summary of the working group discussions on governance, social learning, monitoring and resourcing. More background information and impressions of the workshop can be found in the workshop agenda, the overview of the paper abstracts and a selection of workshop pictures.          

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