Our societies experience challenges of inclusion and cohesion and suffer (evidently) from multiple problems associated with exclusion across economic, social, political and many other dimensions. The challenge of building more inclusive societies is recognised at highest policy levels. The Europe 2020 Strategy (EC, 2010) has smart, inclusive and sustainable growth as its overarching aim, for example. Yet, against the backdrop of a widening and intensifying set of inclusion challenges, conventional inclusion policies, until now based heavily around economic growth, skilling and full employment, struggle to make our societies more inclusive. In this context, it is insightful to look toward social innovation movements, several of which organise around agendas of inclusion and are critical of mainstream systems and policies, to see what they bring to societal discourse and action on the issues of in/exclusion. This is important especially in relation to mainstream systems that are under stress and struggle to deliver inclusivity, especially the market economy, social welfare systems, representative democracy, and workfare policies. Social innovations are being studied in the TRANSIT Project, which aims to develop a theory of societally transformative social innovation. What insights do TRANSIT Project empirics offer into the potential of our studied social innovations to support transformative change toward more inclusive societies? What insights do they offer for innovation policies and inclusion policies? Can we improve our developing theory of social innovation in relation to transformative societal change by examining social innovation cases using the lens and probe of in/exclusion?
Weaver, P., Backhaus, J., Pel, B. and Rach, S. (2017) Transformative change for inclusive society : insights from social innovations and implications for policy innovation and innovation policy (TRANSIT working paper # 9), TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.
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