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Transformative social innovation narrative : Fablabs

Authors: Smith, Adrian; Hielscher, Sabine and Fressoli, Mariano
Publication date: 2015
Keywords: case studies, Transformative Social Innovation, narratives of change

This report provides a very short summary of a full case report that includes in-depth case studies of the FabLabs network and its local manifestations in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, and Argentina. Both, the full case reports and this summary, were guided by four empirical research questions based upon a preliminary conceptual framework of the TRANSIT-project. The four questions concern: 1. the overall development of the local cases and the transnational network(ing); 2. how they relate to different types of change and innovation (incl. social innovation, system innovation, game-changers, narratives of change and societal transformation); 3. how actors are empowered and/or disempowered in and by the local cases and the transnational network(ing), including topics such as governance, learning, resourcing and monitoring; 4. what are other relevant emergent issues with regard to understanding the dynamics of transformative social innovation.

This summary document focuses on the first three questions. It presents – in a highly reduced and generalised format – the interpretations of the researchers, and does not necessarily reflect the views and nuances of the initiatives and respondents themselves. For a full account of each transnational network and local case, including interview quotes and expressed nuances by respondents, we refer to the full case report, which is available via the contact person indicated below or via Both the full case report, as well as this summary document, are the basis for future research activities and publications.


Smith, A., Hielscher, S. and Fressoli, M. (2015) Transformative social innovation narrative : Fablabs. TRANSIT: EU SHH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

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