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TRANSIT Brief 1: Doing things differently : exploring Transformative Social Innovation and its practical challenges

Authors: René Kemp; Linda Zuijderwijk; Paul Weaver; Gill Seyfang; Flor Avelino; Tim Strasser; Lucas Becerra; Julia Backhaus; and Saskia Ruijsink
Publication date: 2015
Keywords: collective action, community-development, community-led regeneration, credit unions, economic resilience, Ecovillages, empowerment, entrepreneurship, markets, policymakers, social transformation, transformative power, TRANSIT, narratives of change

This is the first TRANSIT project brief in a series of briefs. They are written for practitioners involved in social innovation and policymakers interested in what social innovation is, what social innovators are achieving, and how their transformative impact could be enhanced through support and institutional reform. In this brief, we describe the transformative aims of 12 social innovation networks we have studied this far, including their models of change and the interactions with their context. Many of the twelve networks have explicit transformative ambitions and aim to make a positive societal impact, for example through environmental sustainability, social equity and fairness, and economic resilience. They propose values and practices such as sharing, solidarity, collective ownership, self-determination, open source and local resilience. They face a set of common challenges in terms of working with governments, monitoring and evaluation, and resourcing.


Kemp, R., Zuijderwijk, L., Weaver, P., Seyfang, G., Avelino, F., Strasser, T., Becerra, L., Backhaus, J. and Ruijsink, S. (2015) Doing things differently : exploring Transformative Social innovation and its practical challenges (TRANSIT Brief ; 1), TRANSIT: EU SSH.2013.3.2-1 Grant agreement no: 613169.

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