Social Innovation and Civic Engagement (ITSSOIN)
The ITSSOIN project (Impact of the Third Sector as SOcial INnovation) investigates the impact of the Third Sector and civic engagement on society, which goes beyond their economic benefits or the natural virtue of caring for others. Since it is hard to establish causality and to measure social properties when investigating impact, especially at the level of society, ITSSOIN will narrow down Third Sector impact to one priority aspect: social innovation – understood as the capacity of non-profit organisations to generate novel ideas, ways and means of doing things, in addressing public and social problems of many kinds. By investigating the nexus between the Third Sector and social innovation, ITSSOIN will help develop our understanding of why and how the sector is central to functioning, cohesive and viable societies. The project will enhance sector conceptions by building on and extending previous research traditions that have focused on different roles such as: service provider, minority advocate, value guardian, economic motor,or sphere of social interaction.