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Two paths of social innovation in the post-pandemic world

Thomas Montgomery (Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK)
Micaela Mazzei (Glasgow School for Business and Society, Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, Glasgow, UK)

Social Enterprise Journal

ISSN: 1750-8614

Article publication date: 8 June 2021

Issue publication date: 9 August 2021

374

Abstract

Purpose

The Covid-19 pandemic has initiated a period of radical uncertainty, resulting in impacts on a scale that has and will continue to transform economies and societies across various contexts. Social innovation resonates with the challenges the pandemic presents. This paper aims to address the question of which form of social innovation will be most pivotal in the post-pandemic world.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper has been developed by reviewing key literature on social innovation, with a specific focus on the most current contributions of Moulaert and MacCallum and Mulgan.

Findings

Social innovation is embedded in debates around social change but the “type” of social change that dominates the future of social innovation is connected to how social innovation interacts at different scales and with different actors engaged in shaping change in specific contexts. Building upon extant knowledge of social innovation we can hypothesise two paths of social innovation emerging/intensifying: one that seeks economic reform with an emphasis on meeting social needs in new ways and another that seeks complete systemic change.

Originality/value

This is a reflective piece that by reviewing current contributions to the social innovation literature questions the post-pandemic future of the field.

Keywords

Citation

Montgomery, T. and Mazzei, M. (2021), "Two paths of social innovation in the post-pandemic world", Social Enterprise Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 450-458. https://doi.org/10.1108/SEJ-03-2021-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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