Between Social and Technological Innovation

Global Innovation Gathering (GIG)
re:publica 2017

Short thesis: 

In recent years, social innovation has become a key word in some sociological and management writings. The concept is generally presented as new, at least in comparison to technological innovation, dating back to the 1940s. However, the concept of social innovation dates back to the nineteenth century. In this panel, the trajectory of three separate but simians concepts is shown: innovation, social innovation and technological innovation. Based on epistemological studies and on the ground practices to conceptualize them, the discussion tries to show that contemporary initiatives innovate technologically and socially in search of sustainable alternatives for the planet.


The aim of this discussion is to try and understand relations between social innovation and technological innovation. Declared as opposed by many authors, these two concepts have been seen as counterpart one of the other. More specifically, social innovation is pointed as a compensation of the ecological and social issues created by the technological innovation. But, as points out Benoît Godin, social innovation is a term that was first written during the nineteenth century, almost hundred years before technological innovation concept developed.

Based on many examples from Brazil, Colombia and Germany, we want share examples of public, social innovation processes.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 13:45 to 14:45