Social innovation and social generativity

Davide Lampugnani, Patrizia Cappelletti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


The global debate on social innovation makes the need to identify a shared definition of this concept more and more urgent, while at the same time trying to maintain a balance between complexity and clarity. Moreover, understanding what is implied with “social innovation” becomes more and more crucial in order to get out from the frequent vagueness of this term. With these premises in mind, this essay deals with the issue by considering four definitions proposed by four different approaches - the more relevant ones on an international level - defined as systemic, pragmatic, managerial and critical approach. In the second place, by comparatively analyzing these definitions, it is possible to identify three transversal dimensions to the concept of social innovation: the ability to start an innovation, the ability to satisfy a social need, and the ability to transform social relations from which that need is stemming. By focusing in particular on the last dimension, which is considered the most critical one, this essay presents the concept of social generativity and capability approach as developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum to indicate a possible path for the qualification of social innovation. The transformation of social relations started by social innovation, in fact, may be qualified as “abilitating”, i.e. managing to give, both directly and indirectly, the power of action to disadvantaged groups of population.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteSocial generativity. A relational paradigm for social change
EditorM. Magatti
Numero di pagine300
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2018


  • generatività sociale
  • innovazione
  • innovazione sociale


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