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M.A. in Social Innovation at Danube University Krems

Author: Danube University Krems
Published Date: 19 March 2014

Danube University Krems (DUK) and ZSI cooperate in the Master of Arts in Social Innovation, started in the academic year 2012/2013.

It is the paramount importance attributed to social innovations that necessitates professional education and training on scientific level. Until now the concept itself seems unclear, even to many of the active players in the area; there are inconsistent theoretical foundations, missing indicators and insufficient methodologies to measure success and impact of social innovations. Graduates of studies in social innovation will become equipped with the most recent qualifications in scientific theories, methods and research conscerning social innovation, seen as an integral part of an extended and comprehensive paradigm of innovation.

Yet beyond scientific knowledge graduates of this Master's programme will acquire know-how and skills for career opportunities as social innovators themselves, or as certified managers of social innovation processes. The curriculum focuses on social innovations in major praxis and policy areas such as employment, environment, communication, ageing, health and social services.

As a result the professional profile of graduates will include the following core competencies:

- Project and programme assessment concerning social innovation procedures, e.g. working as evaluator or consultant

- Guidance on social innovation development and implementation in enterprises, public institutions or civil society organisations

- Research concerning social innovation needs, requirements, conditions and impact

- Provision of education and training supportive to social entrepreneurship

Most of social innovations develop - as innovations in general do - incrementally, quite often improving step-by-step the quality of life of specific groups in need, and not for the whole of society. Yet there are as well urgent demands for game-changing "systemic innovations" (cf. BEPA-Report), aiming at life-styles and modes of production and consumption positioning the world society of the 21st century to adapt to climate change and other critical challenges. "Certified Social Innovators" graduating from DUK will be capable to work in such varied fields of interest and range in society, facilitating appropriate social innovations in many sectors and to address different levels of complexity.

More information is available here.