The current interest in tackling the challenge of measuring social innovation is driven by at least two factors. First, there is undoubtedly a need for tackling long standing as well as new social challenges and meeting current social needs more effectively. The means of choice for doing so is social innovation. Thereby, and this leads us to the second major reason, social innovations can play a pivotal role in serving as competitive future advantages of European economies and societies.
In the wake of these demands, the issue of social innovation measurement has become a significant priority for individual national states and Europe as a whole. These efforts on the macro level are complemented by an intensified discussion about social innovations on the organisational (micro) level and the impact they create. Social innovation metrics on the macro level and social impact measurement systems thus jointly contribute to enhance our understanding of social value creation that is central to the viability of contemporary and future societies.
This Blueprint for Social Innovation Metrics prepared by TEPSIE proposes to measure social innovations as responses to existing social needs and simultaneously stresses the creation of social value in contributing to societal ‘well-being’. This is done with a focus on innovation enabling conditions and therefore on social innovation potential.