Pathfinder Social Innovation in Urban Development

How can we create more economic, social, and environment value in our cities? The Pathfinder social innovation

How can we create more economic, social, and environmental value in our cities? Over the last decade, many cities worldwide have tackled this question by applying social innovation approaches based on digital technologies. Whether the issue is making digitalisation inclusive, providing migrants with opportunities to take part in society, or improving urban air quality by co-creating policies, social innovation rooted in digital technologies is about generating new responses to such societal needs.

The pathfinder addresses how social innovations develop, grow, and spread. It aims to sup-port social innovators worldwide in turning promising ideas into useful ones. In contrast to other manuals that focus on the question of how to generate or adapt ideas, we go beyond the problem definition and ideation phases. We want to avoid having good ideas fail and we want to show how choices under your control can have a dramatic impact on success.

Our guide examines 12 best practices for successfully implementing, scaling and spreading social innovations. These are based on existing resources, and they build upon input from 14 experts whom we are grateful to have interviewed and/or collaborated with. The cases show real-life processes, impacts and challenges, and together they form a rich and varied picture of social innovation in practice. Drawing on the key findings for policymakers and funders of social innovation, we hope that this project advances the field of social innovation.