Organizing in Spaces for Social Innovation. A Community of Practice Perspective


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Type of work: Masters Thesis




social innovation


Social innovation has become a buzz word in recent years, with a widely recognized need for cross-sector collaborations and citizen initiatives aiming to address social needs that are unmet. New organizations with the purpose to enable social innovation are popping up around Europe. Research is not able to keep pace with these spaces for social innovation, leading towards a trial and error approach to their organizing. We set on a journey to explore organizing in spaces for social innovation, choosing Wenger’s community of practice theory as our perspective. We want to get a better look at organizing in the community itself, which we believe would increase the chances of the organization to efficiently address their purpose of enabling social innovation.

We travel to Sweden, Finland and Spain to explore spaces for social innovation from a community of practice perspective. Our findings help us to build an overview of these spaces through our chosen perspective which enable us later on to understand how spaces for social innovation organize. Openness, participation, equality and accountability are key to organizing efficiently, as they give birth to a feeling of “second home”, where comfort and responsibility build the equilibrium necessary to enable social innovation.