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Sozialforschungsstelle Dortmund is a centre of applied social research with a thematic focus on labour and (social) innovation.


Transformative Social Innovation: Julia Wittmayer and Bonno Pel present TRANSIT results at the sfs


23.02.2018 – February 2nd 2018, Julia Wittmayer (DRIFT, Rotterdam) and Bonno Pel (Université Libre de Bruyelles) visited the sfs in Dortmund. Their presentation was part of an exchange of theoretical findings between international research projects on social innovation. Wittmayer and Pel presented and discussed the “relational framework” and the 12 derived propositions, as developed in the TRANSIT project.


SI-DRIVE Results were presented at the CrESSI Final Event at the University of Oxford


07.02.2018 – Prof. Jürgen Howaldt took part at the CrESSI Final Event at the Said Business School, University of Oxford on 26th of January. The CrESSI Project (Creating Economic Space for Social Innovation) is a four year project funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme.


Interactive Map with more than 1.000 cases of Social Innovation is now online!


02.02.2018 – Social Innovation is a global phenomenon. The global mapping of the SI-DRIVE project proves that social innovations can be found all around the globe. More than 1.000 mapped initiatives establish new social practices to tackle challenges within the policy fields of Education and Lifelong Learning, Employment, Environment and Climate Change, Transport and Mobility, Energy, Health and Social Care, as well as Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development. Based on the mapping a new interactive map has been created presenting over 1.000 cases.


MAKE-IT’s Final Book: A Focus on Maker’s Motivations, Intentions, and (societal) Goals


25.01.2018 – A makerspace is a home for digital fabrication technologies, such as 3D printers or laser cutters and ultimately to makers making use of the premise to create tangible objects of any shape and form. Three sfs-researchers have explored the new phenomenon "Maker Movement" more in depth. The Horizon 2020 funded project “MAKE-IT” gave Dr. Bastian Pelka, Marthe Zirngiebl, and Mathias Cuypers the opportunity to study the goals and motivations of these new social innovators.


Unique Insights into the World of Social Innovation! “Atlas of Social Innovation – New Practices for a Better Future” is now available

Atlas of Social Innovation Print

19.01.2018 – Social Innovation is on the rise. As a lived practice, social innovations explore new ways to deal with complex challenges such as climate change, demographic change or poverty in all parts of the world. Initiatives, from local groups to international networks, have become success stories by “doing things differently”. Against this background, the articles collected in "Atlas of Social Innovation – New Practices for a Better Future" for the first time provides a comprehensive overview of social innovation initiatives from around the globe. Leading experts share new insights in social innovation research and present role-model approaches in different socio-cultural environments.


Research Project SI-DRIVE in Down Under


09.01.2018 – Prof. Jürgen Howaldt spent four weeks as a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Social Impact of the Swinburne University of Technology. During his stay in Australia, he gave lectures on the topic of social innovation and met Australian social innovation experts, also making agreements for future co-operations. Prof. Howaldt presented the results of the global mapping of social innovations, which was conducted during the research project SI-DRIVE, i.a. at the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering at the University of Sydney, at the University New South Wales and at the Australian Centre for Social Innovation in Adelaide.


New interview with Jürgen Howaldt about "Social Innovation" is available


12.12.2017 – The topic "Social Innovation" is pushing more and more into the public discourse and it is getting more attention by scientists and often interdiscipliary research. In an interview sfs-director Jürgen Howalt is giving insights to this object of research – and portraits the international project SI-DRIVE. The interview, done by the German-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research (GCCIR) in Edmonton, which is a multilateral initiative for the development of German–Canadian, and more recently, French-Canadian research and business relations, is now online.


250 participants discuss the future of social innovation at SI-DRIVE final conference


01.12.2017 – From October 24th to 25th, 2017, the Final Conference of the EU 7th Framework funded project SI-DRIVE was held successfully in Brussels, Belgium: “Social Innovation – Research and Policy of the Future: towards a comprehensive innovation policy” brought together over 250 practitioners, researchers and policy makers from 44 countries in the field of social innovation and policy.


New publication: “The Plastics Revolution: How the Netherlands became a global player in plastics”


14.11.2017 – On November 8th, the book “The Plastics Revolution: How the Netherlands became a global player in plastics” was officially presented at the annual meeting of the DPI – The Polymer Research Platform, on the occasion of DPI’s 20th anniversary. The book is co-authored by Harry Lintsen (professor emeritus of Eindhoven University of Technology), Marijn Hollestelle (Foundation for the History of Technology) and Rick Hölsgens (TU Dortmund – Social Research Center).


A push for social inclusion! EU-projekt JobAct Europe has started


12.10.2017 – Under the shared goal of strengthening the labor market position of disadvantaged groups – partners from Italy, France, Hungary and Germany came together in the EU-project JobAct Europe. Scientifically supported by sfs, refugees, NEETs and unemployed youths are accompanied on their way into the labor market through a combination of drama work and job training. The Erasmus+-funded project started with a kick-off-workshop at the coordinator, the Projektfabrik Witten from October 8 – October 10 2017.