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TU Dortmund University – sfs participated in an edited volume on social innovation in Latin America

Dmitri Domanski is one of the editors of this volume, which was recently published in Colombia. Over 350 pages offer space for exploring social innovation in Latin America from a wide range of perspectives, with experts from academia, governmental institutions and civil society making an important contribution to a better understanding of this topic.


Latin America is a dynamic region. In recent decades, many countries have made significant progress in economic and social terms. Nevertheless, world-wide it is still the region with the highest income inequality, but also with considerable deficits in areas such as education and health. Against this background, the region is experiencing a real boom in social innovation; a development that was described several years ago by ECLAC, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, and recently investigated as part of the global research project SI-DRIVE – Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change (coordinated by TU Dortmund University – sfs).

Despite the growing interest in social innovation in Latin America, research on this topic remains scarce and there are only few scientific publications, which usually do not allow for a systematic debate. Hence, the editors of the volume “Innovación Social en Latinoamérica” considered it very important to create a publication in which authors from various societal sectors would address the issue of social innovation in Latin America from different points of view and from diverse experiences. Thus, there are articles by authors from ECLAC and from the Inter-American Development Bank which provide a comprehensive view on social innovation in the region, as well as contributions to developments in individual countries such as Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

The publication shows concrete possibilities for governmental institutions, universities, civil society organizations and business companies to participate in developing social innovations. Furthermore, exploration of concepts of social innovation is an important issue in this edited volume. In the first part of the publication, the article written by Jürgen Howaldt provides an important contribution in this regard, also offering an interesting perspective on the relationship between social innovation and social change.

Moreover, the volume attempts to combine perspectives from Latin America with experiences from Europe. Dmitri Domanski and Jürgen Howaldt write together with Pablo Villalobos and Carlos Huenchuleo about social innovation in Chile; Dmitri Domanski and Christoph Kaletka present different experiences of TU Dortmund University – sfs in international social innovation research and reflect on how this could be connected to research initiatives in Latin America. At the same time, “Innovación Social en Latinoamérica” shows that Europe can learn a lot from Latin America in the field of social innovation.

Altogether, 24 authors participated in the publication. The volume was published by the largest Colombian university Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios, the Chilean NGO LaFIS and the Government of the Department of Cundinamarca. “Innovación Social en Latinoamérica”, edited by Dmitri Domanski, Nicolás Monge, Germán Quitiaquez and Daniel Rocha was launched in Bogotá within the framework of the SIX Global Summer School on 7th of October 2016. The edited volume (in Spanish) can be downloaded under this link. All articles include a summary in English.