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New Pathways to Social Change: Creating Impact through Social Innovation Research

On the Austrian EU Council Presidency (November 28-29 in Vienna), J├╝rgen Howaldt spoke about the increasing importance of Social Innovation Research in Europe. 350 participants from all over Europe and international partner countries discussed the role of SSH in the European Research Agenda.


RTI policy makers, RTI councils, public and philanthropic funding agencies, research managers, academics, and evaluators gathered in Vienna to debate and forward valuation and impact generation of SSH in disciplinary, inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary research settings for the benefit of socially more robust RTI policies, RTI processes and RTI solutions to better address European challenges and missions (For more information about the conference "Impact of Social Sciences and Humanities for a European Research Agenda – Valuation of SSH in mission-oriented research" in Vienna #mce_temp_url#please use this link).

In the closing panel „How to make better use of SSH in Horizon Europe?“ Jürgen Howaldt emphasized the crucial role of social innovation in successfully addressing social, economic, political and environmental challenges of the 21st century. This also raises the question of the role of universities in general and of social sciences in particular in social innovation processes. It will be a major challenge for the development of social innovation to ensure a much higher involvement of research and education facilities.

In these processes social sciences will be challenged to redefine their functions with regard to innovation. In the past, innovation research in the context of social sciences has contributed to explain the social dimensions, the complexity and paradoxes of innovation processes. Henceforth, much will depend on realigning the range of competencies of social science as well as social scientists by contributing actively to the development of social innovation. Against this background participatory approaches that promote involvement and empowerment of civil-society actors are indispensable.

Panel 3: How to make better use of SSH in Horizon Europe?

Moderator: Thomas KÖNIG, IHS – Institute for Advanced Studies


  • Harald HARTUNG, EC – European Commission, DG Research and Innovation
  • Jürgen HOWALDT, TU Dortmund University, Social Research Centre
  • Angela LIBERATORE, ERCEA – European Research Council Executive Agency
  • Tereza STÖCKELOVA, CAS – Czech Academy of Sciences
  • Harald LEITENMÜLLER, Microsoft Austria
  • N.N. – free chair to include ad hoc contributions from the audience;