chapter  6
49 Pages

Social innovation and urban spaces of civil society action

ByJudith Schicklinski

A sustainability transition requires totally new thinking and thus cannot cope without social innovation. The term has become omnipresent in current policy discourses. In a publication by the European Commission, social innovations are generally defined as innovations that are social in both their ends and their means. Conditions for civil society to unfold on and to influence the state and the market are best in democratic systems. Randers' analysis places low hopes in the capacity of current democratic systems of solving the world's problems and avoiding catastrophic climate change in the second half of this century, lamenting their system inertia. Indeed, with irreversible climate change looming around the corner, there is the risk that politics opts for less democratic choices. Civil society is a term frequently called upon, yet provoking an international discussion of what is meant by civic activities and how these activities relate to the state and the market.