Social Innovation Approach

Realise change through social innovation

Working towards a more sustainable and healthier food system and living environment requires efforts from different people and rarely goes without a struggle. Due to the complexity and inherent resistance, many ambitious projects, initiatives and networks get bogged down and social challenges are passed on to the next generation. With the Social Innovation Approach, Wageningen Economic Research supports initiatives that work on step-by-step and pioneering innovation in the field of food and nature.

I enjoy the energy that comes from working together on a more sustainable alternative.
Researcher Anne-Charlotte Hoes

Through action research we offer new connections, action perspectives and reflection. Potential drivers and barriers for, for example, circular agrofood system and a sustainable dairy chain are identified through in-depth interviews, network and system analyses.

Through workshops, among other things, we create new connections between experts, entrepreneurs and citizens involved. All play a role in finding new ideas, inspiration, exploring problems and working together on solutions for, for example, scaling up biobased construction.

This creates action, by offering action perspectives and implementing radical solutions or simple improvements. Action that fits the desired change.

Joint reflection on the innovation strategy of the initiative proves indispensable to guarantee the learning capacity, and thus the robustness and success of the initiative.

The strength of our approach is that we collaborate with a wide variety of stakeholders, including substantive researchers, such as technical, economic and sector experts from Wageningen University & Research. The integration of hard figures, data, models and technology provide extra clout and dynamism.