The SOCRISIS project works with the following main concepts:

  • Social Innovation
  • Effectiveness
  • Scalability
  • Civic Capacity
  • Leadership Practices


Social Innovation:

Alternative solutions (ideas, products, services and models) developed to collectively satisfy human needs that have not or unsatisfactory been satisfied. These novel solutions do not come neither from the state nor the market, but from citizens and civil society; and not only satisfy alienated social needs but also produce citizens’ empowerment and shift social and power relationships. Social Innovation is a complex process of introducing new products, processes or programs that profoundly change the basic routines, resource and authority flows, or beliefs of the social system in which the innovation occurs.

We assume that to become a social change driver social innovation should be effective and scalable.


to what extent a socially innovative initiative achieves the desired social transformation with respect to:

  • solving the problem it set out to address
  • empowering citizens
  • producing changes in social and power relations


the capacity of a socially innovative initiative to expand or grow by way of either:

  • Scaling out: engaging more people, being more inclusive and broadly solving the problem it set out to address
  • Scaling up: expanding up from the local level to a new geographical context beyond the neighbourhood

Civic Capacity:

The ability to articulate stakeholders in a neighbourhood concerning with collective problems. The extent to which different sectors of the community (governmental and non-governmental) act in concert around a matter of community-wide import. We understand civic capacity as a community resource, as a neighbourhood feature.

Leadership Practices:

Collective and meaning-making interventions and patterns of behaviour that make things different from what they were before, fostering that social change happens. Leadership is a unique type of meaning-making process. This is so because the shared agreements that produce leadership are articulated and generated within a community of practice, that is, a group working to achieve results. They connect wills and help transform wills into action. We have analysed three specific leadership practices in our case studies:

  • Unleashing human energies: leadership practices that empower the have-nots, practices that stem from the assumption that knowledge is power.
  • Bridging difference: leadership practices that create the conditions to bring divers actors or social groups together and facilitate their joint work while maintaining, appreciating and drawing on their differences.
  • Reframing discourse: leadership practices that disrupt established frames, while proposing others more congruent with their vision for the future.