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CRESSI - Creating Economic Space for Social Innovation


From 2014 until 2018, researchers from Oxford (project coordinator), Budapest, Delft, Greifswald, Heidelberg, Pavia and Tampere will explore the economic underpinnings of social innovation with a particular focus on how policy and practice can enhance the lives of the most marginalized and disempowered citizens in Europe.


The final CrESSI conference took place 26.1.2018 in Oxford. Programm here, a documentation will be available soon.


GETIDOS members will contribute to these efforts in the following ways:

1.      How can we create a fair economic space for social innovation? We contribute to the conceptual framework of the project a perspective of justice focusing especially on the sustainability dimension and drawing on the capabilities approach, the concept of resilience and strong sustainability. The creation of economic space for social innovation needs to be framed taking into account the perspective of the most marginalized in the present and as well as those of future generations, and with a view to the human interaction with non-human animals, plants, ecosystems and nature in general. In this way, we explore the contribution of social innovation for the European Union and its development and regeneration as a peace project in cosmopolitan spirit.

2.      What do we know about long-run innovation processes in the EU, and what is the implication of this knowledge to foster economic space for social innovation? We will contribute to qualitative and quantitative case studies with a specific focus on freshwater infrastructure and integrated river basin management.

3.      How can researchers together with civil society and other actors contribute to learning in innovation processes that aim for justice and sustainability? Together with the European Rivers Network, we coordinate the Big Jump Challenge 2015 – as the European youth campaign for water conservation in Europe, and in this context develop a social innovation toolkit for youth campaigns.

4.      How can film complement the written word for the analysis and communication of social innovation? Watch the documentary "Air beneath your wings" here.


Project Links:

CRESSI Homepage

Big Jump Challenge



Ziegler, Rafael (2017). Social innovation as a collaborative concept”. In:  Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research, 1–18. doi:10.1080/13511610.2017.1348935.

Ziegler, Rafael  (2017). Citizen Innovation as Niche Restoration – A Type of Social Innovation and Its Relevance for Political Participation and Sustainability”. In: Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 1–16. doi:10.1080/19420676.2017.1364286.

von Jacobi, Nadia; Edmiston, Daniel; Ziegler, Rafael (2017).  Tackling marginalisation through social innovation? Examining the EU social innovation policy agenda from a capabilities perspective. In: Journal of Human Development and Capabilities. Post-review pre print here.

Lodemann, Justus (2015): Commitment to social and ecological objectives: Crucial in generating social innovations for the marginalised? In: CRESSI D1.3 "Report Contrasting CRESSI’s Approach of Social Innovation with that of Neoclassical Economics" (online).

Ziegler, Rafael (2015): Social Innovation as a collaborative concept. ISIRC 2016, York. Winner Best Paper Award.

Ziegler, Rafael (2015): Innovation – A Genealogy from the Standard Approach in Economics to an Economic-Sociological Model for Human Development. In: CRESSI D1.3 "Report Contrasting CRESSI’s Approach of Social Innovation with that of Neoclassical Economics" (online).

Nicholls, Alex  und Rafael Ziegler (2014): An Extended Social Grid model for the Study of Marginalization Processes and Social Innovation. CRESSI Working Paper Nr. 2 (online).

Lodemann, Justus und Rafael Ziegler (2014). How can resilience theory inform social innovation for the marginalized? CRESSI Working Paper Nr. 6, CRESSI Working Paper Nr. 6 (online).

Lodemann, Justus (2014): How does the analysis of Mann enricht the 'Capabilities approach' to social innovation? CRESSI Working Paper Nr. 8 (online).

Ziegler, Rafael (2014): Innovation and Justice - a discussion of conceptual foundations for creating a fair space for innovations with specific reference to the capabilities approach. HDCA 2014 Human Development in Times of Crisis: renegotiating social justice. Athens, September 2014.



Please subcribe here.



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 613261.








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13.4.2018 Deadline CfP Social Innovation and Sustainability

9.2.2018 Air beneath their wings Documentary online

26.1.2018 CrESSI-Social Innovation Conference Oxford

24.1.2018 Zukunftsalon München Book presentation

19.1.-21-1 3. Berlin River Film Festival

15.12.2017 Webinar Agency, Autonomy & Social Innovation

7.12.2017 Buch Wer zur Quelle will, muss gegen den Strom schwimmen

14.10.2017 1. Ryck-Tag Greifswald

15.7.2017 Deadline application Wild River Camp

May 2017: Special Issue Social Innovation & the Capability Approach

March 2017: New Book Global Water Ethics - Towards a global ethics charter

20.-22.1.2017 Wild and Scenic Film Festival, 2nd Berlin edition

9.1.2017  New research: Tackling Marginalisation through Social Innovation? 1. European Social Innovation Policy Forum

24.10.2016 Travelguide to a river - now available from here

5.-7.9.2016 Keynote at ISIRC 2016 Glasgow

6.7.-12.7.2016 Sensing the City - Youth River Action Camp, Berlin

30.6.2016 VL Rafael Ziegler, Wer zur Quelle will, muß gegen den Strom schwimmen. SI & Mitgestaltung von Wandel

3.6.2016 Vortrag L'eau et les rêves (en 2016). Nacht der Ideen, Institut Francais

21.4.2016  Lecture Jana Gebauer,  Breaking the cycle of feeling stagnant - Die transformative Rolle von Unternehmen im Postwachstum

April 2016 Social Entrepreneurship in the Water Sector - now also as a paperback

1.4.2016 Deadline Abstracts for economic underpinings of social innovation @ ISIRC 2016

20-22.1.2016 Wild & Scenic River Film Festival, Moviemento Berlin

18.11. Economic underpinnings of social innovation session @ SI Vienna

Big Jump Challenge 15 - Small acts of concrete solidarity. Report online

16.10.15 Flussparlament in Berlin

6.10.15 Webinar Municipal Housing in Vienna

15.10.15 Call for Papers Special Issue Social Innovation

6.-8.9.15. Special Session @ ISIRC 2015 Yorck

20.7. Getting on track for the future - the case for climate neutrality

13.7. 15 European Rivers Parliament, Brussels

23.-25.7.15. WaterEthics @ ISEE 2015 Kiel

7.5. Moving water messages

5. 5.15:  Call for Papers Special Session Economic underpinnings of social innovation

24.-27.3.15.  WassErleben Berlin

Register your Jump for the Big Jump Challenge by 22.3.2015

19.2.15. GETIDOS @Flussgebietsmanagement 2.0 Hannover

30.1.15. GETIDOS @ThinkShop des Laboratorio Expo

GETIDOS Newsletter 1/2015

15.10.2014 Join new Technology, Innovation and Design Group

09.10.2014: GETIDOS-Book-Launch