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Social innovation in Brandenburg and Saxony-Anhalt How local initiatives try to make a difference

Innovation processes are often assessed solely in terms of economic competitiveness, employment, and growth, which overlooks much potential of what is happening in regions. This is because activities by local initiatives (frequently driven by civil society) are overlooked in these assessments. It is therefore necessary to develop an understanding of these social innovation processes in regions, as village shops, co-working spaces, cultural events, mobile citizens' offices, and local community clubs can make important contributions to the future sustainability of regions.

The notion of social innovation in regional development and beyond has flourished in recent years. Politicians and researcher have argued that such innovation have potentials to achieve particular goals such as climate protection and social cohesion. At the same time, research shows that social innovations can be very diverse and often require support from many actors in order to make most out of the potentials. 

This brochure aims to show how to better understand social innovation in regional development when investigating the places, actors, and networks of social innovation. It shows how initiatives are involved in social innovation processes, in which areas (such as mobility) they aim to initiate changes and how they aim to contribute to the future sustainability of regions.