This piece considers the importance of, and difficulties associated with, studying and fostering transformative social innovation. Using The Evolution of Social Innovation (2017) as an organizing moment of multiple social innovation research agendas, we explore some of the current critical questions related to transformational social innovation, including: the prophetic starting conditions of any innovation; the multi-agent effort over time and scale; the mutual role of the adjacent possibles; paradox and tension of the social innovation process, and; the roles of collations and opposition to transformative change. The contribution advances many conversations about transformative social innovation, a subject that seems to grow in attention as a perceived set of responses to the complex problems around us - new and long standing. Yet, crucial questions of power, voice and conflict need to be explored as more and more practitioners and academics alike place their hopes in the ambiguous promise of transformative social innovation.
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