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Edited by Marc Pradel-Miquel, Ana B. Cano-Hila and Marisol García Cabeza

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Social Innovation and Urban Governance

Citizenship, Civil Society and Social Movements

Edited by Marc Pradel-Miquel, Ana B. Cano-Hila and Marisol García Cabeza

Presenting social innovation initiatives that emerged from organized citizenry in Southern European cities, this book explores the response to austerity policies implemented after the 2008 economic crisis. Chapters look at the common aim of these initiatives in responding to social needs and challenging social exclusion.
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Elin M. Oftedal and Lene Foss

This chapter discusses how responsible start-ups are met in the health sector. Through following three companies, Voco, Cora and Medicus, we acquire insight into the world of challenges the entrepreneurs have when they introduce their technology/service to the healthcare sector. Using institutional theory, we look at the regulative, normative and cognitive dimension of the institutional framework. We use the term ‘institutional wall’ to denote a dense network of formal laws and regulation, informal norms and knowledge and beliefs that act as barriers for the entrepreneurs to access the market. We find that while there is a positive development in the regulative dimension: both the regulative and the normative dimension are set up to favour larger companies. The founders’ responses to the cognitive dimension indicate a lack of belief in Norwegian technology and thus tough access to finance.

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Edited by Tatiana Iakovleva, Elin M. Oftedal and John Bessant

Powerful new approaches and advances in medical systems drive increasingly high expectations for healthcare providers internationally. The form of digital healthcare – a suite of new technologies offering significant benefits in cost and quality – allow institutions to keep pace with society’s needs. This book covers the need for responsible innovation in this area, exploring the issues of implementation as well as potential negative consequences to ensure digital healthcare delivers for the benefit of all stakeholders.
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Marc Parés, Sonia M. Ospina and Joan Subirats

Bushwick is a neighbourhood suffering a huge gentrification process. It has a dominant and longstanding low-income Hispanic community, which is being displaced by newcomers. As a result, the neighbourhood is divided in two social groups. In this context and under the conditions of economic crisis post-2008, we see various struggles for social innovation: efforts to stabilize employment for the low-income, action to stem the tide of housing displacement (aggravated by stagnant and falling incomes) and struggles to integrate the neighbourhood’s major constituencies to keep the neighbourhood whole – as one Bushwick rather than two. It has not been easy for Bushwick to deal with gentrification effects. A former political machine – engaging the New York State Assemblyman for the area and a big traditional non-profit – has constrained any other social initiative. However, Bushwick is starting to evolve. It is precisely Bushwick’s community that, through building networks and experimenting with new ways of doing, is leading this emerging process of social change.

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Marc Parés, Sonia M. Ospina and Joan Subirats

This chapter focuses on the agential dimension of social innovation. Realizing that governments would not solve the post-crisis aggravated community problems, social organizations – as has traditionally happened – responded with creative solutions to their constituents’ new landscape of scarcity. To better understand how things are getting done in these organizations, this chapter challenges leader-centred traditional understandings and proposes instead highlighting the collective nature of leadership. What type of leadership practices did participants in these organizations use to make their work more resourceful? How did they transform individual efforts into collective achievements that produced social transformation? How did the leadership work in these organizations help community members bring their voices into the public debate as they engaged in contestation, public deliberation and action, as agents of change and active protagonists of collective problem solving? Three types of leadership practices, which will be empirically analyzed in our case studies, are introduced and described: unleashing human energies, bridging difference and reframing discourse. Finally, the chapter reflects on the relationship between the work of collective leadership, the identified leadership practices and democracy.

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Marc Parés, Sonia M. Ospina and Joan Subirats

In this chapter we discuss the effects of the Great Recession in the US and Europe and outline the key responses developed at the macro and micro levels, exploring how social innovation has become a powerful response to evolving social challenges within communities. We also justify our claim that communities matter for fostering social change from below, and then introduce Barcelona and New York as the two cities that host the innovative efforts we chose to highlight in our selected case studies.

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Marc Parés, Sonia M. Ospina and Joan Subirats

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Marc Parés, Sonia M. Ospina and Joan Subirats

In this chapter we review lessons from the socially innovative initiatives discussed throughout the book. These are deconstructed and categorized along several dimensions. The four case studies are used to analyse the global–local relations prominent in the post-recession environment, and the responses that have emerged to cope with this new context. On one hand, we focus on the so-called ‘zone effect’ to examine how neighbourhood features determine both resilience and responses. On the other hand, we analyze the leadership practices that are evident in those initiatives. We finally conclude that a multi-scalar and comprehensive combination of three strategies – community capacity building, the development of democratic leadership practices and bottom-linked socially innovative initiatives – is required for social innovation to become a real driver of social change.

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Marc Parés, Sonia M. Ospina and Joan Subirats