Social Innovation and Deep Institutional Innovation for Sustainability and Human Development

M. Glatz-Schmallegger,

Edmond Byrne,

Gerard Mullally,

Ian Hughes,

Connor McGookin,

Brian Ó Gallachóir


This paper by an international team around MaREI - the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) national Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine research and innovation - argues that in the 21st century the confluence of crises including the climate and biodiversity emergency shows that many foundational social institutions are suboptimal, either for the achievement of human flourishing or for addressing global challenges. Meta-institutions around economics, culture, religion, education, politics (to name just a few) need to be fundamentally re-imagined. The coronavirus pandemic has brought this dangerous reality into even starker relief, as it highlights the interconnectedness and the sheer fragility of our globalised socio-economic-environmental system. This paper of the team on “Deep Institutional Innovation for Sustainability and Human Development” (DIIS) especially focusses on the need not only to re-imagine these institutions, but also to transform and re-build them and to initiate practical interventions to gain momentum for transition towards sustainability. This paper especially builds on Hughes et al (2020) to explore the interconnections between processes of thought leadership, such as the re-imagining of social institutions, and emerging practices of social innovation that can have positive impact on the systemic architecture of those social institutions.

Słowa kluczowe: Institutions, institutional innovation, social innovation, social ethics, Aristotle, Amartya Sen, Martha Nussbaum, Axel Honneth, Charles Taylor, well-being, transition, climate change, Sustainable Development Goals