About ESSI

The European School of Social Innovation was founded in October 2011 in the aftermath of the first global scientific conference on social innovation: Challenge Social Innovation, held in Vienna, 19-21 September 2011. The conference adopted the Vienna Declaration on the most relevant topics of social innovation research. In its introduction the declaration stipulates:

“The tracks of international research on innovation demonstrate that the technology-oriented paradigm – shaped by the industrial society – does not cover the broad range of innovations indispensable in the transition from an industrial to a knowledge and services-based society: Such fundamental societal changes require the inclusion of social innovations in a paradigm shift of the innovation system.”
Based on this assertion, the European School of Social Innovation was formed to assist and enhance a holistic concept of innovation: The predominant economic values of innovations in business and technology, revaluated by accounts on their social dimensions regarding origins and impact, shall become associated with societal values of social innovations in public, business and civil society sectors.”