Understanding social innovations – Sociology Conference BDS (Berufsverband Deutscher Soziologen)

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By Ragnar Heil

Starting 12.June 2015 Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany (IWAK), is hosting for 3 days a Sociology Conference from Germany`s Sociological Assiociation for Professionals: BDS. Find Agenda here

I am going to live blog speeches and workshops which I have joined, so this blogpost might not be complete when you read it.

Mrs Prof Dr Birgit Blättel-Mink: Research about diffusion processes of social innovations

  • Definition of Schumpeter: Innovation as discontinous process. Against balance of market. Main motivator: create own realm. Act against resistance. Power through personality. Enterprise creates monopolies. Inventions are not mentoioned in his works. He focused on the opportunity and moment to create innovations.
  • Evolutionary Economics: Variations, Selection, Bewährung
    Non linear diffusions
  • innovation paths are along heterogenous acteursDefinition of Everett M. Rogers (1962): Diffusion is a functional reaction of the market with time as independent variable.
    Types: Innovators – Early Adaptors – early majority – late majority – laggards
  • Performance as binary code (system theory)
  • Functional differentiations of innovationin society: Economy, Politics, Social, Arts
  • Emergence of innovations (telephone started as military instrument)
  • Success criteria of innovations: Diffusions,emergence, broad reach, usage & adoption.
  • Gabriel Tarde (2009): significant researches about diffusion processes
  • Robert Merton (1968): Innovation as a type of individual adoption in phases of social anomy (e.g. Mafia. sport bets, rental of money)
  • Innovation as resilience: helping failing sub systems to survive

Definition von sozialen Innovationen pic.twitter.com/zWAEFAgy4a

— BerufsverbSoziologie (@bds_soz) 12. Juni 2015

Prof Dr. Bernhard Mann: Health Management & Innovations

tools, structures and approaches / actions about health management:  img 0098 correlation between health and work: img 0099 challenges:

  • doubts about success
  • costs
  • missing know how


  • new hire onboarding management
  • stress mgt
  • burnout prevention
  • motivation of employees
  • praisals
  • healthier leadership style

economical benefits:

  • BAD AG CEO Prof. Dr. Bernd Siegmund reports about 12% increase of revenue

Dr. Ufuk Altun: Family Friendly Work Design

  • new book: A. Hoff \”Gestaltung betrieblicher Arbeitsgestaltung\” / \”Arbeitskultur 2020\”
  • BDA (Bund Deutscher Arbeitgeber) addresses this topic significantly
  • requirements: chronomorphy (separation) /  chronometry (duration) / chronology (location)
  • social developments and future of work in 2030:

img 0101 0 

changed  challenges in different decadesimg 0103

Prof. Jürgen Howaldt: \”Social Innovations\”

  • Innovation is leading topic of modern societies
  • Vannevar Bush (1945): Science of the Endless Frontier
  • 50 Mio USD \”Social Innovation Fund\” by Barack Obama
  • Social Innovation also major topic in European Commission or in Columbia: ANSPE`s center for social innovations (UNIDOS). driven by government.
  • infrastructure is now built for social innovations by establishing many insituts worldwide (in Germany: Berlin (2004),  Solingen (2005), Hochschule München (2010))
  • paradigm change of innovation processes when shifting from industrial society to knowledge-and services society
  • new trend: innovation created within society and not only in R&D departments. More open processes
  • Social Innovations are innovations which are social in both:  their ends and meaning:
  • too less theories worldwide and publications in German (only Wolfgang Zapf (1989) and Katrin Gillwald (2000)
  • new project by Howaldt: \”SI drive\”: Social Innovation as driver for social change..Undertaking global mapping.  15 steering committee members from 12 countries. Areas: edu, employment, transport, engergy supply., transport & mobility, health & social care, poverty reduction, environment & climate change
  • Social innovation is intended new configuration of social practises by actors.
  • Leading question: under which contextes and circumstance social innovations can be developed and spread?
  • Need to bring this topic into schools and educational organisations
  • Are sociologists cherry on the cake or leading transformer in this change process?

Prof. Dr. Roger Häußling:New Design of Data- and Decision Architectures

  • Dont believe the hype: We cannot control social innovation processes
  • technical innovations are always social innovations
  • design is creating connectivity (Anschlussfähigkeit) and forming processes. Art of Design (Icons, Symbols) and Art of Non-Design (Axel Platz: Kunst des Weglassens) through white spaces and reductions.
  • Herbert A.Simon (1969): Science of the Artificial. Two environments with different logics
  • Software should be understood as decision architectures. They can bridge a breakdown (e.g. save word document before computer reboots). Decision architectures combine human and technical decisions. \"Aufgabe

    Gustav Giest: Change Management at FORD  

  • You cannot copy culture! (regarding innovation processes at Toyota, Lean Management)
  • miletone in socal innovation process when blue collar workers could see how finalized Scorpio looked like. More transparency.Key Operator Traning.
  • ERP implementation issues: 62% are people related (Deloitte study)
  • Casues for resistance: fears about rationalism,
  • project: Von Durchsetzungskultur zur Umsetzungskultur
  • quote Crozier / Friedberg about change management

Daniel Kerpen: Chances und Restraints about industrial work and qualification structures

Industry 4.0: ensemble of different infrastructures: img 01061  

Assistance 4.0: combining SmartPhones and SmartGlasses e.g, for maintenance and predictive analysis

img 0108

Dr Susanne Gerstenberg
Causes of failures in Change Management Processes

Dr Antonius Schröder: Hessencampus as example for Lifelong Learning and Social Innovations

idea: improve structures for sudents by changing perspectives. Moving from institutional learning to a rigid student-focused learning perspectiv.img 0110

Dr Agnes Dietzen: early diagnosis and recognition of educational needs and deficits

design factors:

  • awareness of design
  • simplicity and clearness
  • relationships of actors and communication system
  • combination of knowledge sources
  • combine knowlwdge and decision making
  • risk managment and decisions

img 0111

Ralf Spickermann: management of education and leadership

self organized learning processes and development steps: img 0112

Dr. Christoph Kaletka: Smart Cities: Local success factors for social innovations

  • Paradigmatical change of innovation system when moving from industrial to knowledge and service society with major impact on relationship between technologx and human relations.
  • social innovations are new practises which are created by participation processes
  • social innovation is more than just an invention and social entrepreneurship. It involves learning in networks, new ways of management and cross sector corporations (economy, politics, art, edu, law, religion etc)
  • Characteristics for ecosystem of a local innovation culture: city supports and sponsors local projects and innovations and population is open for changes, can test & evaluate and adopt.
  • Social Innovation Labs, sponsored by Rockefeller Foundation.
    Types: 1) Labs founded because of social issues/challenges 2) public sector labs 3) internal labs like for UNICEF 4) autonom labs for a specific topic.  These labs care about complex problems (heterogenous acteurs, sectors, perspectives) and adaptive problems. They also care of for issues without owners. They start to work when other solutions failed. Labs offer consulting and mentoring, connect with venture capital, support infrastructure development.
  • Strategic Innovationmanagement which sets long term goals, defines steps and assigns resources

Ramona Hoffmann (Stadt Hertel), Janina Kandt : Smart City 2.0 Herten \”Mitmachstadt\”

  • background: impressive increasing debt. Population shrinking, people getting older
  • are people still caring about public welfare and solidarity? Strong influence of individualism and egoism
  • Consequences: missing trust in politics and leaders, loss of social competences, feeling of powerlessness and helpnessless
  • \”Mitmachstadt\” / City 2.0 with participation processes has long tradition since 70/80s.
  • main challege: missing support of leading party SPD
  • brandnew project: optimize downtown, make it more attractive and beautiful. Crowdsource ideas with citicens.
  • next steps: rollout program for next years. Guidelines, new online website for participation processes, establish working groups
  •  building blocks for participation in city of Hertel:img 0113

Carolin Thiem (Tech Univ Munich): Citizen Sourcing 

  • crowd sourcing for public sector
  • examples: Maerker Brandenburg. includes website and app. Three steps: requested, in work, finished. No discussion about progress, quite static and very few communication
  • example: Ideenkanal (ideation channel) Vorarlberg, Austria. Now they franchise their solutions, other cities can purchase
  • citizen sourcing is parallel system
  • incentives for citizens missing
  • many legal questions when citizens get too many responsibilities

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