A novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustain-able, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals. (p. 36).
Phills, J. A., Deiglmeier, K., & Miller, D. T. (2008). Rediscovering social innovation. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall, 34-43. doi:10.1111/j.1369-7625.2010.00656.x
In the context of changing the system dynamics that created the problem in the first place, a social innovation is any initiative (product, process, program, project, policy or platform) that challenges and, over time, contributes to changing the defining routines, resource and authority flows or beliefs of the broader social system in which it is introduced.Successful social innovations reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience. They have durability, scale and transformative impact.
Frances Westley. Introduction to social innovation.