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Public Service Innovation Networks for Social Innovation: Danish Case-Studies Report

Co-VAL > Blog > Resources > Public Service Innovation Networks for Social Innovation: Danish Case-Studies Report

In all five empirical case studies from Denmark, presented in the Public Deliverable D6.1: 4th Empirical approach to value co-creation in public services: structural transformations’, the Co-VAL team focuses on examples of social innovation emerging in the interplay between the public sector and the third sector and/or civil society. Nevertheless, as Professor Lars Fuglsang, Postdoc Anne Vorre Hansen, and Associate Professor Ada Scupola explain, the cases of social innovation are not initiated or “owned” by the public sector itself, but they are highly dependent on and situated within a network of cross-sector collaboration – meaning that they are examples of bottom-up social innovation and not examples of specific innovation processes per se.

All cases emphasize that there are certain complex social problems, which are not addressed properly by the public sector. This is actually why they are driven by a certain inherent systems critique, while at the same time collaborating closely with and being dependent on the public sector.

In addition, the cases are all concerned with systemic change; either through the means of physical movement (a bike ride), figuratively as getting somebody from a to b (becoming readier for the labour market), or through other means, such as the application of honey production as both a concrete activity and a metaphor for new ways of production, the creation of new stories/understandings based on partnerships models, and ICT innovation as a change maker.

However, as the authors point out, still it seems that the more the case organisation is dependent on collaborating with the public sector, the less the transformational potential.

The cases are based on ideas of the dynamics of change; that ‘if you are able to make a change at an individual level you also set the ground for making a cultural change that can lead to societal or institutional changes at a collective level’. Therefore, in all cases there is something about making a move/to move somebody at stake; implicating that relationship-building and trust developed over time are key in understanding innovation processes.

To sum up, reciprocity, relationalities and temporality, seem to prevail. As the Co-VAL authoring team mentions, ‘this implicates a processual perspective on innovation, not understood as a specific method or model for innovation, but merely as an approach to explore and develop an overall objective of change’.

You can read all about the Danish Case-Studies Reports here.

For an overview of different initiatives in digital transformation and co-creation at the local level for EU28 countries you can visit Co-VAL’s case studies repository.