About the Social Innovation category

Social innovations - and their proponents, social innovators - aren’t exactly something new. The wheel, the printing press, the computer: all these can be described as social innovations, because they have radically changed the way we live. In some ways, in fact, all innovation is social! Yet, since the 1960s the term ‘social innovation’ has taken root in its own right as something quite different from innovation. It refers to innovations in those fields - education, healthcare, mobility, poverty, social exclusion, environmental sustainability, and other public goods - which are usually the responsibility of governments (the Public Sector) or the Third Sector (such as charity organisations), but which increasingly are being tackled by young (and less young) individuals with unprecedented creativity, skill and entrepreneurship. From micro-credit to Wikipedia, from time-banks to bike-sharing, social innovations are popping up all around us, and are changing the way we live, work, learn, travel, socialize and - most importantly - tackle some of today’s most pressing social and environmental challenges.

With this in mind, here is your fourth mission within the ‘make a living’ campaign:

  • Find and describe a socially innovative company, initiative or project near you (if possible, interview the social innovator who made it possible) that you find inspiring. Do you think it has a chance to actually make the world a little better? Why? See a list of links below, divided by country.
  • Would you work there? Why? Why do you think the founder ended up doing what they are doing instead of just taking a day job somewhere?
  • If you are a social innovator, just tell us about your project!

This mission is done in collaboration with The Hub Network, a global network of physical spaces where social innovators work together to make their projects come true. If you are near a Hub, feel free to visit it. You will be greeted by the local host: tell them you are from Edgeryders and you would like to interview one of their members (they are mostly young), they will be happy to help! Here is a map of the Hubs.


Social innovators are everywhere in Europe, and in most of the world. Here is a list of resources by country: if you need extra assistance, write to edgeryders@gmail.com.