The Political Economy of Social Innovation: A Day School


We will first introduce you to the theoretical concept of social innovation, in light of current welfare policy debates at the national and supranational levels. The topic of social innovation will be presented in a critical way as to uncover the opportunities as well as the limitations embedded in such new potential form of welfare provision. Different forms of social innovation (i.e. social enterprises, social impact bonds etc.) more or less established will be discussed.

In the second and third part of the day a number of specific themes will be addressed; ideal topics could be housing, migration, poverty, discrimination, digital exclusion or environmental justice (these can be adjusted based on the audience’s interests). In each case, we will focus on a specific geographical context and discuss, on the one hand, potential gaps in the current welfare provision systems and, on the other hand, the kind of social innovations that could help to tackle them.

The final chapter will involve a closing discussion of all findings from the thematic sessions, in order to highlight the ecosystem-based nature of social innovation and its implications concerning the relationship between the State and the private sector.

Programme details

All times UK times, GMT (UTC)

Introducing social innovation


The city as a lab

Lunch break

Tackling poverty and social inclusion


Social innovation and welfare reforms

Course disperses


Description Costs
Standard course fee £75.00


If you are in receipt of a UK state benefit or are a full-time student in the UK you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Miss Laura Silva


Laura Silva is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the Observatoire Sociologique du Changement at Sciences Po in Paris and an affiliated researcher at CREST. Laura’s work focuses on urban inequalities, urban social innovation and the individual effect of growing up in different socio-economic neighbourhood conditions. 

IT requirements

The University of Oxford uses Microsoft Teams for our learning environment, where students and tutors will discuss and interact in real time. Joining instructions will be sent out prior to the start date. We recommend that you join the session at least 10-15 minutes prior to the start time – just as you might arrive a bit early at our lecture theatre for an in-person event.

If you have not used the Microsoft Teams app before, once you click the joining link you will be invited to download it (this is free). Once you have downloaded the app, please test before the start of your course. If you are using a laptop or desktop computer, you will also be offered the option of connecting using a web browser. If you connect via a web browser, Chrome is recommended.

Please note that this course will not be recorded.