Transformers: How local areas innovate to address changing social needs

Published: January 2008 Publication Type: Publication

Authors: Geoff Mulgan , Nicola Bacon, Nusrat Faizullah, Saffron Woodcraft

Innovation in public services is going to prove crucial to the UK’s ability to meet the social challenges of the 21st century. However, at the moment, the UK does a poor job of developing innovations in the public sector. We are particularly weak in using innovations in one service to improve public services in others in the same locality or nearby.

Historically, nearly all innovation policy has been tailored to the needs of for-profit manufacturing sectors. However, there is an increasing thirst for understanding how finance, policy and institutions can support Social Innovation. This report draws on extensive research, including literature reviews and case studies from around the world, and from interviews. The Young Foundation collaborated with NESTA to produce this report.

It looks at successes as well as failures. It aims to clarify which conditions best support and sustain local social innovation and it provides guidance to future practitioners and policymakers.

Download a full pdf version of the publication.