Social Innovation

Research Institute for Social Innovation

Public governance, welfare and social innovation

Addressing social exclusion, discrimination and various forms of inequalities is a crucial challenge for the future of Europe and its citizens. The understanding of rapidly changing multicultural and multilingual societies requires a cross-disciplinary approach, spanning across the social sciences and humanities, and including law and ICT, to address issues such as gender equity and diversity, access to education, accessibility and disability rights, health and social welfare, labour markets, active ageing, demographic change, family and children protection, consumer protection, and sustainable company law.
Research on these themes benefits from innovative tools such as social innovation, a trans-disciplinary concept increasingly applied  to a range of fields with the ultimate goal of removing barriers to participation in society, reducing inequalities, and promoting integration, inclusion and justice and healthcare by means of well designed public policies.


Accessibility for inclusion, Active ageing and demographic change, Active citizenship, Agent-based models, Behavioural economics, Collective identities, Decision sciences, Education policy, Gender equality, Health economics, Inclusion and fairness, Inequalities, Integration, Intercultural relations, Long term care, Policy evaluation, Protection of rights, Smart cities and communities, Social innovation, Translation studies, Transnational history, User-driven innovation, Well-being


Giacomo Pasini

Research facilitators

Fulvio Grassadonio
Elena Grandi

High-impact and award-winning projects

SIforREF – Social policies for refugees integration

The challenge that SIforREF addresses is combating the risk of marginalization of refugees after the reception phases, which are different in each country, through the design and implementation of social innovation methodologies. The project aims to facilitate refugees’ autonomy by enhancing or launching refugee integration policies at regional and local level (countries involved: Italy, Germany, Austria and Slovenia). To achieve this objective, refugee integration should be included in the decisional agenda both at local and transnational level and policy-makers should adopt inclusive measures in governance. The complexity of this issue requires a mutual learning among central European regions, especially neighbourhood regions like those involved in the project.

Researcher: Francesca Campomori
Duration: 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2021

Preserving European Deaf Signing Communities

The project SIGN‐HUB ‐ Preserving, Researching and Fostering the Linguistic, Historical and Cultural Heritage of European Deaf Signing Communities with an Integral Resource ‐ aims to provide the first comprehensive response to the societal and scientific challenge resulting from generalized neglect of the cultural and linguistic identity of signing Deaf communities in Europe.
This Horizon 2020 project will provide an innovative and inclusive resource hub for the linguistic, historical and cultural documentation of the Deaf communities' heritage and for sign language assessment in clinical intervention and school settings.
To this end, it will create an open state‐of‐the‐art digital platform with customized accessible interfaces.

Researcher: Chiara Branchini

Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe

The Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe SHARE is a multidisciplinary and cross‐national panel database of micro data on health, socio‐economic status and social and family networks of approximately 123,000 individuals (more than 293,000 interviews) from 20 European countries (+Israel) aged 50 or older.

Synergies for Europe’s Research Infrastructures in the Social Sciences SERISS, aims to equip Europe’s social science data infrastructures to play a major role in addressing the key societal challenges facing Europe today and ensure that national and European policymaking is built on a solid base of the highest‐quality socio‐economic evidence.

Researcher: Agar Brugiavini

Making the Most of Social Science to Build Better Policies

Knowledge For Use (K4U) is an ERC Advanced grant hosted by the University of Durham, involving Ca' Foscari researchers.
The project will construct a radically new picture of how to use social science to build better social policies and it will launch an entire new field in philosophy: the philosophy of social technology.
K4U will provide not just a theoretical but a practical understanding‐ for users: intelligible and practically helpful to those who need to estimate and balance the effectiveness, the evidence, the chances of success, the costs, the benefits, the winners and losers, and the social, moral, political and cultural acceptability of proposed policies.

Researcher: Eleonora Montuschi
Duration: 01/11/2015 - 30/10/2020