Promoting and sustaining rural social innovation

Malin Lindberg

Abstract


Bringing together conclusions from previous studies of social innovation in rural, local, multi-stakeholder and welfare contexts, this study aims to further develop the scientific insights into the specific mechanisms of rural social innovation, based on a case study of the Swedish part of the European project “Social empowerment in rural areas” (SEMPRE). By analyzing its aims and activities, crucial aspects of rural social innovation are pinpointed in a way that helps discern the main challenges and potentials in promoting and sustaining such innovation. The identified aspects include the identification of urgent societal challenges of rural decline, initiatives to increase the rural attractiveness by innovative forms of social service delivery, empowering mobilization of vulnerable groups, such as rural immigrants, in social service design and delivery, multi-stakeholder involvement of local community actors, as well as participatory workshops to delineate needs/visions, develop solutions to these, and implement the solutions in micro-projects. 


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