(21 January 2020) – Nordregio, the Nordic Centre for Spatial Development, published in 2017 a report “Social Innovation in Local Development in the Nordic Countries and Scotland”, which is still a benchmark for remote rural areas.
The main objectives of the project were to investigate the concept of social innovation in relation to local and rural development, study the governance context in social innovation in rural areas in the Nordics and Scotland, conduct case studies, as well as study the existing support systems for social innovation in particular in rural areas.
Opinions are divided regarding the role of the public sector in social innovation. Some see it as an attractive policy tool, a hybrid phenomenon drawing different resources from the public, private and third sectors, while others view it as evidence of a failure of public policies.
Nordregio argues that attitudes to public sector involvement are likely to be conditioned both by path dependence within different welfare regime contexts, and by different forms of local governance. Thus, the close relationship between municipalities and local communities in the Nordic countries provides a basis for active public sector involvement in social innovation.