Purpose – The Covid-19 pandemic has initiated a period of radical uncertainty, resulting in impacts on a scale that has and will continue to transform economies and societies across various contexts. Social innovation resonates with the challenges the pandemic presents. In this paper we seek to address the question of which form of social innovation will be most pivotal in the post-pandemic world.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper has been developed by reviewing key literature on social innovation, with a specific focus on the most current contributions of Moulaert and MacCallum and Mulgan.

Findings - SI is embedded in debates around social change but the ‘type’ of social change that dominates the future of SI is connected to how SI interacts at different scales and with different actors engaged in shaping change in specific contexts. Building upon extant knowledge of social innovation we can hypothesise two paths of social innovation emerging/intensifying: one that seeks economic reform with an emphasis on meeting social needs in new ways and another that seeks complete systemic change.

Originality – This is a reflective piece that by reviewing current contributions to the social innovation literature questions the post-pandemic future of the field.


This content is not covered by the Open Government Licence. Please see source record or item for information on rights and permissions.

Cite as

Montgomery, T. & Mazzei, M. 2021, 'Two paths of social innovation in the post-pandemic world', Social Enterprise Journal. https://doi.org/10.1108/SEJ-03-2021-0018

Downloadable citations

Download HTML citationHTML Download BIB citationBIB Download RIS citationRIS
Last updated: 17 June 2022
Was this page helpful?