Are spaces for social innovation a type of innovation spaces?

It is a common belief that spaces for social innovation are simply a sub-category of spaces for innovation. Spaces for innovation, or innovation spaces are usually defined as spaces that create an environment where innovation can flourish and are commonly found in companies, research institute and universities. Innovation, in this sense, is widely associated to economic, design and technological advancements.

Recent research has recognized the temptation to use social innovation as a fashionable buzzword and associate it with corporate social responsibility, environmental actions or other vague tangential meanings, distancing it from its social character, as well as the political realities and ideologies behind the concept.

It is thus interesting to see that social innovation is more often than not presented in contrast with other forms of innovation around which spaces for innovation are built, drawing a line between the local university’s innovation design lab and the social innovation lab the same community shares.