The Social Innovation Manual is an online, open resource available for innovators, intermediaries and public sector/private sectors to improve their skills in design for Social Innovation.

SIC, Social Innovation Community, is an EU project, funded to support the large community which is growing around Social Innovation,by creating spaces for them to meet and synergizeand tools to strengthen their efforts.

The SIC Learning Repository is a bottom-up tool, which was developed and tested during a process of experimentation conducted in five host centers across Europe (ITALY 1, ESTONIA 1, CROATIA 2 and NORWAY 1). The repository provides tools that support the growth and development of social innovation starting from specific social challenges.

The SIC learning repository contains the following: the handbook of social innovation in which learning materials and tools can be found on how to develop social innovation; the collection of tools used during the SIC experimentation mentioned above; a list of resources outside the SIC world useful to further support learning on social innovation; and the collection of SIC case studies on social innovation, which was developed to understand the process of learning at work when starting aSI in different contexts.


Mediator/facilitator of the learning process that works with different target groups or facilitates the cross-sector and/or cross-thematic groups with a goal to raise their capacity in the area of social innovation and leaves them with tools to continue implementing the process of social innovation on their own.

Public/Private sectors

Public government agencies, local, regional and national governments, public institutions and private sector actors with a commitment to supporting social change like non-profit organisations, charities, co-operatives and social enterprises. They will most likely need a facilitator/intermediary to support the process.


this could be an individual, a team, a local community (represented by an individual and/or a team) that would like to embark on this process on its own or use a facilitator. They are likely to select the tools that best suit their context.

The focus of the Recruiting social innovators module is to provide Innovation centres with the right tools to identify and attract a large number of social innovators and potential innovators who already have some innovative ideas or have already started developing initiatives, projects and/or products. In this open and targeted way, the Innovation centre can reach out to unusual suspects, rather than a group of organisations and/or social innovators who already understand and are developing their social innovations.
The modules are structured in a logical and systematic way with concrete and practical tools that will help in both preparing and executing the event (Social Innovation competition). This event will also help participants (social innovators and potential social innovators) to refine their idea so that the best ones could enter the full training cycle and receive additional assistance and mentorship support from the Innovation centre. Tools will help in designing the challenge, a call for ideas-entry form, social media campaign as well as defining the selection and voting criteria thus focusing on transparency and inspiration for innovators.

What you will walk away with after taking the modules:

01 Better internal organization and adequate capacity allocation for preparing and executing the Social Innovation competition event
02 Understanding and practicing the use of concrete tools for these modules
03 Team work and organizational skills
04 Understanding and launching a social media campaign and organizing the events


Preparing the eventExecuting the event

In the Stakeholder engagement phase, innovators will tap into their internal resources and capacities, construct a network of stakeholders and decide in which innovation stage to include them. This phase is all about creating a sustainable relationship network needed for innovation to occur and develop.
Also in this phase, innovators will learn how to use the tools for assessing their internal capacities, knowledge and skills. This is helpful to detect internal shortcomings and opportunities for engaging others in the processes. Once the internal revision is complete, the innovators will work on building a strong network of stakeholders by creating a visual maps and getting deeper into stakeholders’ motivations and values.
Stakeholders are a crucial element for innovation success and detecting them as early as possible will ensure participatory design and innovation co-creation.

What you will walk away with after taking the modules:

01 Better internal organisation and adequate capacity allocation for innovation
02 Created common values and group goals that increase motivation for innovation
03 Developed clear strategic plan of who to involve, when, why and how

Identifying stakeholdersDetecting internal capacities and teambuilding

In the Ideation phase, innovators will frame the social problem and define their customer/user/beneficiary. It is an exciting phase, in which discovery research meets the first moment of convergence, transforming into ideas.
In ideation, innovators will learn how to use tools that help frame the problem at hand by looking deep into the many underlying factors. Once the problem has been explored and fine-tuned into a precise challenge, innovators can advance into the idea generation module, in which, innovators will learn brainstorming techniques and how to come up with ideas to solve the problem through the aid of specific tools. Once a healthy amount of tangible ideas has been produced, specific tools will be offered to help select the most viable ones to be promoted to the development phase.

What you’ll walk away with after taking the modules:

01 A clearly defined challenge to a specific and honed social problem to benefit a precise target(s)
02 A vast array of possible ideas to tackle the problem
03 A small selection of viable ideas to prototype


Problem FramingIdea generationIdea Screening

In the product/service development area, methods and tools will be given to assist in bringing new products and services to market. One of the key elements in creating a good product/service has already been covered in the previous section – gaining a good understanding of customer’s needs and wants – while others will be explored here in the two modules: concept development and business analysis.
In the concept development module, innovators will develop the idea selected into a service or product through a series of tools that will assist in providing the blueprint of activities to be done to implement the solution and the journey that customers/users/beneficiaries undertake during the service/product experience. Mapping these critical moments help innovators to also reflect further on the pains/gains of their end users to refine their solution.
In the business analysis module, innovators will explore the feasibility of the service/product by performing a series of analyses that consider: the resources required, a cost-benefit analysis and the underlying business model.

What you will walk away with after taking the modules:

01 A fully developed service/product development strategy
02 A working business model that demonstrates the feasibility of the solution.

Concept DesignSolution Development

Prototyping is the phase in which the services/products ideated and developed are tested and validated. It is the moment that the idea becomes tangible. While presented at this moment, prototyping can actually happen at any moment during the process if innovators feel the need to have rapid idea validation.
The two modules, Prototyping and Prototype Evaluation, provide tools that assist innovators: (1) design and create prototypes of services/products to test certain features or processes and (2) to collect useful feedback needed to refine or enhance the service/product.

What you’ll walk away with after taking the modules:

01 An iterative approach to service/product development
02 A tested and refined prototype of the service/product

PrototypingPrototype evaluation

Service/product development doesn’t end with the creation of the final service/product to be launched. Instead, it is a process that continues in time as the market and needs change. A strategy hence must be put into place to guarantee both the short-term and long-term growth of the solution. Measures must also be taken to ensure that the intended impact is being reached. Having systems in place that monitor the sustainable development and impact of the solution are in fact essential to the overall success of the solution.
The module included in the area, Impact Measurement, encourages innovators to design a sustainable growth and impact strategy. A core tool is provided to help the organization create performance indicators and impact measures.

What you’ll walk away with after taking the modules:

01 An impact strategy complete with methods to correct for assumptions

Impact measurement

In the Funding phase, innovators will be able to identify some potential sources of financing their social innovation in order to enhance achievement of their goals. There are numerous instruments for funding, starting from grants, loans, equity funding, crowdfunding, angel investors, and revenue sharing arrangements etc. They all vary not only according to a type of a social innovator (e.g. private organisation, public body, individuals etc.) but also to a country (e.g. UK has more funding sources than Eastern Europe). The innovator’s choice will also depend on the various factors such as the phase of the innovation, funding uses, staff involvement, required time and other available innovator’s resources.

Since this area is extremely broad because of a number of different factors that need to be taken in consideration when deciding on the right funding option, these modules will not give a complete toolkit to social innovators on how to get the funding. They are really a first step in providing some know-how on how to use tools in order to develop the right funding strategy as a start and structuring their ideas/projects (e.g. log frame matrix). Because majority but not all social innovators aim at funding their social innovation through some kind of an investment, the focus of these modules is also on providing tools that will help innovators in presenting and pitching their idea, as well as negotiating arguments in front of potential investors.

What you will walk away with after taking the modules:

01 An overview of the financial needs, goals, resources and limitation on the one side and funding options on the other side
02 Selection of an appropriate funding strategy
03 Elaborated plan of the presentation and negotiating with investors

IdentificationInvestor pitchingInvestor negotiating

After social innovators have developed and refined their idea and turned it in a stable and sustainable model, it’s important to add communication and visual layer adapted to the expectations of the targeted audiences and markets. The focus of the branding and marketing communication modules is to provide social innovators with the tools that can help them understand how to develop and use brand for their social innovation, create memorable visual identity, market their social innovation to reach their beneficiaries with best return of investment, and build and keep close connections with their community and public.

Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of an organization, product, or service. It is communication of characteristics, values, and attributes that clarify what this particular brand is and is not. Branding both precedes and underlies any marketing effort. Marketing comes in a wide variety of forms based on audience, media platform and business in today’s evolving and dynamic marketplace. Many use the words branding and marketing interchangeably, but there are important differences between them. Simply said, if the brand is strategy, marketing is tactics.

What you’ll walk away with after taking the modules:

01 Understanding of the brand development process
02 Recognizing the importance of brands
03 Developed elements of brand and marketing strategy
04 Prepared marketing plan focused on the goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics
05 Enhanced brand value
06 Public and community relation plan with mapped out relationships and communications strategy

Brand development and strategyBrand visual expressionMarketing communicationPublic and community relations