UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose


Why should we care about the dark side of social innovation?

15 March 2021, 3:30 pm–5:00 pm


Join us for this talk as part of the IIPP Seminar Series, as Martin Fougère of the Hanken School of Economics discusses his research on why we should care about the dark side of social innovation.

This event is free.

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Social innovation (SI) is typically defined as new ideas that are more effective than existing alternatives in addressing social problems. As such, we cannot be against SI since any SI is by definition better than alternatives – but that is precisely why we can be blind to the possible dark side(s) of SI. Namely, in accepting that SI is always good for society, we run the risk of not being able to think critically about both the assumptions behind SIs and their possible adverse consequences.

In line with the two articles linked below, I set out to discuss three dark sides of social innovation.  By doing so, I hope to inspire a discussion about whether policy makers and other innovation actors should be made more aware of the potential adverse effects of innovation.

Background material for this seminar

Read more about the IIPP Seminar Series 2020-21

About the Speaker

Martin Fougère

Associate Professor at Hanken School of Economics

Martin Fougère's main research interests relate to problematizing the power effects of business and policy discourses on society. This includes international business (particularly cross-cultural management), marketing (particularly service management), innovation (particularly social innovation), and sustainable development (particularly corporate social responsibility). In his studies to date, he has drawn on various critical theoretical and analytical approaches, such as deconstruction, Foucault-inspired discourse analysis, neo-Gramscian perspectives on political economy, postcolonialism, and the post-foundational discourse theory of Laclau and Mouffe. His work has been published in international journals such as Business & Society, International Journal of Management Reviews, Journal of Business Ethics and Management Learning. He is currently an associate editor at the academic journal Organization. More about Martin Fougère