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How can we Assess Impacts of Innovation?

How can we Assess Impacts of Innovation?

Written by Gabriela Ayala | Reviewed by Barbara Hofleitner

Created on: 18 Nov 2020 | Updated on: 19 Nov 2020

News category: "News on Living Innovation"

Klaus Schuch, Scientific Director and CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation, on assessing impacts of innovation.

Our guest in this week's Responsible Innovation Story is Klaus Schuch. He is Scientific Director and CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation, a leading research powerhouse dealing with the social embeddedness of innovation. With their decade long expertise, the Centre for Social Innovation successfully coordinates interdisciplinary Horizon 2020 projects in Responsible Research and Innovation, such as CHERRIES and ETHNA. For Klaus Schuch, we need to find new ways of social innovation.


“When it comes to long-term thinking, markets often fail. We need to establish new instruments to incentivize social innovation.”


For him, upstream public engagement is crucial to bring societal priorities into innovation processes.

“A true social innovation would be to include citizens into setting innovation policies.”  


How can we organize inclusive innovation processes? How can we pick people that are legitimized to represent societal priorities, as well as tech literate enough?

“We need to establish appropriate setting and structure for stakeholder dialogues. With initiatives like Citizen Science, we are slowly starting to successfully reach out.”

Our most important insights from this interview with Klaus Schuch:

  • Researchers and innovators are slowly starting to take societal needs and expectations into serious consideration.
  • If we included citizens into the agenda setting of innovation, we could accelerate this trend and better align social desirability with private profitability.
  • Only if we get businesses and their immense know-how on board, can we fully exploit the potential of public engagement – and jointly create the future we want.


Enjoy watching the full interview with Klaus Schuch at

Click on the timestamps to watch the respective topics:

00:00 Impacts of Irresponsible Innovation

01:18 Innovating With and For Society

02:25 The Crucial Role of Public Engagement

04:19 How to Get Citizens On Board

05:35 Assessing Societal Impacts

07:01 Social Sciences Can Take the Lead

07:59 Challenges of Dark Knowledge

10:20 Pitfalls of Mainstreaming Responsible Innovation

11:09 The Role of Responsibility in Horizon Europe

12:50 A New Framing for Responsible Innovation

14:04 The Future of Social Innovation

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