The Social Innovation Project


A primary research topic of the European Union and a fundamental research project of the Research Institute for Quality of Life

In 2008, the Research Institute for Quality of Life launched a primary research program on a contemporary topic for the entire European scientific community: ”Social Innovation, a factor of social-economic development”.
This research program is a continuation of the preoccupations of researchers in our institute for the social development domain, launched since 2005. Under the coordination of Prof. Univ. Dr. Cătălin Zamfir, a consortium of universities has been created with the aim of developing specialist’s skills on the study of social development.

THE REPEDES NETWORK – Network for Promoting and Evaluating Social Development. This is the name of the consortium formed to promote and develop culture and competencies for planned social development in Romanian society in general and at institutional level. The consortium is coordinated by the Faculty of Sociology and Social Work, from the University of Bucharest and by the Research Institute for Quality of Life of the Romanian Academy, in partnership with “Babeș Bolyai” University from Cluj-Napoca, the West University of Timişoara and with the University of Oradea. In time other faculties in the social sciences have joined this consortium: University of Piteşti, Lucian Blaga University in Sibiu, 1st of December 1918 University from Alba Iulia, Ovidius University in Constanța, Petre Andrei University in Iaşi, Andrei Şaguna University in Constanţa. In this way, REPEDES has doubled the number of partner institutions, counting 11 universities and one research center.

The efforts of this consortium resulted in the publication of reference works in social development:

1. “O nouă provocare: dezvoltarea socială”, C. Zamfir, L.Stoica (coord.), Ed. Polirom, Iasi, 2006, (363 pag)

This volume is the first collection of studies investigating social development and deals with different theoretical, methodological and political aspects of social development. It reviews the most recent orientations in social development and it is thus a desirable instrument for scientists in the social sciences and a valuable bibliographical resource for graduate and undergraduate students as well as Ph.D. students at sociology and social work universities. Twenty six authors participated in the realization of this volume.

2. “Enciclopedia dezvoltării sociale”, C. Zamfir, S. Stănescu (coord.), Editura Polirom, Iasi, 2007, (661 pag).

The encyclopedia includes significant concepts and methods of the social development paradigm and thus represents a valuable scientific and pedagogical instrument. It was written for students, as well as specialists who activate in the social domain. The encyclopedia contains 108 terms and it was the result of the collaboration of 51 authors from different national and international (Canada, France, Great Britain, Moldova and Holland).

3. “Proiectarea dezvoltării sociale. Ghid metodologic”, C. Zamfir, L. Stoica, M. Stanculescu, (coord.), Institutul de Cercetare a Calităţii Vieţii, Universitatea din Bucureşti, Institutul Social Român, Bucureşti, 2007, (103 pag).

The guide was built as a methodological instrument meant to offer a structured image of planned development for the use of any institution involved in social development. The planning of social development and the evaluation and monitoring of the direction of institutional social development is a new and innovative endeavor in Romanian research. The guide represents the result of collective research from 18 authors.


„Imagine. Create. Innovate”

This was the motto of the year 2009 in the European Union. On March 28, 2008, the European Commssion declared the year 2009 as the year ofCreativity and Innovation in Europe. The European Year of Innovation 2009 is a project which has as main objective the promotion of creative and innovative endeavors in education, culture, research, media, social entrepreneurship, rural development and so on.
In the context in which Romania was classified on the lower ranks with respect to the production, assimilation and dissemination of innovation – measured by the European Innovation Scoreboard (EIS) – taking over the topic of social innovation by mobilizing current academic experience within academia is of great importance.

Consequently, starting from the experience of this team, we created this primary program called ”Social innovation, factor of social-economic development”, coordinated by Prof. Univ. Dr. Cătălin Zamfir and Senior Researcher III Laura Stoica. The goal of this project is to create a community of innovation and dissemination of knowledge that is able to unite specialists from academia, from the market and from the social and cultural environment and to make possible a transfer of knowledge and information between institutions and interested organizations, with the public aim of developing skills and increasing performance in innovation in Romania.

The objectives of this project are the conceptual clarification of social innovation, the development of a social innovation methodology, the identification of stimulating and blocking factors, the analysis or case studies of social innovation in different social sectors and the promotion and development of a culture of producing and disseminating innovation within the current social context.

The team of this project continues scientific activity within the domain of social innovation and invites all institutional partners and all interested collaborators to join in our activities by contacting us on this website.