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Centre for Social Innovation Management

Innovation as a force for good

In a rapidly evolving world, where technologies emerge at an unprecedented pace while we grapple with economic crises, inequality, and environmental degradation, the need for effective innovation management has never been more pressing. At the Centre for Social Innovation Management, we believe that innovation can be a powerful driver of positive change.

As a problem-driven and multidisciplinary research centre, we are dedicated to guiding business leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders in navigating the challenges of developing and implementing social innovations. Our team of scholars and educators leverages systematic and empirically robust mechanisms to transform these challenges into manageable solutions. With our mission centered on supporting research that harnesses the potential of innovation as a force for good, we are committed to driving meaningful impact and creating a brighter future.

Social Innovation involves the creation of solutions that benefits society as a whole rather than private individuals. Our primary research activities are focused on four global challenges: 

Research questions

Embracing cross-sector interaction requires significant efforts and can create coordination challenges. This is an opportune moment for our Centre to turn research into actionable insights to tackle these challenges. Motivated by these opportunities, the Centre’s research questions are:

  • As scholars and educators, how can we collectively guide business leaders, policymakers and stakeholders with systematic and empirically robust mechanisms that can turn the difficulties of developing and implementing social innovations into manageable solutions?
  • What cognitive knowledge (technical and environmental feasibility, commercial and organizational viability) is required for a proposed solution to succeed?
  • And what social and cultural knowledge (ethics, law, cultural norms and political influences) is required for a proposed solution to be accepted?

Our vision

Our driving vision for Social Innovation involves the creation of solutions that benefits society as a whole rather than private individuals. It is inherently multidisciplinary and requires embracing cross-sector dynamics and interaction. Our Centre leverages scholars’ collective knowledge on social innovation and sustainability by fostering engagement within different disciplines, establishing relationships with external stakeholders, and bridging scholarly and practitioner connections.

Wind turbines on top of a hill at sunset

Multidisciplinary research

Our team of researchers are dedicated to delivering multidisciplinary research that engages with current challenges and produces tangible outcomes. 

Our staff members

Dr Stelvia Matos


Stelvia is a Reader (Associate Professor) in Social Innovation & Sustainability Management and Head of the Centre for Social Innovation Management at Surrey Business School. Her research focuses on understanding the complex interactions among social, environmental and economic factors, and how they affect and are affected by innovation dynamics, entrepreneurial behaviour and...

Dr Yanfei Hu


I am Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Sustainability & Innovation at the Surrey Business School and Sustainability Fellow at the Institute for Sustainability, University of Surrey. I hold a PhD in Business Administration, an MBA (both from the Ivey Business School, Western University, Canada), and a BA in Economics (University of International Business and ...

Dr Shasha Zhao


Background:Dr Zhao is Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) of International Business and Innovation in the Department of Strategy and International Business, Surrey University Business School. She is an Associate of Centre for International Business and Development at Sussex University, The Africa-Asia Centre for Sustainability at University of Aberdeen, and Cent...

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