The set of research conducted by CERIIS takes a snapshot of Italian companies from the point of view of social innovation


Businesses that care about what is happening around them. And not just from a financial viewpoint. It is the vast field of activities that only apparently have little to do with the business results, but which, in actual fact, are closely linked to the “figures” with which you measure the management of production organisation.

A good picture of what is happening in Italy from this perspective has been taken by  “L’innovazione delle imprese leader per creare valore sociale” (Innovation by leading enterprises to create social value), the third CERIIS report on social innovation in Italy edited by Matteo G. Caroli (Business management professor at Luiss Guido Carli University). This is a series of researches and analyses that share a common goal: to focus attention on the different dimensions and nuances that social innovation has taken in Italy, retracing, albeit in an indirect manner, the peculiarities of development of different areas of the country and of the respective ‘ecosystems of innovation”.

The collection of research is organised in three parts. The first part presents the results of an empirical research conducted on a sample of large Italian companies to understand their involvement in social innovation; the second shows the results of the set of  social innovation projects and activities in the country. Lastly, the third part contains some of the written contributions by business managers who illustrate the policies and the main experiences of their own businesses amid sustainability and social innovation policies.

Important, beyond the theory, are the different company stories that are narrated: AXA Italia, BNP Paribas, ENEL, Salvatore Ferragamo, Wind; but also the illustration of the characteristics of social innovation in Italy, which emerge from the analysis of the database built by CERIIS since 2014, refined and extended during 2016. A collection of 578 observations relating to projects and activities that fall within the scope of social innovation.

Two basic directions emerge from the collection of the investigations carried out. First of all the liveliness of social innovation activities by companies in Italy, and second the ability of large companies, when well run, to play an important role in this context.

The collection of research coordinated by Caroli is not always easy and straightforward to read, but it constitutes a good package of information better to understand the relationships between companies (large) and social commitment.






L’innovazione delle imprese leader per creare valore sociale. (Innovation by leading enterprises to create social value) Terzo rapporto CERIIS sull’innovazione sociale (Third CERIIS report on social innovation)

edited by Matteo G. Caroli

Franco Angeli, 2016