Social innovation has emerged as an important concept dealing with social issues related to social change and community development. The aim of this paper is to understand universities’ involvement in the process of social innovation, for the particular case of a Brazilian higher education institution. This is an attempt to shed some light on how can universities contribute to the different stages of the social innovation process and what are the various universities’ inputs that can become involved in the social innovation process, thus contributing for social change and development. The results obtained show that a higher education institution might be a key player promoting social innovation initiatives. On the one hand, it can contribute with its own resources and inputs to foster new social innovation ideas or practices. On the other hand, it can act as catalyst of other partners’ actions and contributions. The main policy implication of this study is that higher education institutions possess the necessary resources to support social innovation initiatives acting as agents of social change and thus contributing to community development processes and societal development.
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