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Social innovation refers to new strategies, concepts, ideas and organizations that meet social needs of all kinds — from working conditions and education to community development and health — and that extend and strengthen civil society. The term has overlapping meanings. It can be used to refer to social processes of innovation, such as open source methods and techniques. Alternatively it refers to innovations which have a social purpose — like microcredit or distance learning. The concept can also be related to social entrepreneurship and it also overlaps with innovation in public policy and governance. Social innovation can take place within government, the for-profit sector, the nonprofit sector, or in the spaces between them. Research has focused on the types of platforms needed to facilitate such cross-sector collaborative social innovation. Social Innovation is often an effort of mental creativity which involves fluency and flexibility from a wide range of discipline. The act of social innovation in a sector is mostly connected with diverse disciplines within the society. The social innovation theory of 'connected difference' emphasizes three key dimension to social innovation. First, they are usually new combination or hybrids of existing elements, rather than wholly new. Two, their practice involve cutting across organizational or disciplinary boundaries and lastly they leave behind compelling new relationships between previously separate individuals and groups. (via Freebase)