The process of designing and implementing new products, services and models that meet social needs more effectively than alternatives and create new social partnerships is known as “social innovation”. Such practices have long existed. However, the idea of having a social innovation “field” is a new concept in Europe. Promoting a social innovation agenda means supporting innovative practices that are proven to have met a particular social need and seeking ways to implement successful, small-scale initiatives on a larger scale (“scaling up”). A basic distinction between social and other innovation is that production is driven by social imperatives rather than economic and financial ones. A European social innovation agenda can provide a framework for introducing this difference.