This article examines what we understand by the concept of socialinnovation. Historically, the emphasis has been on how to translate innovationsin science and technology into commercial applications. Typically, companysurvival is explained in terms of an `innovation imperative in the pursuit ofprofits and competitive advantage. In contrast, social innovations are triggeredby an interest in improving the well-being of people in society. Social ratherthan economic concerns are the main driver in the development and applicationof new ideas to solving problems and improving social conditions. We examinethe relationship between social, business and technical dimensions and developa provisional framework for making sense of social innovation.