Module 4

Stakeholder Engagement

Welcome to Module 4: Stakeholder Engagement - We can make a change, together!

With all the previous material under your belt, you might be wondering now how to analyze and engage the different audiences you’re no doubt addressing. In this module, we’ll talk about all this and more.

Today the nature of the social challenges we face is very complex; often they cannot be solved by a single actor and it requires a coordinated effort with multiple stakeholders to come up with innovative and sustainable solutions. Module 4 presents the rapidly-emerging concept of stakeholder engagement, which provides the opportunity to manage social challenges by finding innovative solutions and creating value for everyone involved (see AccountAbility 2005). Stakeholder engagement can be used in different situations and contexts, ranging from simply gathering information on social needs to establishing trust-relationships and developing innovative ideas and novel solutions.

The main goal of this module is to provide you with practical guidance on how to embed stakeholder engagement within a social innovation project, focusing specifically on planning and carrying out engagement processes as well as reflecting on their success.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module, you should have gained a basic understanding of

  • the concept of stakeholder engagement
  • conducting stakeholder analysis
  • designing the engagement process and setting up an implementation plan
  • how to monitor and reflect on the engagement process as well as the outputs of engagement.


In the following video, learn more about who a stakeholder can be, what engagement means, why social innovation projects need stakeholder engagement, and how it is beneficial.

We translated the lecture videos\' scripts into German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Slovak and Slovenian. In case you would like to have a look at the translated scripts, please see the files for downloading further down.

Lecture 1

Stakeholder Engagement

Lecture playlist

Lecture 1

Stakeholder Engagement


Additional materials and transcripts

Infographic on Stakeholder Engagement

A lot goes into stakeholder engagement. Here, you’ll review the key takeaways from the course and get one more overview of how to conduct your stakeholder engagement process.

Expert Interviews

Let's dive deeper in the topic of stakeholder engagement by listening to our two experts.

Dr. Marisa Mühlböck is CEO of discovering hands®, an institution which trains and deploys visually impaired women with their highly developed sensory skills to detect the early signs of breast cancer.

Mag. Alexander Grünwald is working at the Austrian Federal Ministry for the Civil Service and Sport and is leading board member of GovLabAustria, which is an interdisciplinary laboratory fostering innovation in the public sector.

Stakeholder Mapping

Now that you have a plan, you’ll want to identify and analyze your stakeholders. The following presentation and worksheet will help you break down this process step-by-step so that you can do it yourself!

Design and Engage

Here, you’ll learn more about the three different approaches to stakeholder engagement: information, participation, and collaboration.

Additional Readings

That wraps up our unit on stakeholder engagement.
The learning doesn’t end here though! Voluntary readings may serve to dive deeper into specific topics.
We’ve arranged them by subject for your convenience and encourage you to study them individually or discuss them down below in the discussion section.

Webinar: Successful strategies to work effectively with Stakeholders

Engaging the right stakeholders at the right time and with the right methods is crucial for your social innovation project. After all, social innovations depend on the co-creation, support and uptake of various stakeholders. In this webinar, two stakeholder engagement experts will give you a practice-oriented insight into new approaches of stakeholder engagement. Claudio Calvaresi, senior expert at Avanzi, will introduce different approaches to stakeholder engagement and give practical insights into civic engagement processes. Ilse Marschalek from the Centre for Social Innovation will present the Social Lab methodology: an innovative approach that brings stakeholder with very different backgrounds together, allows to quickly form teams and co-create innovative ideas.

During the webinar the experts will address the following key questions:

  • Are there different approaches to stakeholder engagement? What is civic engagement?
  • What is a Social Lab? How can stakeholders work together in a Social Lab?
  • What are the dos and don’ts when it comes to stakeholder engagement?

About the experts

Claudio Calvaresi is a senior expert at Avanzi, an Italian organisation specialised in innovation and sustainability. The company is active in the incubation of social innovation projects, the consulting of socially innovative ecosystems players as well as in research & development. Claudio recently designed an open innovation center in Italy and published an article on resetting participation.

Ilse Marschalek is a senior researcher at the Centre of Social Innovation in Vienna. She is the organisation’s expert on participatory methods in innovation and research and is always keen on experimenting with new methods to engage stakeholders from heterogenous backgrounds. She put her profound practical knowledge on stakeholder engagement on paper and wrote her dissertation thesis on “Public Engagement in Responsible Research and Innovation”, and published numerous articles on that topic.

Table of contents

Academy Modules
Active citizenship
Social Business
Technology & Creativity for Social Innovation
Stakeholder Engagement
Impact Assessment
Impact Finance
Social Innovation Policies
Roots of Impact
pontis foundation

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