TSI has produced a conceptualisation of the third secor in Europe that goes beyond widely recognized definitions of non-profit organisations like the UN Handbook on Nonprofit Institutions in the System of National Accounts. Paying tribute tp the fact that new types of entities have emerged in recent years and considering the arguments of scholars who have lobbied for a broader definition TSI included cooperatives, mutual societies, and, in recent years, and “social enterprises”. Furthermore, it meets the criteria of comparability, operationalizability, and has potential for integration into official statistical systems.

During the International Society for Third Sector Research in Stockholm in June/ July 2016 five leading scholars in the field, Jacques Defourny, Marthe Nyssens, Lucas Meijs, and Naoto Yamauchi have commented on this definition. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations now published a symposium based on this assessment.