Dortmund welcomes more than 200 social innovation researchers, practitioners and policymakers from all around the world

In the inspiring environment of DASA Working World Exhibition more than 200 participants from research, policy and practice came together to discuss a fruitful variety of topics related to Social Innovation in times of digital transformation. Keynotes by Flor Avelino, Benoît Godin, Jürgen Howaldt, Lars Hulgård, Philippe Martin, Geoff Mulgan, Johan Schot and Elizabeth Shove gave a lot of food for thought for discussions at the conference and beyond. With a well-balanced mix of Social Innovation researchers and practitioners, policy makers and researchers from other fields, participants got insights into recent topics and trends of Social Innovation and learned on the scientific and societal context of (social) innovation. In the keynotes and the following plenary discussions, the past, present and future of Social Innovation in research and practice were discussed from a broad range of different perspectives. Speakers and discussants highlighted the importance of strengthening Social Innovation concepts and research by a different understanding of innovation, new narratives of (social) change, more political engagement and additional supportive policies. They called for a stronger role of Social Innovation for coping with current social challenges and enhanced understanding by shedding light on mechanisms related to Social Innovation, such as the process of changing practices or the effects of transitions.

In 12 parallel sessions, participants moved on with discussions on recent hot topics of Social Innovation practice and research. In these workshops, the role of a new innovation paradigm, the question for diffusion, societal transition, ecosystems (including special foci on the role of policies), higher education, Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH), labs and measurement of Social Innovation were in focus. In addition, the role of Social Innovation for technology, social inclusion, work and sustainable development in times of digital transformation were put on the agenda.

In this amazing atmosphere, the recently published ‘Atlas of Social Innovation – 2nd Volume: A World of New Practices’ was presented to the public. The publication edited by Jürgen Howaldt, Christoph Kaletka, Antonius Schröder and Marthe Zirngiebl was particularly well received by the audience and many participants were interested in the 43 articles featuring comprehensive insights into the world of Social Innovation.

The conference was hosted by ESSI – European School of Social InnovationTU Dortmund University – Sozialforschungsstelle and DASA Working World Exhibition.

It was kindly supported by:

  • IAT, Institute for Work and Technology
  • NCP, German National Contact Point Society
  • Net4Society, the international network of National Contact Points (NCPs) for the Societal Challenge 6 (SC6) in Horizon 2020
  • SIX, Social Innovation Exchange
  • ZSI, Centre for Social Innovation

More details about the conference can be found here:

Original article can be found here.

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