Social innovation for health and wellbeing

Stream #13

Chairs: Michael Roy (Glasgow Caledonian University), Artur Steiner (Glasgow Caledonian University)

In the Social Innovation for Health and Wellbeing stream we welcome papers exploring the role of social innovation (broadly defined) on the health and well-being of people and patients, spaces and places. One of the largest areas of expenditure of modern states remains health and social care. However, demographic changes and spiralling costs of new healthcare technologies have placed budgets under ever-increasing strain. The long-term deleterious impact of austerity policies on a variety of factors relating to health and well-being, particularly for the most vulnerable in society, is only now starting to emerge. 

The sorts of impacts we imagine that social innovations might seek to address could be at the level of individuals, communities, or even systems-level impacts on health and well-being.

Typical topics of interest might include:

  • the social impact of new health and well-being technologies
  • new forms of relationship between the state and civil society focused on addressing a particular health or healthcare issue
  • the impact of community-led interventions on addressing ‘upstream’ factors in the social environment that we know shape how we live, work and age (e.g. Kelly et al., 2019; Roy et al., 2017, 2014).

The role of social innovation(s) in addressing crucial issues such as health equity (Farmer et al., 2018; Mason et al., 2015) remains of critical importance, as is further empirical work on the potential of social innovations such as social enterprises or microfinance institutions to address acute healthcare challenges (Calò et al., 2018; Hall et al., 2015) or address ‘upstream’ social determinants of health (Elmes, 2019; Macaulay et al., 2018; Suchowerska et al., 2019). 

We therefore welcome papers in this stream that adopt an imaginative perspective to developing theory or methods to this exciting new area of research focus.