Universities as global enabling social innovation agents

Stream #16

Chairs: Jieun Ryu (University of Northampton), Richard Hazenberg (University of Northampton), Mark Majewsky Anderson (Glasgow Caledonian University)

The role that locality and geography plays in the creation of social innovation ecosystems and specifically social enterprises has seen significant research over the last decade (Defourny and Nyssens, 2010; Galera and Borzaga, 2009; Hazenberg et al., 2016; Kerlin, 2013). However, whilst much of this previous research focus has been centred upon national and regional contexts globally, less attention has been paid to the differences and factors that influence social innovation ecosystems at the local level (i.e. town/municipality).

Furthermore, previous research has identified that the institutional context of a given locality is of paramount importance in shaping the types of social enterprise that emerge (Mendell, 2010), along with socio-economic and political factors (Doherty et al., 2009). Among other institutional actors, universities are key institutional players within their localities since they have been shown to have significant economic and social impacts on their communities (Bonner, 1968; Glasson, 2003). 

In this panel, we seek to build upon the inaugural stream centred on this topic held at ISIRC 2020, to explore the role that universities can play in driving the development and sustainability of social innovation ecosystems in their locality, and how this can then drive social innovation globally through research, education, knowledge exchange, international partnerships and policy development. Building on this initial panel, we wish to explore the role that international partnerships, global ranking and impact frameworks, as well as adherence to the Sustainable Development Goals can have on social innovation in higher education.

Therefore, the themes to be explored include: 

  • Research, teaching and community engagement
  • Resource acquisition and provision
  • Incubation and acceleration facilities
  • Network creation and partnerships locally and globally
  • Policy advocacy and innovation
  • Global ranking and impact frameworks
  • The UN SDGs.