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Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland

GCU has worked closely with SIX and the Global Council over the last five years, especially in our international capacity building projects. Our work together has helped to transform social innovation support in higher education in Latin America, Southeast Asia and South Africa. In all these projects, SIX has been integral in articulating the needs of social innovators, complementing our own research in the field and helping to promote our results. 

- Cam Donaldson, Pro Vice Chancellor Research and Enterprise 


  • Brokering partnerships to access more EU funding 


  • Raising GCU's profile and connecting to the wider social innovation community


  • Becoming project partners
  • Event design 

Introducing Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) is a young university in Glasgow, founded in 1993. Despite this, GCU plays a leading role as a global social innovation institution. The university’s commitment is reflected by its motto, “For the Common Good” and it’s former Chancellor, Nobel Prize winner, Professor Muhammmad Yunus. It is one of two universities in the UK to be designated as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus.

Why GCU joined the Global Council

In 2010, the University was looking for connections to the wider, European and global social innovation movement, beyond the academic sector. They also wanted to understand and apply new methodologies around the practice of social innovation internally. They joined the Council when it was established in 2013.

Working together

  • Becoming project partners: SIX has supported GCU in four successful applications for European Commission-funded projects strengthening social innovation across universities and the world. GCU leads on these consortiums, including LASIN, SEASIN, Common Good First and SIKE (Social Innovation through Knowledge Exchange)

  • Raising Profile and connecting GCU into the global social innovation community: We helped to raise GCU’s profile and connect GCU to the global social innovation community in Europe through social innovation events such as the launch of Social Innovation Europe, as well as locally through the 2015 Unusual Suspects Festival organised in Glasgow.

  • Brokering partnerships: We regularly introduce and broker new strategic partnerships for GCU. These include:

SIX connected GCU to Nesta, and the EU funded TEPSIE project in order to partner together to co-host the Social Frontiers Conference in 2013 which brought together 120 individuals from around the world to GCU’s (then) new campus in London, to strengthen the social innovation research community. This helped position GCU in the global social innovation field.

  • In other cases, GCU leverages SIX’s network to find new project partners who are now part of EC funded programmes.
  • The knowledge and resources shared by SIX contribute to influencing the way GCU’s departments work together.
  • The SIX team are also part of the Advisory Council for the EC funded project, Strategy for Change.

Key Outcomes

The SIX Global Council has contributed to:

  • Increasing GCU’s profile and positioning: GCU is now viewed as the leading social innovation university in Europe and globally.
  • Increased funding: GCU has won several successful EC projects with project consortiums built through the SIX network, and with the SIX team.