14 - 15 November 2013
The global field of social innovation was gathering momentum. At the time of the event, there was an Office for Social Innovation in the US, the UK Government recently appointed an Advisor to the Prime Minister on Social Innovation and the European Commission had already made significant investments in both research and practical projects which aimed to support and enable social innovation. All over the world there were organisations and institutions incorporating social innovation into strategies to combat societal problems such as ageing and poverty, for example the Centro de Innovation Social in Colombia.
Yet despite thriving practitioner networks and a real commitment from policymakers and foundations to support social innovation, empirical and theoretical knowledge of social innovation remained uneven. Even though there were many organisations working in this field, much more could be done to bring these networks, organisations and individuals together.
SIX worked with the partners listed below to organise the first Social Frontiers Research Conference at Glasgow Caledonian University London campus in Shoreditch, East London on the 14 and 15 of November 2013. Over the two days, Social Frontiers brought together 120 individuals from across the world with the aim of strengthening the community of social innovation researchers.
The aim of Social Frontiers, was to build and strengthen the community of social innovation researchers. By bringing together a multiplicity of voices and perspectives on social innovation we wanted to strengthen and extend existing networks, share learning, promote collaboration, identify gaps in knowledge and work together to build a common research agenda for the next decade. Our goal for Social Frontiers was to begin to develop a more robust empirical and theoretical foundation for social innovation, understood as the generation, experimentation and application of new practices for addressing societal challenges.
150 participants from over 30 countries attended the event over two days.
- Enhancing Social Innovation by Rethinking Collaboration, Leadership and Public Governance, Sorensen and Torfing
- The potential of mass collaboration to produce social innovation, Tjornbo
- From engaging to empowering people, a set of co-design experiments with a service design perspective, Cantu and Selloni
- Seoul City’s social innovation strategy: A model of multi-channel communication to strengthen governance and citizen engagement, Han, Kim, Rim and Park
- Design for social innovation as a form of designing activism. An action format, Meroni, Fassi and Simeone
- Social innovation for social cohesion. Findings on communalities of innovation from a new transnational study, Evers and Ewert
- Exploring the conceptual universe of social innovation: A relational database for a better understanding of its effects on social transformation, Bouchard and Trudelle
The conference itself was organised through a collaboration of Nesta, TEPSIE (The Young Foundation), The Rockefeller Foundation and Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). The conference also had support from SIX, DESIS Network and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at Oxford.