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Social Innovation conference: 320 participants from 44 countries and all continents met in Vienna

Research, policy and practice discussed social innovation and the latest research results at the conference "Social Innovation 2015. Pathways to Social Change - Research, Policies and Practices in European and Global Perspectives". Sozialforschungsstelle (TU Dortmund University) was co-organizer of the event.



The conference was planned in a joint effort of four current EU research projects on social innovation (SI-DRIVE, TRANSIT, CRESSI, SIMPACT) and the network Net4Society of National Contact Points for the programme Inclusive Societies (SC 6) in Horizon 2020. Participants attended plenary events and 22 thematic workshops in the course of the two days. Additionally, they had the opportunity to join three excursions to social innovation projects in Vienna.




Sozialforschungsstelle took part in the event with a large team of researchers. Jürgen Howaldt presented first empirical results of the SI-DRIVE project, Christoph Kaletka was a panelist in the plenary debate on "Participation and beyond: Co-production and urban transformation". TUDO was also very active in different thematic sessions:


  • Dmitri Domanski and Jürgen Howaldt moderated a session on the concept of "Social Innovation Ecosystems".

  • Together with fellow SI researchers, Jürgen Howaldt continued a discussion on "New directions in theory on social innovation and (transformative) social change" which had started in a theory workshop of SI-DRIVE and TRANSIT in summer 2015.

  • Dmitri Domanski and Nicolás Monge chaired a session on "Social innovation methodologies for community intervention" and reflected various practice examples.

  • Christoph Kaletka and Bastian Pelka facilitated the den workshop "Empowerment for vulnerable people through digital social innovation". Christian Bühler (TU Dortmund, Fakultät für Rehabilitationswissenschaft) also participated as a speaker. Together, the three colleagues represented the TIP cluster on "Technology for Inclusion and Participation" at TU Dortmund University.



wien2015_foto-kalekta"Pathways to social change" actually achieved what is considered essential for social innovation, namely a "co-production" of new knowledge and a close cooperation between science, practice and policy. Opportunities for future collaboration were discussed in detail, which was extensively promoted by presentations of open and upcoming calls in Horizon 2020 and the "matchmaking event" organized by Net4Society on November 19th.



On three field trips participants visited three Viennese examples of social innovation: Goethehof, magdas Hotel and Vinzirast mittendrin.