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SIC Hot Topic Workshop: Addressing Grand Challenges through Innovation Research

The main objective of the workshop was to contribute to the development of the social innovation community through a better connection to other innovation research communities and thereby to advance towards an integrated view on innovation research and practice. The international workshop took place at the Social Research Centre (sfs) of TU Dortmund University and offered a new space for discussion among classical and more recent research perspectives, also regarding a comprehensive innovation policy.

SIC_SFS_Dortmund_workshop

On 16 May 2017 a Hot Topic Workshop on social innovation research, organized in the context of the international project Social Innovation Community (SIC), which aims at creating a “network of networks” of social innovation actors, took place at the sfs in Dortmund. SIC is identifying, engaging and connecting actors including researchers, social innovators, citizens, policy-makers, as well as intermediaries, businesses, civil society organizations and public sector employees. During the workshop, conducted by Jürgen Howaldt, Dmitri Domanski and Christoph Kaletka from TU Dortmund University, 19 international experts discussed recent developments regarding how innovation might be reoriented to better address the so-called Grand Challenges that affect contemporary and future societies from a global perspective.

During the workshop, conducted by Jürgen Howaldt, Dmitri Domanski and Christoph Kaletka from TU Dortmund University, participants discussed how innovation research might be reoriented to better address the so-called Grand Challenges that affect contemporary and future societies from a global perspective. Altogether, 19 international experts from institutions, such as Nesta, University of Twente, Manchester Institute of Innovation Research, Austrian Institute of Technology, Politecnico di Milano, Universita di Bologna or Danish Technological Institute actively participated in the workshop.

In the discussion, participants mainly focused on four major topics: normativity of social innovation concepts and ambivalence of social innovations, different actors and their roles, transformative change and up-scaling and comprehensive innovation policy. These topics will stay in the focus in further exchange between the different research communities who participated in the workshop and will continue developing co-operation through joint conferences and publications.This event was the first of the five Hot Topic Workshops which will be organized in the course of the project. These Hot Topic Workshops focus on particularly important emerging topics in social innovation research.