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News archive: 2017

New interview with Jürgen Howaldt about "Social Innovation" is available


12.12.2017 – The topic "Social Innovation" is pushing more and more into the public discourse and it is getting more attention by scientists and often interdiscipliary research. In an interview sfs-director Jürgen Howalt is giving insights to this object of research – and portraits the international project SI-DRIVE. The interview, done by the German-Canadian Centre for Innovation and Research (GCCIR) in Edmonton, which is a multilateral initiative for the development of German–Canadian, and more recently, French-Canadian research and business relations, is now online.


250 participants discuss the future of social innovation at SI-DRIVE final conference


01.12.2017 – From October 24th to 25th, 2017, the Final Conference of the EU 7th Framework funded project SI-DRIVE was held successfully in Brussels, Belgium: “Social Innovation – Research and Policy of the Future: towards a comprehensive innovation policy” brought together over 250 practitioners, researchers and policy makers from 44 countries in the field of social innovation and policy.


New publication: “The Plastics Revolution: How the Netherlands became a global player in plastics”


14.11.2017 – On November 8th, the book “The Plastics Revolution: How the Netherlands became a global player in plastics” was officially presented at the annual meeting of the DPI – The Polymer Research Platform, on the occasion of DPI’s 20th anniversary. The book is co-authored by Harry Lintsen (professor emeritus of Eindhoven University of Technology), Marijn Hollestelle (Foundation for the History of Technology) and Rick Hölsgens (TU Dortmund – Social Research Center).


A push for social inclusion! EU-projekt JobAct Europe has started


12.10.2017 – Under the shared goal of strengthening the labor market position of disadvantaged groups – partners from Italy, France, Hungary and Germany came together in the EU-project JobAct Europe. Scientifically supported by sfs, refugees, NEETs and unemployed youths are accompanied on their way into the labor market through a combination of drama work and job training. The Erasmus+-funded project started with a kick-off-workshop at the coordinator, the Projektfabrik Witten from October 8 – October 10 2017.


Global Science Week 2017 discusses social innovation in science and society


11.10.2017 – How can science contribute to solving increasingly complex societal challenges? The Tsukuba Global Science Week (TGSW 2017), with its thematic focus “Science for Social Innovation”, addressed this question by bringing together researchers across borders and disciplines in Tsukuba Science City, the largest science and technology hub in Japan. Dr. Christoph Kaletka (TU Dortmund University / sfs) held the opening keynote and addressed the largely untapped potential of social innovation research and policy.


TU Dortmund University – sfs at TRANSIT’s final conference "Learning for Change: A Journey through the Theory & Practice of Transformative Social Innovation"


27.09.2017 – Jürgen Howaldt and Dmitri Domanski spoke about social innovation research and policy at this international event, which was hosted by SI-DRIVE’s “sister” project TRANSIT in Rotterdam on September 14-15.


ARL International Summer School 2017: "Social Innovation in Urban and Regional Development"


13.09.2017 – The Leibniz Institute “ARL – Academy for Spatial Research and Planning” hosted a summer school on “Social Innovation in Urban and Regional Development“ in Vienna. International experts and PhD candidates discussed the emerging topic and current research results.


The future of work: New publication about “Workplace Innovation” released


19.07.2017 – The sfs-scientists Jürgen Howaldt, Ralf Kopp und Jürgen Schultze released their work „Why Industrie 4.0 needs Workplace Innovation – A critical Essay about the German Debate on Advanced Manufacturing” in the book “Workplace Innovation. Theory, Research and Practice”. This book is giving detailed insights into the research of Workplace Innovation and is characterized by a multinational view.


Social innovation initiatives for an inclusive society


18.07.2017 – SI-DRIVE’s empirical results were a central topic of the “Technology for Inclusion and Participation (TIP)” session at the “Human Computer Interaction Conference” in Vancouver on the 13th of July. The session was hosted by TU Dortmund University’s TIP-cluster.


Summer School discusses Regional Social Innovation


06.07.2017 – 50 participants from Europe and beyond attended the Summer School on “Regions as Social Innovation Ecosystems? History, culture, and institutions” from June 26-30 in Bologna. The Summer School was organized by the consortium of the „Social Innovation Community“ (SIC) project, including TU Dortmund / Sozialforschungsstelle, and hosted by the University of Bologna.


Where the Maker Movement is heading towards


04.07.2017 – Bastian Pelka and Janosch Sbeih from the Social Research Centre Dortmund (TU Dortmund University – sfs) met in Barcelona with FabLab managers, Maker Faire organizers, social innovation researchers, business strategy experts, technology developers and other experts from the MAKE-IT consortium to refine their development of future scenarios for the Maker Movement.


TU Dortmund University co-chairs a session at international innovation research conference Eu-SPRI in Vienna


27.06.2017 – From 7 to 9 June, the Eu-SPRI Conference 2017 took place in Vienna. Researchers from many different world regions participated in this annual event, this time organised under the title “The Future of STI – The Future of STI Policy”.


”Research Landscape of Social Innovation” depicts topics, actors and networks in a young field of study


27.06.2017 – An increasing number of projects, conferences and research initiatives are addressing social innovation, establishing a new and highly dynamic research topic. Public sector innovation, intermediaries, corporate social innovation and others highlight different aspects of SI. This report draws the contours of the research landscape, refers to main actors, important publications and events, and shows the potential of social innovation as a transdisciplinary field of action.


Dmitri Domanski awarded the Josef Hochgerner Fellowship 2017


21.06.2017 – Dmitri Domanski, researcher from TU Dortmund University, convinced the jury with his research proposal on "Developing the Social Innovation Ecosystem of the Vienna Region". Through the annually awarded fellowship, the Centre for Social Innovation in Vienna (ZSI) seeks to facilitate the discourse on social innovation.


SI-DRIVE goes local


20.06.2017 – SI-DRIVE’s Global Mapping results were presented at the BDS’s national conference 2017, addressing practitioners, politicians and academics.


MAKE-IT presents Sustainability Scenarios for the Maker Movement on the “XIX. Convention for Applied Social Sciences: Shaping Social Innovations Locally”


14.06.2017 – The MAKE-IT team Bastian Pelka, Marthe Zirngiebl and Janosch Sbeih from the Social Research Centre Dortmund discussed with fellow social scientists how possible future scenarios of the Maker Movement can be shaped by public institutions, private enterprises and civil society.


I-LINC presentation at the BDS conference in Dortmund


14.06.2017 – As part of a conference of the German professional association of sociologists (“Berufsverband Deutscher Soziologinnen und Soziologen e.v.”) Dr. Bastian Pelka, Mathias Cuypers and Jens Maylandt presented on 10th June 2017 the project I-LINC. The question how a meta platform like I-LINC can foster social innovation on a local level, was focused.


Brochure of the Congress “Innovation for Society” is now available


01.06.2017 – Work, health and caregiving, spatial development, energy and climate change: These topics show in a good way the versatility of the congress “Innovation for Society – New Ways and Methods for the Development of the Potential of Social Innovations”, which took place in September 2016 In the “Umweltforum” in Berlin. Now a free brochure with a lot of insights in this successful and productive congress is available.


SIC Hot Topic Workshop: Addressing Grand Challenges through Innovation Research


01.06.2017 – 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.


SELFMADE presents potential of 3D printing for people with disabilities


18.05.2017 – 3D printers are using liquefied plastic to fabricate individual products – from few centimetres high vases to complete cars. This new technology offers tremendous application possibilities which are explored by researchers of TU Dortmund University, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences and Dr Bastian Pelka, social research centre, in hindsight of the use by people with disabilities.


TU Dortmund University – sfs in Chile: Social Innovation and the role of universities


24.04.2017 – Social innovation, its systematic research and other possibilities for higher education institutions to work on innovative solutions – these were the main topics during Dmitri Domanski’s visit to Chile. The researcher from Dortmund gave lectures and spoke with leading representatives of the Catholic University of Concepción about the importance of social innovation for higher education institutions.


MAKE-IT tests app for maker faires and develops future scenarios for the Maker Movement at the Maker Faire Ruhr


05.04.2017 – An international research team of the MAKE-IT project tests web-app on the Maker Faire Ruhr to enable lasting connections between visitors and exhibitors. Maker Faire visitors and sfs-scientists Dr. Bastian Pelka, Janosch Sbeih und Marthe Zirngiebl co-developed future scenarios for the Maker Movement in an interactive workshop.


New publications on social innovation by researchers from TU Dortmund University – sfs


29.03.2017 – The interdependency between the Capabilities Approach and Social Innovation Theory, the research of Social Innovation in Latin America and the highly topical results of SI-DRIVE’s global mapping: Three articles, published in two scientific journals, deal with current developments in the field of Social Innovation.


KoSI-Lab: First Case Study at the “Midpoint Center for Social Innovation” in Tilburg


28.03.2017 – The project "KoSI-Lab" conducts several international case studies. The goal is to gather experience from existing social innovation labs and to incorporate them into the concept development of the KoSI-Lab project. On 13th and 14th of March 2017 the first case study took place in Tilburg, Netherlands. Several project members, including the four sfs-project co-workers Jürgen Schultze (project coordinator), Eva Wascher, Katharina Schrot and Florian Hebel, took part.


Save the Date: Conference “Sustainable Innovation for the Future of Europe”


14.03.2017 – At 30th of May 2017 the Social Research Centre and KlimaExpo.NRW invite to the national final conference of the European research project CASI about ”Sustainable Innovation for the Future of Europe”.


Social Innovation in Education and Lifelong Learning: International Policy and Foresight Workshop of SI-DRIVE


08.03.2017 – Within the EU funded international project SI-DRIVE a second workshop with international experts took place in March 2017 in the Social Research Centre to identify possibilities for future developments of social innovations and policy approaches to support them in the field of education and lifelong learning. The discussion was based on 211 mapped initiatives and 18 in-depth case studies of social innovation all over the world.


Cooperative platforms as a push for more sustainability in the Maker Movement


02.03.2017 – Janosch Sbeih from the Social Research Centre Dortmund discussed the EU research project MAKE-IT with participants of the “Open 2017: Platform Cooperatives” conference in London. The focus was thereby put on the potential of Platform Cooperativism as a modern strategy to enhance the sustainability of the dynamic Maker Movement.


Digital Social Innovation (DSI) Fair 2017: When online meets offline


01.03.2017 – We live in a digital era. Almost everyone is constantly connected to the World Wide Web and, thus, to other individuals worldwide. At the Digital Social Innovation Fair 2017 in Rome social innovators, public officials and researchers discussed how this network effect can be used to foster sustainability and social innovation. Janosch Sbeih and Marthe Zirngiebl from the Social Research Centre Dortmund facilitated a discussion around MAKE-IT’s sustainability scenarios for the Maker Movement.


Social Innovation: Asian research team at sfs


17.02.2017 – Each country has its unique ecosystem in which social innovations emerge and develop. Asian national ecosystems for social innovation are Ken Ito’s research focus. He is a professor at Keio University. Together with his research team, he has paid Dortmund a visit.


I-Linc Project Meeting on 17th and 18th January in Brussels


08.02.2017 – Dr. Bastian Pelka and Jens Maylandt represented the sfs during the fourth interim meeting of the Horizon 2020 project I-Linc. The meeting marks the start into the last project year.


sfs researcher presents MAKE-IT on the 33rd Chaos Communication Congress (33C3) in Hamburg

33C3 Logo

12.01.2017 – Janosch Sbeih from the Social Research Centre Dortmund facilitated a discussion about similarities, differences and interactions between the hacker scene and the maker movement at the international hacker congress 33C3 in Hamburg. Thereby the characteristics of the EU-research project MAKE-IT were shown to the audience.


Social Innovation on the Rise: Global mapping at a glance


03.01.2017 – 25 international project partners of the EU-funded large scale project SI-DRIVE “Social Innovation: Driving Force of Social Change” have mapped 1.005 social innovation initiatives belonging to seven policy fields on all five continents of the world. The results of the first world-wide comparative analysis give exciting insights into the highly diverse world of social innovation, the variety of actors and their interaction, and the complexity of the ongoing innovation processes.