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Social Innovation: Local Solutions to Global Challenges – Keynote speech by Prof. Jürgen Howaldt at ISIRC 2019 in Glasgow

From the 2nd to the 4th of September the world’s leading interdisciplinary social innovation research conference ISIRC took place in Glasgow. On this occasion, Prof. Jürgen Howaldt held a keynote, in which he stressed the importance of a comprehensive innovation policy. Dmitri Domanski, who also participated in the conference, presented an approach of the SIKE project, reflecting on different methods in order to foster knowledge exchange between academia and practitioners from other societal sectors.

ISIRC 2019 in Glasgow Howaldt

Under the title “Social Innovation: Local Solutions to Global Challenges” the International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC), which was hosted by the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health, took place at Glasgow Caledonian University. The main objective of the conference was to bring together scholars from all over the world in order to discuss social innovation from different perspectives.

In his keynote speech Prof. Jürgen Howaldt, director of TU Dortmund University’s Social Research Centre, reflected on different approaches and projects in order to create a systematic perspective on the topic of social innovation. He thereby referred to findings of the project SI-DRIVE’s global mapping and outlined the Social Innovation Community’s (SIC) efforts to explore the research landscape of social innovation. Within the course of his presentation, professor Howaldt talked about various important subjects with regard to social innovation, such as the development of a theoretical foundation as well as barriers and potentials in order to implement social innovation initiatives.

The topic of collaboration between Higher Education Institutions and actors from other societal sectors took centre stage in Dmitri Domanski’s presentation at ISIRC. He thereby focused on different methods and mechanisms to foster knowledge exchange between academia and practitioners of other sectors in the field of social innovation. In order to illustrate a promising approach to strengthen this type of knowledge exchange, Domanski referred to the so-called SIKE Units of the Erasmus+ Project SIKE, which directly aim at fostering the emergence of social innovation initiatives at Higher Education Institutions.