Theme: Beyond Boundaries? Organisations, Systems and Social Innovation
Social innovations are often presented as solutions to wicked social problems, operating across sectors, and disrupting traditions of policy and practice. Social innovations - including social enterprise, design-led service creation and citizen co-production – are initiated within, between and beyond the bounds of established organisational forms. Redefining boundaries creates new opportunities for combining wisdom and resources for progressive social change. Yet, critical scholars have observed that many popularised social innovations are limited in their focus on systemic change, and subject to isomorphic pressures from government and commercial interests. Others have argued that individual social innovations are limited in their effectiveness without wider systems-thinking in the design of social innovation policy and practice.
The ninth annual International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC 2017) – in partnership with SIERC and EMES - will explore social innovation within and beyond the organisation. It invites research-led reflection on the organisational boundaries recast by social innovation, the systemic imperatives of a growing focus on social innovation, and the implications of these for theory and practice. Empirical, conceptual and practice-informed research contributions are encouraged.