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Human Development &
Capability Association

Agency, Well-Being and Justice

Invitation to Webinar: Social innovation and climate emergency

Date and Time: 8 April 2020, 8:00-10:00 Eastern Standard Time; 13:00-15:00 GMT; 18:30-20:30 IST

Over the last decade social innovation served as an ambivalent buzzword: on the one hand promising more efficient solutions for social and environmental problems in times of austerity; on the other hand, opening innovation discourse to actors from civil society and politics and associated discourses such as grassroots innovation and democratic innovation. A frequent finding of emerging social innovation research: social innovation has to become more political, if the promises associated with the term are to move beyond the buzz.

More political for research means a more sustained focus on power relations and change of power relations; more political for policy-makers and funders means a greater willingness to reflect on who has a say in social innovation policy. “Climate emergency” provides an important example. Social movements and networks such as Friday for the Future and Extinction Rebellion deserve credit for a shift in public discussion from climate change to climate emergency, and with it greater recognition that only a decade is left to achieve the Paris climate goals of no more than 1,5 warming. At the same time, both are example for political networks that have long been ignored by more social business oriented research on social innovation, i.e. they tend not to be studied as social innovation.

Beyond, this political aspect there are further aspects for a deeper understanding of social innovation and climate emergency. These include technology and social innovation in green economy markets, domestic/communal provision in fields such as housing, energy and water provision, and professional provision and the emergency of new work profiles dedicated to active engagement in response to climate emergency.

This webinar brings together research on this emerging relation from establish and emerging scholars in the field. Key questions are: What are the central issues in research on this relation so far? What is the contribution of the capabilities approach and human development?

The webinar will be moderated by Anna Colom (Open University and Co-ordinator TG Technology, Innovation and Design). It will start with brief 10-15 minute inputs by Rafael Ziegler (GETIDOS, Universität Greifswald), Josephine Balzac (Rollins College), Sylvia Lorek (Sustainable Europe Research Institute) and Asanga Ranasinghe (Stampede Accelerator and Co-ordinator TG Technology, Innovation and Design). They will provide inputs on democratic protest, climate lawyering, social housing, energy and technology followed by a joint discussion.

Participants are asked to register in advance. Please send a brief email to GETIDOS (getidos@uni-greifswald.de). Once registered, participants will receive further instructions on how to participate in the webinar.

The webinar is organized by TG Innovation, Technology and Design in cooperation with SERI (Sustainable Europe Research Institute).

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