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Final event review: Research as a critical driver of societal transformation

In the session “Research as a critical driver of societal transformation”, 25 participants explored the future role of universities and research institutes in social innovation and discussed how the social innovation research community could contribute to positive transformative change in society.

The session featured the European School of Social Innovation (ESSI). Jürgen Howaldt (TU Dortmund University) introduced ESSI and its current and future activities, including bi-annual conferences, summer schools, and new editions of the Atlas of Social Innovation (see In a second strand, Sebastian Pfotenhauer (Technical University of Munich) elaborated on the Horizon 2020 project “SCALINGS” and its focus on co-creation. SCALINGS studies the implementations and outcomes of three co-creation instruments: innovation procurement, living labs, and co-creation facilities and brings together social scientists, engineers, policy-makers, and industry partners from all over Europe. Its sister project SISCODE, presented by Alessandro Deserti (Politecnico di Milano), analyses the context and conditions for successful co-creation in order to bridge the gap between the process of co-constructing policies and their implementation. SISCODE focuses on co-creation’s role in the implementation of Public engagement (PE) and Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI).

All three speakers of the session provided only a short introduction and then invited the participants to tackle a challenge for their project or network and discuss possible approaches and solutions.

The session was chaired by Flor Avelino (Dutch Research Institute for Transitions, DRIFT) and Christoph Kaletka (TU Dortmund University).

Repeat Calendar Results