National Conversations on Social Innovation - Higher Education and Social Innovation/Impact

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsWorkshopResearch


Within the HE context, social innovation is an area of growing interest, both as an academic discipline in its own right and more widely as an approach to knowledge exchange to optimise impact and outreach. From social entrepreneurship incubation to a theoretical research, socially innovation has become increasingly relevant in both theory and practice. Social Innovation Connect wants to bring together key researchers and academics as well as knowledge exchange professionals from across the UK to discuss their local social innovation context. SIC is embedded within the Scottish ecosystem, but across the UK, the context varies widely, and we want to have a conversation about the nuances and differences, as well as our similarities.
Universities are often seen as removed from their communities, and considering the wealth of resources, knowledge and capacity available within universities; more needs to be done to ‘turn the university inside out’. Within the Social Innovation ecosystem, even the use of the term ‘Social Innovation’ can be an alienating and exclusive term. We want to understand how we can bridge the gap between the research and study within universities and bring the benefits of this to our local communities. We face unprecedented challenges around the world today; from climate change, to health inequalities, poverty and social cohesion. Higher education is often at the forefront of thinking and investigation into these wicked societal problems, but being disconnected from our local communities hampers connections that could help change the tide for some of these key issues.

During this session we will hear from leading academics in different regions of the UK about Social Innovation and the Social Economy in their local context, and also about the ways in which we can start to collaborate with our communities to address the variety of challenges we face as a society today.

Our panel speakers:
● Dr Fiona Henderson / Professor Simon Teasdale - Scotland
● Professor Richard Hazenburg, University of Northampton
● Professor Kevin Morgan, Cardiff University
● Professor Brendan Murtagh, Queens University Belfast
Facilitator - Mark Majewsky Anderson, Director of Research and Innovation, Glasgow Caledonian University
Period20 Apr 2022
Held atGlasgow Caledonian University, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • social innovation
  • Higher education
  • Social Enterprise