Call for papers for 9th International Social Innovation Research Conference: Public Policy and Social Innovation stream

The ninth annual International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC 2017) will explore the theme Beyond Boundaries? Organisations, Systems and Social Innovation. Chris Mason and Robyn Keast are calling for submissions for the Public Policy and Social Innovation stream before 28 March 2017.

ISIRC 2017 Public Policy and Social Innovation stream

Persistent social and environmental problems, embedded institutional interests, divided communities, competing demands and shrinking resources can constrain, rather than liberate, social innovation in our communities. Collaborative policy responses to social inequalities are increasingly necessary, but challenging.

If ever there was a time to come together to liberate and leverage the powerful social innovation in our communities it is now!

This stream focuses on bringing diverse groups together to challenge conventional thinking about research, policy making and collaboration in social innovation. Transformative or disruptive changes happen through collaboration, rarely in isolation. Social innovation collaborations often take the form of multiple stakeholders working together outside of traditional ‘silos’: thinking, creating, implementing and measuring new ideas and techniques to respond to systemic problems. Such boundary-spanning activities bridge different ‘worlds’, unblocking how we approach policy-making that addresses social inequalities through innovation.

We invite submissions that contribute to one or more of the following themes below:

  • How are different disciplines / industries / sectors and communities identifying and responding to shared problems through transdisciplinary research? What is the role of collaboration and networks in bringing these combinations together? What are the critical challenges? What are possible bridging tools/mechanisms/approaches?
  • What are the new or adapted methods and techniques for studying social innovation? How are these designed and tested? Which techniques arise from the nexus between scholarly and practitioner ‘worlds’?
  • What impact is social innovation policy evaluation having on social inequalities? How do we better facilitate research through the policy and practice nexus?
  • What evidence explains how social innovation research can be translated to practitioners, especially to communities and policy-makers? What gets ‘lost’ in translation? Where are the ‘boundary-spanners’ in this process, and what do they do?
  • How does research and practice from the Global South (i.e. Africa, Asia and Latin America) challenge, transform or disrupt social innovation policy discourses?

In the ‘innovation’ spirit of this conference, and as a way of practicing /encouraging cross-disciplinary and interactive dialogue we propose an alternative approach for our stream.

Each session will be split into two linked parts. The first is an invited panel discussion, with a remit for each speaker to spark debate and critique of their given theme. These will be ‘active’ panels – the audience will be encouraged to directly engage with these debates: this is how we breakthrough with new thinking about social innovation and policy-making.

The second part focuses on delegate research presentations. Each paper will be allocated to a relevant session based on the themes above, and will build on the panel discussion with a view to expanding thinking, conceptualisations and practices as well as building new research and practice bridges.

To submit your 200-word abstract, please visit the ISIRC 2017 site. When submitting, please indicate your preferred theme, taken from the list above.

If you have any questions about the stream, please contact Chris Mason at The deadline for submissions is March 28th 2017.

Looking forward to engaging with you and your ideas at ISIRC 2017!

Chris Mason & Robyn Keast (Stream co-chairs)