Report by Tatyana Sokolova
Vologda became a platform for conducting the 1st international research workshop “Social Challenges of Modern World: Actualization of Global and Regional Social Practices”
The Vologda Research Center of RAS and the European School of Social Innovation (ESSI) conducted the 1st international research workshop “Social Challenges of Modern World: Actualization of Global and Regional Social Practices” on May 18, 2021 within the framework of events devoted to the Year of Science and Technology and the 300th Anniversary of the Russian Academy of Science with the support of the RAS Department of Social Sciences and the RF Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
The workshop was attended by more than 30 scientists from Germany (Dortmund), Spain (Bilbao), Austria (Vienna), Australia (Perth), Russia (Moscow, Yekaterinburg, and Vologda) in the offline and online format, and more than 50 listeners watched the broadcast of the event on the official YouTube channel of the VolRC RAS. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAtC7Qube6I
Participants of the workshop were greeted by the Director of the VolRC RAS, Dr. Sci. (Econ.) Alexandra Shabunova and Senior Researcher of the TU Dortmund University, Member of Management Board of the Social Research Centre, Managing Director of the ESSI Antonius Schröder, who recalled the history of research cooperation between scientists of the Vologda Research Center of RAS and the European School of Social Innovation.
The information partner of the workshop became the academic journal “Economic and Social Changes: Facts, Trends, Forecast”, published by the Vologda Research Center of RAS. Head of the Department for Editorial-and-Publishing Activity and Science-Information Support of the VolRC RAS, Leading Researcher, Can. Sci. (Phil.) Ol’ga Tret’yakova described how the stated problems are covered on the pages of the journal.
During the event, nine reports were presented. The authors addressed issues related to the impact of Industry 4.0 and the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic on society, formation of social innovation ecosystems, development of non-profit organizations and social entrepreneurship, adaptation of the education system to modern realities, birth of Industry 5.0 and transition to it. Reports were presented by scientists from the TU Dortmund University (Germany), the University of Deusto (Spain), the NRU “Higher School of Economics” (Moscow, Russia), the Institute of Economics of the Ural Branch of RAS (Yekaterinburg, Russia), and the Vologda Research Center of RAS (Vologda, Russia).
The opening report was presented by Antonius Schröder “On the Results of Major Projects to Combine Technological and Social Innovation”. The audience’s attention was drawn to the importance of considering a social aspect in issues related to technological innovations. The scientist emphasized that every technological innovation is created by people for people. During the presentation, the speaker provided brief information about the projects operating within the framework of the stated topic.
Deputy Director for Research Work at the VolRC RAS, Can. Sci. (Econ.) Lyubov Babich presented the results of a study on the digitalization of the education sphere as a global modern social challenge in the report “Education for Sustainable Development: Forming SMART-Competencies”. The speaker described the concept “Education for Sustainable Development” and its key competencies, as well as the experience of the Research and Education Center of the Vologda Research Center of RAS.
The joint report “Innovation of NPO and Its Digital Competencies: Transformation during the Pandemic” continued the topic of digitalization in relation to non-profit organizations. It was presented by the Director of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Nonprofit Sector of the NRU “Higher School of Economics”, Head of Department of Economics and Management in NGOs, Can. Sci. (Soc.) Irina Mersiyanova; Senior Researcher of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Nonprofit Sector of the NRU HSE, Cand. Sci. (Phil.) Natalya Ivanova; Junior Researcher of the Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Nonprofit Sector of the NRU HSE Alexandra Bryuhno. The researchers again paid attention to the new innovation paradigm, in which technological development correlates with social innovation, explaining that these phenomena are interdependent, complement each other, and are closely interrelated. Moscow scientists presented data on the digital indexes of non-profit organizations, typology of digital NPO, and also emphasized the importance of ensuring that the leaders of NPO understand the benefits of implementing digital technologies.
“Impact of Industry 4.0 on Society” was the topic of the report of Senior Researcher of the Social Research Centre at the TU Dortmund University Michael Kohlgrüber. He drew the attention to the consequences of mass digitalization, presenting four possible scenarios for future work in digital format and a classification of skills that will be required for work in the future. The results of the study were shown by the speaker in the form of a SWOT-analysis performed in a non-standard graphical form.
Several reports were devoted to the ecosystem of social innovations. Researcher, Director of the International Research Project Office at the University of Deusto, ESSI Scientific Director Antonia Caro-González presented the report “Social Innovation Ecosystems”, discussing the results of an international study on this issue and the current state of the social innovation ecosystems. The speaker noted that the ecosystem of social innovation groups many agents or various subjects in order to solve complex social challenges and needs.
Senior Researcher of the Department for the Studies of Lifestyles and Standards of Living at the VolRC RAS, Cand. Sci. (Econ.) Andrei Popov highlighted the domestic experience of studying the ecosystem of social innovation in his report “On the Results of Studying Social Innovation within the Project “Ecosystem Approach to the Development of Social Innovation in Contemporary Russia: Theory and Practice”. In this report, the relevance of the studied topic was emphasized, key components of the ecosystem of social innovation and used methodological tools were noted. The speaker briefly focused on the results of the study, presenting an assessment of the conditions for the development of social innovation and the distinctive features of the development of social innovation in Russia. He also showed the features of the development of social entrepreneurship in Russia and around the world.
A joint report “Modeling the Influence of the Formal Institutional Environment on the Social Entrepreneurship Development” of Senior Researcher of the Center for Social Economic Theory of the Institute of Economics of the Ural Branch of RAS Anna Veretennikova and Junior Researcher of the Institute of Economics of the Ural Branch of RAS, graduate student Kseniya Kozinskaya continued the discussion on the issues of social entrepreneurship. Colleagues shared the results of their research on determining the impact of the formal institutional environment on the development of social entrepreneurship, presenting the existing scientific schools of social entrepreneurship and approaches to studying this phenomenon. During the report, special attention was paid to the development of social entrepreneurship in Russia. Moreover, the scientists demonstrated the elaborated models for the development of social entrepreneurship for developed countries, the Russian Federation and its regions.
Deputy Head of the Department for Editorial-and-Publishing Activity and Science-Information Support of the VolRC RAS Elena Kabakova presented the report “Innovation in the social and labor sphere”, emphasizing workplace innovation. The speaker showed the main results of the research of innovation in the social and labor sphere, conducted under the guidance of Leading Researcher, Head of Laboratory, Can. Sci. (Econ.) Galina Leonidova, using a case study of the workplace of the comprehensive school’s teacher. The researchers analyzed the innovativeness of teachers’ workplaces, their compliance with the requirements of the time, evaluated the process of introducing innovation in the educational sphere and the impact of innovative transformations on the professional well-being of teachers. The study confirmed the presence of a demand for workplace innovation in the teaching environment.
The concluding report “Attitude of the population toward latest technologies and innovation” was presented by the Deputy Director for Research Work of the VolRC RAS Evgenii Mazilov, who considered the issues of the population’s readiness to perceive and use innovation and fundamentally new products. The information base of the study included the results of a sociological survey conducted as part of the study regarding the public opinion of the Vologda Oblast’s population on their attitude to the latest developments. Based on the results obtained, the speaker outlined the prospects for further research related to the correlation of the population’s opinion with the opinion of company managers on these issues, as well as with the trends in the development of science and technology in Russia.
There was a lively discussion between the speakers and the participants of the event on various aspects of social innovation during the workshop and in the chat.
Summing up the results, all participants noted the relevance of the topic under consideration, the need to discuss a wide range of issues related to the peculiarities of present and future social development, problems of interaction between the state and society, current challenges and threats of our time, the transformation of the institutional environment, and promising areas of the socio-economic policy. According to the Russian colleagues, an interesting and magnificent program of the workshop revealed new perspectives and new emphasis in the research analysis of social innovation. It is very important to maintain a dialogue that will help to adequately represent Russian science in the international academic community.
All participants expressed hope for further active cooperation and exchange of research and organizational experience within the framework of the international research workshop “Social Challenges of Modern World”.