With the establishment of a third mission at higher education institutions, participation in social innovation initiatives becomes a topic of higher education policy and practice. For many higher education institutions, however, social innovation is still fairly new to all three missions.
“The marginal engagement of research and education institutions is in strong contrast to their essential role as knowledge providers in classical innovation processes as well as one of the pillars of the triple helix model and an indispensable part of the concept of innovation systems.” (Anderson, Domanski & Howaldt, 2018)
In the meantime, the topic is becoming more and more visible at higher education institutions around the world, which brings about good examples of successful initiatives and implementations of social innovation strategies.
Against this background, the focus of the 4th ESSI webinar on 11th September 2023 was on learning from these examples.
In this spirit, ESSI members Marthe Zirngiebl and Daniel Krüger (TU Dortmund University, Social Research Centre) introduced the topic of social innovation at higher education institutions. They also provided brief insights into the development of a platform for social innovation in Germany, which is dedicated to German higher education institutions as one of its target groups, recognizing their important role in the social innovation ecosystem.
Next, ESSI member Mark Anderson (Glasgow Caledonian University) shared his long-standing experience in embedding social innovation in higher education institutions and presented examples from Latin America, South-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa with more than 20 participants. He complemented these insights with an overview of Glasgow Caledonian University’s strategy for Social Innovation.
ESSI member Kevser Çinar and Merve Çıraci (Necmettin Erbakan University) provided insights into a variety of different socially innovative intiatives and projects in different areas such as the tourism sector.
Ali Güney (Social Innovation Agency Konya) presented the diverse activities of the Social Innovation Agency in Konya, Türkiye working together with youths on a variety of social innovation projects in different thematic areas.