ISIRC Conference 2018

ISIRC 2018
»Bridging Social and Business Innovation«


ISIRC is the world’s leading  interdisciplinary social innovation research conference. The conference brings together scholars from across the globe to discuss social innovation in a variety of perspectives. ISIRC 2018 is hosted by the Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Center for Social Investment and Innovation in cooperation with the Westphalian University Gelsenkirchen, Institute for Work and Technology. The conference will take place at the heart of the old town of Heidelberg, a wonderful combination of old and new buildings, narrow streets, market squares, arts, history and science.


Social innovation has clearly gained momentum over the past decade, spurred notably by the growing interest in theory, practice and policy. Manifested in new ways of doing things, distinct social relations, changes in perceptions or novel solutions, social innovations are often presented as an alternative to business (profit-oriented) innovation to cope with societal challenges at hand. While major progress has been made in understanding social innovation trajectories, drivers and barriers, business models and institutions, significant work is still required to position the distinct (disciplinary) analytical, conceptual and theoretical contributions in the ‘classical’ innovation research. On the other hand, social innovation has largely been overlooked by the majority of innovation literature, with the mainstream of research traditionally focusing on technological innovation, or more generally, business innovation.The tenth annual International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC 2018) strives to bridge the as yet largely unrelated research fields of social and business innovation and invites theoretical, methodological and empirical contributions drawing on different disciplines.