This September, Taylor Center team members gathered around their computers to participate in the first-ever virtual International Social Innovation Research Conference 2020 (ISIRC).
ISIRC is an annual conference for scholars from around the world to share their research on, in and about social innovation from different academic perspectives, and across a range of themes, organized as “streams.” Last year, the Taylor team members traveled to Glasgow to present at ISIRC 2019. Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the conference organizers shifted to a virtual platform this year, hopefully opening up greater access to knowledge exchange and networking.
Hosted by Sheffield University, the event drew hundreds of participants, from doctoral students to seasoned senior faculty, in dozens of parallel online sessions on social enterprise, critical perspectives, and topics of health, well-being. and the climate crisis. ISIRC 2020 keynote speakers touched on food systems, social enterprise, ideas of “sustainable prosperity” and failures of corporate sustainability. Dorothea Klein and Brazilian research partner Rita Afonso made the case to decolonize social innovation research.
Taylor Center Research Presentations
The following Taylor Center team members presented at the conference.
Dr. Anna Monhartova. presented her work on sports-based youth development and hybrid opportunities using an ecosystems approach in the “hybrid models (social enterprise)” stream View Dr. Monhartova’s slides.
Dr. Lesley-Ann Noel shared her work on the use of speculation, Utopian ideals and Afrofuturism with design thinking as a tool for empowerment for people with minoritized identities. View Dr. Noel’s slides.
Dr. Máille Faughnan also spoke about design thinking and empowerment. She presented a case study on how the staff of a Kenyan NGO translated the mainstream version of design thinking into relational, experimental, and empathetic approaches to navigating everyday situations. View Dr. Faughnan’s slides.
Both Dr. Noel and Dr. Faughnan were participants in the “Design Thinking and Beyond” stream.
Dr. Laura Murphy and Dr. Joshua Schoop of the Day One Project, a former Taylor Center research fellow and instructor in the Tulane’s minor in Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (SISE), presented “A Map of the Landscape of Social Innovation” for the “Theoretical and Methodological Futures” stream. This new work will be coming out soon as a Taylor Provocations paper.
Taylor Center Graduate Assistant for Research and Scholarship, Megan Flattley, a doctoral student of art history and Latin American studies attended ISIRC for the first time. She was particularly engaged with the discussions around Social Innovation and Decolonization, which led to provocative questions about whether innovation can be redirected from its embeddedness in (largely Western) logics of unsustainable growth. As a young scholar, she was also interested in the many conversations facilitated around the particular contributions that academic research and training, in particular, can provide to SI initiatives.
Learn more about ISIRC 20 and find the program and abstracts at isircconference2020.com.
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