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Embracing Contemporary Challenges for Regional Development


Contemporary societies are facing a permanent social, economic and ecological turbulence. Social innovation starts from the willingness to transform ideas into action to respond to problems and contribute for solutions where public policies are failing to provide effective answers. Despite the fragmentation of the field, Regional Science has been an important catalyst for social innovation research by paying attention to territorial innovative responses to emerging social needs.

The 25th APDR workshop Social Innovation Towards Sustainability: Embracing Contemporary Challenges for Regional Development will promote the reflection and knowledge sharing on social innovation practices connected with sustainability and regional development. It intends to promote an inter-sector dialogue among researchers, activists, local, regional and national policy makers, associations, non-governmental organizations, practitioners of social innovation and social entrepreneurs.

Its main objective is to discuss the state of the art of social innovation in Regional Science and the contemporary challenge for sustainability. Topics of discussion, among others, regard social innovation, micro-scale innovation, transformative innovation, sustainability transitions and community-based sustainability projects. The workshop intends to stimulate synergies between research, governance and civil society initiatives, present examples of community-based good practices, and contribute to the visibility of social innovation as a central topic for the transformation of society towards a more sustainable future.

The workshop is organized by APDR – Portuguese Association for Regional Development and CES – Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, with the support of CinTurs – Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability and Well-Being of the University of Algarve. This workshop also benefits from the support of the Atlantic Social Lab project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG Atlantic Area Cooperation Program (EAPA_246/2016).

We invite researchers, activists, public officials and social entrepreneurs to submit proposals for contributions to the workshop. Submissions might be based on formal research or on concrete activist, community or public policy initiatives.

We are particularly interested in proposals related of these thematic fields:

– On innovation: studies, reflections and examples about innovation (s) that, particularly, are concerned to emphasize sustainability and regional development, such as: social innovation, grassroots innovation, transformative innovation, among others;

– On transformation: studies, reflections and examples focused on sustainability transitions, multi-level perspective, transferability and scaling-up, and their relationships with innovation and regional development;

– Doing It: Examples of real-world practices in developing innovation practices that address social and environmental needs, such as: sustainable intentional communities (ecovillages), smart-cities, eco-cities, cities in transition, transition movements, living laboratories, NGOs, territorial and local development agencies, public policies, among others, that may instigate regional development.

The event also integrates a focus group discussion, in Portuguese, about “The Transformative Potential of Social Innovation for Regional Development” This focus group is developed by Atlantic Social Lab project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG Atlantic Area Cooperation Program (EAPA_246/2016)


Fonte: Embracing Contemporary Challenges for Regional Development

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