On the 5th of June our Cost action organised a webinar dedicated to the recent pandemic situation. The idea  was to hear what our network’s  researchers have done in that context.

Peter Meister Broekema from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands focused on the emerging co-creation for social innovation policy paradigm in the EU. He  argued that we need co-creation and social innovation now more than ever. Presentation

Professor Giovanni Schiuma, Director of the Innovation Insights Hub at University of the Arts London and professor of the University of Basilicata in Italy spoke about a TransformationLab as a catalyser of innovation for the tourism sector to face the COVID-19 socio-economic crises in Basilicata Region. The TransformaLab as a regional innovation lab has been developed with the twofold purpose to create a collective intelligence by activating a social network of all key regional stakeholders and, on the other hand, to identify possible innovative solutions to face the negative implications of the crisis supporting tourism enterprises to deal with the new constraints. The TransformaLab has adopted a specific managerial model to support regional stakeholders to identify innovative solutions to deal with the actual crisis affecting the tourism sector. Presentation

Dr Shane O’Sullivan  from – Limerick Institute of Technology in Ireland and  International Centre for Local and Regional Development discussed about fostering Resilience in the Post COVID_19 Social Economy.  He  explored ways in which social entrepreneurs / social enterprises can overcome the challenges posed by COVID_19. A strong emphasis was placed on the policy interventions adopted by relevant stakeholders in Ireland and UK in order to make the social economy more resilient to the socio-economic shock posed by COVID_19.  Presentation

Dr Nick Spencer  from Northumbria University in England analysed the challenges and potential of design as a re-directive and infrastructuring practice. His research is interested in using creativity to navigate contested futures within complex social and organisational situations. This approach establishes frameworks, capabilities, and behaviours to respond positively to challenging situations by scoping and defining new growth opportunities using design-led practices.  In his talk he described a transformation from Design as an object focused pursuit to Design as a systemic practice in an expanded field. In that context who designs and what is designed fundamentally shifts and diversifies. The things we have designed were always the expression and manifestation of the questions we asked and the challenges of the time. He elaborated on how can designing operate as a considered force for positive change within and outside of industrial contexts. Presentation

Ms Jo Lefevere from Artevelde University of Applied Sciences in Belgium  talked about the HackYourFuture Coaching Lab as a multidisciplinary social innovation practice. She explained how she seeks to contribute to social innovation through the development of a distinct professional program that prepares the next generation of HR Professionals with practical wisdom embedded in HR and organisational competences. The insights and observations in the HackYourFuture Coaching Lab show how the program of HRM is responding to social innovation. The coaching lab turns the traditional model of research and education on its head and proposes a more inclusive one that takes into account the increasingly fast paced and interconnected world in which we operate. It challenges future HR professionals to ask what kind of HR Professional do I need to be – or become – if I aim to take up a role in HRM and organisational development and as such leverage social innovation in society. Presentation

Professor Milen Baltov from Burgas Free University in Bulgaria spoke about the digital push to the regional smart specialisation in the quadruple helix frames. He is himself an example of the transition from a business consultant to the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups to an academic and researcher in the field. He elaborated on the smart specialization strategies for the regions and European digital innovation hubs as  facilities for promoting the quadruple helix  cooperation towards the circular and blue economy in the regions. Presentation

Dr. Christina Weber from Munich University of Applied Sciences in Germany  elaborated on the digital turn in quadruple helix co-creation. Her dissertation deals with “realtime foresight” as a new ability to dynamically build innovation networks. Her presentation dealt  with the experience and observation of co-creation in pandemic times. It looked deeply into the co-creation sprint of Munich project team  at The Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship  that experienced a digital turn from March to June 2020. She elaborated on how substantial steps in the quadruple helix innovation process are transformed by the digital turn.   Presentation

Professor Carmen Paunescu from Bucharest University of Economic Studies in Romania and Dr. Mary McDonnell-Naughton from AThlone Institute of Technology in Ireland gave some theoretical perspectives on the oganizational characteristics of a social entrepreneurial university. Their presentation discussed the drivers of the model of social entrepreneurial university and the dimensions in which higher education institutions can innovate and become social entrepreneurial and how to understand the new roles of universities with the pandemic. Presentation