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Message posted on 13/12/2019

Call for papers: Reimagining social innovation through decolonisation

                Dear all
<br>Please see below information on a stream *'Reimagining social innovation
<br>through decolonisation'* at the 12th International Social Innovation
<br>Research Conference 2020, Sheffield University Management School, UK, 1st –
<br>3rd September 2020 - Theme: ‘Social innovation and enterprise for more
<br>prosperous, fair and sustainable societies’.
<br>Conference website:
<br>Stream chairs: Stephen Allen (University of Sheffield), Emanuela Girei
<br>(University of Sheffield) and Andrea Jimenez (University of Sheffield)
<br>Stream description and submission information:
<br>*Stream overview:*
<br>Social innovation (SI) has become increasingly popular within academic and
<br>policy making circles as a way to tackle grand societal challenges,
<br>including poverty, inequality and climate change. However, what is not
<br>always apparent and considered is that this growing popularity is
<br>underpinned by heterogeneous and often competing understandings of what SI
<br>is and ought to be. Significantly it has been noted that the dominant
<br>framing of SI which guides policy making of multilateral organisations,
<br>such as the EU and the World Bank, is profoundly shaped by neo-liberal
<br>assumptions and values, which put market-economic priorities at the core of
<br>SI agendas (see for instance Fougère, Segercrantz, & Seeck, 2017). This
<br>means that social business, economic efficiency and managerialist
<br>blueprints are often prioritised to position SI firmly within narratives of
<br>‘caring neoliberalism’. Discourses on SI in the Global South reflect
<br>dominant framings by centring around strategies for transforming vulnerable
<br>and marginalised citizens into active and productive economic subjects. In
<br>this sense, rather than being emancipatory, SI can reinforce and reproduce
<br>neo-colonial relations, dynamics and practices.
<br>With this stream, we aim to draw upon the decolonial turn in social
<br>sciences. The decolonial turn is variously informed by areas of research
<br>including post-colonial theory, critical development studies and critical
<br>management studies. Our intention is to liberate SI from modernist,
<br>universalist and colonial traps so that possibilities can be imagined to
<br>inform alternative understandings and practices of SI. As Maia (2018)
<br>suggests, if colonial innovation concentrates on competition, survival of
<br>the fittest and economic success, decolonial innovation might focus on
<br>collaboration, partnership, bottom-up forms of organising and, more
<br>generally, on approaches that draw and elaborate on indigenous and
<br>marginalised ways of knowing.
<br>*Stream design:*
<br>The stream will be designed as a learning process that maximizes
<br>participation and facilitates inquiry and dialogue into these and other
<br>topics. Therefore, there will be an emphasis on discussing papers in small
<br>groups rather than on traditional, frontal presentations. The stream may
<br>also venture outside the conference room and engage with people and
<br>organisations external to the conference as part of the learning process,
<br>as well as use technologies to enable people who are not physically
<br>attending to participate in some sessions remotely. We have chosen to
<br>approach the stream in this way because we want to be innovative in how we
<br>come together and learn at conferences, and also create space for a
<br>multiplicity of ways of knowing to be reflective of aspects of decolonising
<br>Abstract and panel proposals submission closes: 28th February 2020
<br>Dr Mario Pansera
<br>University of Bristol
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