The ecological perspective for a transformative Social Investment Welfare State: few insights from the "community organisation through action-research" approach
Authors: Matteo Villa
Abstract: The paper discusses the Social Investment Welfare State paradigm through an ecological perspective in social science, arguing how the paradigm could work better considering: the economics of flexibility of welfare systems and their capacity to adapt to social and economic changes; the need of not separating the understanding of the social, economic and environmental dimensions, and of adopting assumptions on human nature and rationality that do not detach body, mind and environment; the opportunity to work with the contexts and not only with individuals and aggregates; the participation as a source for transformative social change in the relationship citizens-institutions and for improving design, governance and implementation of policies. Following this ideas the paper analyses some experiences of community organization through participatory action-research, and reflects on how the transformative potentials of the latter can help in the context of the Social Investment Policies to promote transformative social change towards sustainability.”
‘Re-thinking communication & dissemination strategies: towards practices of engagement & co-production in TRANSIT’
Authors: Linda Zuijderwijk
Abstract: We seek to understand how a ‘mode 2’science or “process-oriented” approaches may be situated and practiced in an institutional academic setting, used to practicing ‘mode 1’ science or “knowledge-first’’ approaches. In particular, we are interested in how the “process-oriented” approach is transforming dominant practices of communication and training. This interest is embedded in, firstly, universities seeing themselves confronted with a call for ‘integrated science’ and joint problem framing and ownership. Secondly, being part of a project studying social innovation, the notion of co-production is called upon as constitutive of what social innovation.
We reflect upon how we can engage innovative knowledge production through the social innovation approach. We aim to find strategies through which we can facilitate spaces for collaboration and joint knowledge production and to do a review in order to learn what practices of collaboration work between academics and practitioners in especially the field of social innovation.”
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Towards a Sustainable Framework in Digital-Social Innovation: Integrating Circular Economy, Capability Approach and Action Research.
Authors: Maria Angela Ferrario, Zoltan Bajmocy, William Simm, Stephen Forshaw
Abstract: The relentless pace of digital innovation is by large driven by economic models of growth and their demand for novelty, generalizability and scalability. As innovation-researchers, we question the societal and environmental sustainability of this model and look for alternatives in partnership with communities, businesses, and the ‘hard-to-reach’. In doing so we focus on three aspects of sustainability: 1) material sustainability, the materials and energy resources used to make a device 2) technology longevity, the skills, knowledge and infrastructure required to access and maintain a technology 3) human capabilities, the individual and societal ‘freedoms’ afforded or hindered by the technology. We address these aspects by applying a participatory, agile and reflective approach that integrates a) the principles of circular economy b) the practices of open-source licensing c) the principles of capability approach. We conclude by outlining the development of Clasp, an anxiety management system prototyped in partnership with adults with autism.”
Research relations in researching transformative social innovation
Authors: Julia Wittmayer, Flor Avelino, Michael Søgaard Jørgensen, György Pataki, Adina Dumitru, , Noel Longhurst
Abstract: In this paper we take social innovation research as a case of transformative science and explore different approaches, attitudes and relations of researchers to the phenomena they study: the normative aspects underlying research design. We zoom in on the relation between the researcher and ‘the researched’ and how this relation is formed by the assumptions about what science is and how it should be performed. A theoretical review as well as empirical research on the challenges in the research interaction, are the basis for drawing lessons and formulating recommendations for researchers with regard to the research interaction as well as in drawing up research designs. Concluding, this study also allows us discuss the necessity and desirability of innovating research relations and practices – as social innovations in research which can inform the further development of social innovation research and more broadly of transformative sciences.”
Initiating transformative change towards urban sustainability: Participatory action research with marginalised social communities
Authors: György Málovics, Barbara Mihók, István Szentistványi
Abstract: Since 2011 we work together with the Roma community in Szeged (Hungary) in the framework of participatory action research (PAR). We aim to contribute to social integration (urban social sustainability). We work in a hostile institutional environment – dominant social institutions do not support our goals because of extreme prejudices Roma face.
We analyse how PAR contributes to social change in such an environment. PAR helps in (1) understanding complex situations and (2) combining expert and stakeholder knowledge and competencies in creating initiatives for change. However, PAR is embedded in the wider institutional context influencing its capacity for success. Thus, there is no clear-cut connection between change initiatives as tools and transformative change as their result.
Although our case study is connected to social sustainability, because of the parallelism regarding the hostility of institutional environments our results are also useful to understand the transformative potential of PAR in environmental struggles.”