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Building on the original Social Frontiers, held in London in November 2013, Social Frontiers Canada aimed to go further in exploring the next steps in social innovation research, with a focus on ‘Culture: a new agenda for social innovation research?’

Social Frontiers Canada was part of a wider week of events in Vancouver, including the SIX Summer School 2014 Vancouver (27-29 May) which brought together a global forum of practitioners to explore social innovation.

Over the day, participants were able to share their work, learn about social innovation research in Canada and internationally, and network. Using a variety of presentation formats, the symposium explored several key themes and questions including:

  • How does culture present a context, barrier and opportunity for social innovation?
  • What methods have we developed for researching cultures of social innovation?
  • Break out sessions - Culture & Social Innovation - a closer look:
    • Resilience & culture
    • Understanding social innovation cultures at different scales
    • Design culture and social innovation research
    • Cultures of innovation in institutions
    • Cross sectoral innovation
    • Cultures of innovation and technologies
  • Developing an international research agenda

Participants and contributors came from universities, research institutions and social innovation organisations across six continents. A full list of presenters can be found in the agenda. Keynote speakers included:

  • Frances Westley, W McConnell Chair in Social Innovation at Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience (Canada)
  • Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta (United Kingdom)
  • Robert Haché, Vice-President of Research & Innovation at York University (Canada)
  • Aditya Dev Sood, Founder & CEO of Centre for Knowledge Societies (India)

For links to presentations, see the Speakers section below.

The Social Frontiers blog series

As part of Social Frontiers Canada, Nesta hosted a guest blog series during August and September 2014, exploring how social innovation and culture come together.

All published blogs can be found below:

Social Frontiers Canada: three take-aways and a blog series by Kathleen Stokes and Emma Crickmay

Crossing Social Frontiers by Andrew Barnett

Challenging the cultural values embedded in technology: an opportunity for social innovation? by Dr. Chris Martin

Leveraging culture of informal networks by Knowl Baek, Beth Schwindt and Masha Safina

Changing a 600 year business by Dr. David Phipps

Revisit our own research cultures and practices first by Marlieke Kieboom

Being clumsy without dropping the ball: culture and social innovation by Steven Ney

Culture: how diving deep can inform social innovation by Dr. Lewis Williams

Decoding culture, creativity and innovation through visual analytics by Angele Beausoleil

For additional information or questions, please contact [email protected]