About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

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]