Social enterprise scholars from around the world share expertise in Sheffield

Social enterprise researchers from around the world will gather at Sheffield Hallam University from today to share their expertise and latest findings.

The 7th EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise is the meeting place for all researchers involved in social enterprise work across the globe.

It is the first time the event, organised by the EMES International Research Network, in partnership with the FairShares Institute for Cooperative Social Entrepreneurship and Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research at Sheffield Hallam University has been held in the UK.

The decision to host it at Sheffield Hallam is further recognition that the University is a world leader in this field, and the only recognised EMES Research Centre in the UK.

This year’s theme is ‘Sustainable development through social enterprise, co-operative and voluntary action’. Around 300 delegates are expected to attend.

Among the topics to be discussed are building a cooperative university; social innovation in primary and secondary education and new approaches towards enterprise development in new approaches to enterprise education in social enterprise ‘incubators’ called FairShares Labs.

There will also be sessions on PhD student mental health and innovation in community-led housing projects.

Gordon Macrae, special projects manager at Sheffield employee-owned engineering firm Gripple will explain how being a values-driven organisation has helped the business to succeed locally, nationally and internationally.

Professor Rory Ridley-Duff from Sheffield Business School, said: “Sheffield is a fitting host city for debates and conversations about social enterprise and sustainable development. It is recognised by Social Enterprise UK as a Social Enterprise City as well as being the northern based of the Employee Ownership Association (OEA).

It is served by two social enterprise networks – Social Enterprise Yorkshire and Humber (SEYH) and the Sheffield Social Enterprise Network (SSEN). During the conference, delegates can explore its compact attractive city centre as well as award winning employee-owned businesses and social enterprises.”

The conference takes place at City Campus from June 24-27 with a civic reception in the city’s Winter Garden tonight.

Economic models and structures are undergoing profound and potentially seismic changes around the globe.

This comes from technological developments, not least the much heralded Fourth Industrial Revolution, but also in the interplay between the economy and a whole host of developments including energy supplies, climate change, new forms of economic organisation and the future of work.

Our research at Sheffield Hallam explores these challenges, providing solutions to increase productivity and keep business ahead of the curve through innovation.

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