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Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship
(504) 247-1963

Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching (CELT)
310 Richardson Building
6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane University

Discovering Social Innovation through Scholarship

April 3-4, 2014 at Weinmann Hall, Tulane Law School

We invite submissions for original research - appropriate methods, theories, paradigms, cases, applications, data etc. - from scholars at different stages of their work, from work in progress to final dissertations. We accept submissions for individual papers or posters, presentations, and group/joint workshop sessions. We encourage diverse, creative suggestions for workshops, discussions, activities, and panel presentations

Please submit a brief abstract (250 words maximum) on your idea and a brief biography of yourself (and other applicants) by Monday, March 10, 2014 at 5 PM CST. The organizing committee will respond to applications by Monday, March 17, 2014 at 11:59 PM CST.

We define social innovation as the development of novel solutions to social problems that more effectively, efficiently and equitably address social and environmental challenges than existing approaches. The value from social innovation accrues primarily to society as a whole, rather than to individuals. As traditional solutions to complex, systemic problems like climate change, food insecurity, child mortality and urban poverty fail to offer lasting solutions, innovations are needed more than ever.

The symposium provides a forum for social innovation scholars to delve into cutting edge research, learn and explore methods, discuss trends and hot-button issues, and connect to new networks. We are looking for researchers using diverse approaches in various settings to contribute to our understanding of social innovation. This symposium offers an opportunity to share ideas, research strategies and practices, and resources from your experiences.

We welcome submissions from any discipline or interdisciplinary field of study, including sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, history, and law; as well as area studies, international development, planning, environmental studies; business strategy, finance, entrepreneurship; technical fields of engineering, public health, and architecture; social work and education; and public policy and government studies.

Professionals in the social sector -- non-profits, entrepreneurship, social business, social entrepreneurship, university administration, changemakers, philanthropy, and foundations -- are also welcome to contribute. We invite proposals for presentations or workshops that offer critical and reflective scholarly engagement within your practice in the areas of impact assessment, strategic partnerships, collective Impact, organizational strategies and other relevant scholarly topics.

Hot button questions to consider:

  • Impact: How are social innovations being measured, monitored, and evaluated? How are emerging research trends such as Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) altering our understanding of ‘social impact’? What are the implications for our research training and methods?
  • Novel financial mechanisms such as Impact Investing, Philanthrocapitalism, Crowdfunding, MicroFinance, Social Impact Bonds, etc. are reshaping the landscape of community-based and international development. How are these topics being researched? What do we know already?
  • What is the role of the ‘new’ business organizational structures—Benefit corporations, L3Cs--in fostering social value in the United States?
  • How is value defined and operationalized in social innovation?
  • How can researchers share and collaborate to better inform the field?
  • Other questions you would like to raise!

The agenda will be more fully specified after we select presenters in March. We will gauge topics of interest and presentation formats.

Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000