25th APDR Workshop (Webinar format)
Social Innovation Towards Sustainability: Embracing Contemporary Challenges for Regional Development
28 September – 2 October 2020, Online event

This event was postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. The workshop changed to a webinar format (28 Sept – 2 Oct 2020). Participation is free of charge for the audience, limited to the capacity of the virtual room. Check details in the dedicated website (program section).

The Portuguese section of European Regional Science Association (ERSA) is happy to invite you to participate to the 25th APDR workshop in webinar format “Social Innovation Towards Sustainability: Embracing Contemporary Challenges for Regional Development” which will promote the reflection and knowledge sharing on social innovation practices connected with sustainability and regional development. It intends to promote an inter-sector dialogue among researchers, activists, local, regional and national policy makers, associations, non-governmental organizations, practitioners of social innovation and social entrepreneurs.

Contemporary societies are facing permanent social, economic and ecological turbulence. Social innovation starts from the willingness to transform ideas into action in order to respond to problems and contribute for solutions where public policies fail in providing effective answers. Despite the fragmentation of the field, Regional Science has been an important catalyst for social innovation research by paying attention to territorial innovative responses towards emerging social needs.

It is in this context and with these premises that the 25th APDR workshop Social Innovation Towards Sustainability: Embracing Contemporary Challenges for Regional Development is developed. In fact, its main objective is to discuss the state of the art of social innovation in Regional Science and the contemporary challenge for sustainability while promoting the reflection and knowledge-sharing on social innovation practices connected with sustainability and regional development. It also intends to stimulate an inter-sector dialogue among researchers, activists, local, regional and national policy makers, associations, non-governmental organisations, practitioners of social innovation and social entrepreneurs and contribute to the visibility of social innovation as a central topic for the transformation of society towards a more sustainable future.

The workshop is organised by APDR – Portuguese Association for Regional Development and CES – Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, with the support of CinTurs – Research Centre for Tourism, Sustainability and Well-Being of the University of Algarve. This workshop also benefits from the support of the Atlantic Social Lab project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG Atlantic Area Cooperation Program (EAPA_246/2016).

The workshop was originally organised to take place on 16th April 2020 at the Faculty of Economics, University of Algarve (Faro, Portugal) but was postponed. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event is held online, in a webinar format version, starting from the 28th of September until the 2nd of October 2020.

The first day of the workshop is dedicated to the opening session while from the 29th of September to the 1st of October, the presentation and discussion of the main themes will take place. The topics of discussion, among others, regard social innovation, micro-scale innovation, transformative innovation, sustainability transitions and community-based sustainability projects. These topics are divided into five main categories that correspond to parallel sessions. Namely, the subjects are classified into the following sections: i) tourism and territorial renewal; ii) spaces for sustainable social innovation; iii) learning for social innovation; iv) social innovation and communities; and v) regional dynamics.

The last day of the workshop integrates a focus group discussion about “The Transformative Potential of Social Innovation for Regional Development”. This focus group is developed by the Atlantic Social Lab project, co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG Atlantic Area Cooperation Program (EAPA_246/2016) and it is intended to be a participatory session whose objective is to promote a multi-level and multi-sectoral discussion on the importance of social innovation for regional development. It will count with the presence of different organisations that have a pivotal role in the economic and social development of the Algarve region, including winners of the Partnerships for the Impact of the Portugal Inovação Social (Portugal Social Innovation) contest. Some final considerations will then close the event, making space for reflection.

Keynote Speakers

  • Flôr Avelino, Dutch Research Institute for Transitions, The Netherlands
  • Silvia Ferreira, Faculty of Economics of Coimbra University, Portugal
  • Filipe Almeida, President, Portugal Social Innovation Initiative, Portugal
  • Michael Danson, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland
  • Mário Vale, Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Call for papers

Contemporary societies face structural challenges that lack effective and transformative responses. These problems can be seen not only as alarming issues but also as opportunities for the implementation of new forms and methods to answer existing needs. In this context, the issues of the need for a transition to more sustainable (social, economic and environmental) models are becoming more prominent and increasing their space in academic and strategic discussions. Greater importance has been given to innovative micro-scale initiatives that seek to address these challenges. Discussions around social innovation, grassroots innovation and transformative innovation are examples of this. There are examples from around the world of good community-based practice and from civil society organizations. Nevertheless, recognition of these practices by policy makers and governance bodies is critical to the their scalability. This workshop aims to contribute to this discussion, not only at the academic and strategic level but also at the level of real and practical examples of practices being developed in the field.
We invite researchers, activists, public officials and social entrepreneurs to submit proposals for contributions to the workshop. Submissions might be based on formal research or on concrete activist, community or public policy initiatives.

Organisers are particularly interested in proposals related of these thematic fields:
– On innovation: studies, reflections and examples about innovation (s) that, particularly, are concerned to emphasize sustainability and regional development, such as: social innovation, grassroots innovation, transformative innovation, among others;
– On transformation: studies, reflections and examples focused on sustainability transitions, multi-level perspective, transferability and scaling-up, and their relationships with innovation and regional development;
– Doing It: Examples of real-world practices in developing innovation practices that address social and environmental needs, such as: sustainable intentional communities (ecovillages), smart-cities, eco-cities, cities in transition, transition movements, living laboratories, NGOs, territorial and local development agencies, public policies, among others, that may instigate regional development.

The event also integrates a focus group discussion, in Portuguese, about “The Transformative Potential of Social Innovation for Regional Development”. This focus group is developed by the Atlantic Social Lab project.


Virtual Rooms
28/09 – Keynote Opening

29/09 – Parallel Session 1

30/09 – Parallel Sessions 2 and 3

01/10 – Parallel Sessions 4 and 5

02/10 – Focus group and Keynote Final

MONDAY – 28/09/2020
16h30 Keynote Opening – EN

Power dynamics in transformative social innovation
Flor Avelino

Community resilience, sustainability and success on the margins and peripheries
Michael Danson

Chair: Hugo Pinto

TUESDAY – 29/09/2020
14h30 Parallel Session 1 – PT
Tourism and Territorial Renewal

Past, present and future of creative tourism in Portugal: analysing actors and connection dynamics
Ana Rita Cruz, Margarida Perestrelo, Maria Assunção Gato, Pedro Costa & Elisabete Tomaz

Behind the formation of networks: tourist routes in areas of low competitiveness
Luís Mota, Oliva Martins & José Luis Braga

How can cities combine their governance paradigms with social innovation for an inclusive urban regeneration? URBiNAT Study Case
Fábio Sampaio, Gonçalo Canto Moniz, Isabel Ferreira & Beatriz Caitana

From urban overtourism to an empty city: how to reignite urban tourism after Covid-19?
Maria Assunção Gato & Ana Rita Cruz

Demand profile of ecovillage tourists in Portugal: a sociological and economic perspective
Carla Nogueira & Michelle Moraes

Chair: Carla Nogueira

WEDNESDAY – 30/09/2020
14h30 Parallel Session 2 – EN
Spaces for Sustainable Social Innovation

Social innovation in Portugal – where are we and what are we doing?
Joana Dias & Maria Partidário

Defining common spaces as key components of a sustainable perspective
Gilda Farrell

Constructing inter-generational arts space: places and potentialities
Anthony Killick

Social innovation in the development of rural regions: experience of the Austrian region of Muehlviertel
Marina Novikova & Maria de Fátima Ferreiro

Sustainable tourism: Is there a path from sustainability indexes to innovative governance?
Fátima Carvalho & Silvia Fernandes

Chair: Carla Nogueira

16h30 Parallel Session 3 – PT
Learning for Social Innovation

Some insights on the role of universities in the social innovation process
Jorge Cunha, Carla Ferreira, Madalena Araújo & Paul Benneworth

DIVE project: sharing experiences of non-formal education on social entrepreneurship
Teresa Dieguez, Oscarina Conceição & Lúcia Campinho

Social learning and innovations in sustainability transitions – a research in progress
Maria Partidário, Margarida Monteiro, Joana Dias, Isabel Loupa Ramos, Teresa Fidélis, Teresa Pinto Correia, Catarina Madeira, Maria Rivera & José da Veiga

Social innovation impact assessment: a proposal for a measurement tool
Jorge Cunha, Wellington Alves, Madalena Araújo & Paul Benneworth

Tracking the Portuguese community-based initiatives landscape: The role of politicisation and institutional frameworks
Alexandra Bussler, João Mourato & David Avelar
Chair: Paola DiNunzio

THURSDAY – 01/10/2020
14h30 Parallel Session 4 – PT
Social Innovation and Communities

Dreamers and starters: are ecosystems fostering entrepreneurship in Portugal?
Fernando C. Gaspar & Fernando M. Mota

Olive oil cooperatives as a medium of social innovation in the Andalusian countryside
José Domingo Sánchez Martínez, Vicente José Gallego Simón, Antonio Garrido Almonacid & Juan Carlos Rodríguez Cohard

Urban and peri-urban agriculture public policy: an analysis of normative instruments in the city of São Paulo (Brazil)
Katia Carolino & Marcos Sorrentino

Analysing the social innovation networks of intentional sustainable communities in Europe
Carla Nogueira, João Filipe Marques & Hugo Pinto

Chair: Carla Nogueira

16h30 Parallel Session 5 – PT
Regional Dynamics

Spatial autocorrelation of exports and R&D in Portugal
António Carlos de Campos, Luís Lopes & Carlos Carreira

Regional unemployment and cyclical sensitivity in Spain
Alejandro Almeida, Aida Galiano, Antonio A. Golpe & Juan M. Martin

Regional effects of tourism in Portugal: a multivariate analysis
Hugo S. Gonçalves & Jorge M. Andraz

Determinants of liquidity: the case of Greece
Beatriz Gonçalves, Luís Coelho & Rúben Peixinho

Chair: André Guerreiro

FRIDAY – 02/10/2020
14h30 Focus Group – PT
The transformative potential of social innovation for regional development
Chair: Carla Nogueira

16h30 Keynote Final – PT

Institutional relatedness, technology and sustainability in economic geography: a sympathetic critique
Mário do Vale

Public policies and social innovation governance
Sílvia Ferreira

Portugal Social Innovation: a pioneering policy for development
Filipe Almeida

Chair: Hugo Pinto

The organizers have launched a call for papers for a special issue of Sustainability (MDPI Open Access Journal). All the authors presenting in the workshop are invited to develop their presentations into publishable manuscripts for peer-review. Deadline for submission is 31st May 2021.

Any questions regarding the event must be sent to Hugo Pinto (hpinto@ces.uc.pt) and Carla Nogueira (cfnogueira@ualg.pt)

More info on this event

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