Developing innovative approaches to tackling complex social problems – opportunities and challenges
VSSN’s next day conference will take place on 9th May 2018, hosted by York Business School, York Saint John University.
Academic and media commentary on charities and civil society organisations often presents a pessimistic view of organisations facing many challenges, whether due to funding constraints, loss of autonomy and public trust, and reputational damage following links to public scandals. While a critical analysis of the voluntary sector role in shoring up competitive and contractual cultures is called for, we also need to recognise that alternative models and initiatives are emerging, especially at grassroots levels.
There are growing pressures on locally based community organisations and social enterprises to tackle increasingly complex social issues, but organisational actors are also active in developing different ways to address these challenges.
This day seminar aims to explore new and innovative approaches which are being put in place to tackle complex social problems, including enduring and increasing poverty and growing inequalities, and the forms and effectiveness of such new approaches.
The seminar will ask how organisations and communities are responding to prolonged public sector funding cuts, austerity and the upheavals caused by political uncertainties, including over BREXIT. It will explore a range of questions, for example:
- Do new initiatives represent an opportunity to innovate and work together to successfully tackle complex social problems?
- If so, what initiatives are emerging that present sustainable opportunities for the future?
- Which initiatives are proving successful and which are not, and why?
- What challenges do organisations face in developing new initiatives in the current environment?
- Can successful strategies be replicated in diverse communities and what problems are encountered in achieving this?
We welcome contributions from researchers, academics, doctoral students and practitioners from a broad range of fields around innovative initiatives taking place in different communities, and critical theoretical debates on what is happening to voluntary and community sector innovation and enterprise in the current period.
We will be pleased to consider proposals on related topics which may include (but are not limited to) organisations working with diverse groups in the population, for example refugee groups, those facing inequalities due to geography, black and minority ethnic led, women’s and faith-based groups.
Your abstract should outline your proposed paper, showing how the issues you raise will contribute to the themes for the day.
Abstracts of 250-300 words should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org by March 12th.
Please also attach contact details.
If helpful, please contact Mike to discuss contributions informally in the meantime.
Attending the event
VSSN aims to promote an understanding of the UK voluntary sector through research. The event is aimed at researchers, academics, doctoral students and practitioners in voluntary organisations or foundations interested in the UK voluntary sector. We also welcome policymakers and practitioners engaged in relevant fields. We are always pleased to meet and receive contributions from colleagues in similar settings in other countries. The working language is English.
Booking for the event will open once the programme is finalised.
We look forward to welcoming you at York Saint John University on May 9th 2018.