Social Economy Scientific Conference


24th & 25th November 2020 


24th and 25th November 2020 

SAVE THE DATE for the Social Economy Scientific Conference #SES2020, a two-day digital event on the future of social economy in Europe!

At the #SES2020, a vibrant network of distinguished researchers and academic scholars will discuss how the future of social economy could and should look like, providing an original contribution to the rethinking of our socio-economic spaces. The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has increased the visibility of the social economy’s contribution to socio-economic development and social cohesion, demonstrating that it is an essential part of Europe’s safety net in times of crisis, thanks to its leadership in providing essential goods and services to the most deprived. Therefore social economy could play an important role in the recovery phase. The #SES2020 will look at the social economy as a driver of change, and on this basis will discuss how social economy will contribute to bounce forward our societies in the next normal.

The future-oriented objective of the #SES2020 is to collect a comprehensive body of knowledge that will anticipate the most relevant changes within and outside the social economy, in order to understand its potential role and contribution in the next decades and feed the European Commission’s policy reflection.

Register HERE for the #SES2020!
Download #SES2020 Program Leaflet

The guiding theme of the #SES2020

‚An opportunity to rethink and reshape our socio-economic spaces‘


The European Commission announced a forthcoming European Action Plan for the Social Economy to enhance social investment and social innovation and to boost the potential of social enterprises to create jobs. This policy initiative to be released during the second semester 2021, will be a key tool to systematically incorporate the social economy into the different socio-economic policies of the European Union, as well as into its actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The #SES2020 is tapping into the social economy momentum to discuss under which conditions is possible to maximise social economy contribution in constructing viable solutions to the grand challenges of our time.

The social economy can generate engagement, initiatives and returns in local communities while bringing everyone closer to the labour market. The social economy provides innovative solutions in education, health care, energy transition, housing and the delivery of social services. It can also be a pioneer in local green deals by creating alliances in territories involving citizens and enterprises in the climate transition. At the same time, the social economy is even more than that: social economy works as a driver of normative values and good practices that generate a spill over effect on the question how economic action could and should take shape. In other words social economy is the place where social and economic objectives live together, strengthening each other, and for this reason it represents a reference paradigm when pursuing solidarity as a founding societal value.

In the wake of the #SES2020, we also want to introduce the European Social Economy Summit #EUSES to you, a conference which aims at strengthening the social economy in Europe on 26th-29th May 2021 in Mannheim! Until next year, the #EUSES organises exciting roadmap events monthly, to engage in a digital way with a diverse audience representing the large variety of actors active in the field all over Europe! Take part in the digital road to Mannheim now!

European Social Economy Summit #EUSES


#1 Session
Social Economy as an agent of change and its spillover effect

24th November, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

#2 Session
Social Economy as a part of an ecosystem

25th November, 10:30am – 12:30pm

#3 Session
Social Economy as a partner of policy makers and the for profit sector


25th November, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Sessions & Speakers

#Session 1
Social Economy as an agent of change and its spillover effect – Evolutionary trends to envision the future

Tuesday 24th November, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Welcoming remarks by Ulla Engelmann (European Commission)

Social economy is an agent of change for our socio-economic spaces. At the same time social economy is undergoing an important transformation itself. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance reflecting on the role social economy could play in our systems. In session 1 we will discuss the normative / value-based contribution social economy actors can bring to the system, including emerging and promising perspectives generated by social economy’s innovation potential. Julie Battilana (Harvard University), Marthe Nyssens (Université catholique de Louvain, EMES Network), Rocío Nogales-Muriel (EMES Network), Rafael Chaves (Universitat de Valencia), Mario Calderini (Politecnico di Milano), and Ruth Brännvall (Impact Invest Scandinavia) present their research and together with Maire J. Bouchard (Université du Québec à Montréal) discuss how the future of social economy could look like.

Julie Battilana

Joseph C. Wilson Professor of Business Administration in the Organizational Behavior unit at Harvard Business School,
Alan L. Gleitsman Professor of Social Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School

Marie J. Bouchard

Professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal
President of the Scientific Commission on Social and Cooperative Economy of CIRIEC International

Ruth Brännvall

CEO and Founder at Impact Invest – SIIN AB,
Social Innovation Researcher

Mario Calderini

Professor of Social Innovation and Director of Tiresa at Politecnico di Milano

Rafael Chaves

Professor of Economic Policy and Social Economy at Universitat de Valencia,
Representation of CIRIEC-international at GECES

Ulla Engelmann

Head of Unit, Social Economy, Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission (DG GROW)

Rocío Nogales-Muriel

Director of EMES International Research Network

Marthe Nyssens

Professor of Social Economy at UCLouvain and
President of the EMES Research Network

#2 Session
Social Economy as part of an ecosystem – A conductive environment for the development and spread of new models, technologies and concepts

Wednesday 25th November 10:30am – 12:30pm 

Welcoming remarks by Xabier Goenaga Beldarrain (European Commission)

How can sustainable business models, the use of algorithms, the concepts of impact investing and impact measurement foster the social, ecological and economic impact of the social economy? In Session II we discuss the development and spread of these new models and concepts and their potential for the social economy, along with the required measures that each ecosystem needs to become a conducive environment. Marieke Huysentruyt (HEC Paris), Geoff Mulgan (University College London), Alex Nicholls (University of Oxford) and Lisa Hehenberger (ESADE) present their research and together with Dominika Wruk (University of Mannheim) discuss how adequate mechanisms and support structures could look like.

Xabier Goenaga Beldarrain

Head of Unit, Knowledge for Finance, Growth and Innovation, Joint Research Centre, European Commission (JRC)

Lisa Hehenberger

Assistant Professor in the department of Strategy and General Management and Director
of the Entrepreneurship Institute at ESADE

Marieke Huysentruyt

Assistant Professor at the Strategy & Business Policy Department at HEC Paris

Geoff Mulgan

Professor of Collective Intelligence, Public Policy and Social Innovation at University College London

Alex Nicholls

Professor in Social Entrepreneurship at University of Oxford

Dominika Wruk

Assistant Professor for Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Institute for SME Research, University of Mannheim

#3 Session
Social Economy as a partner for policy makers and the for profit sector – Principles, strategies and tools for accelerating innovative and impactful actions in the social economy

Wednesday 25th November, 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Welcoming remarks by Antonella Noya (OECD)

How do we govern the social economy to scale its impact, enable social investment to evolve, build diverse actor coalitions with a strong grounding in society, capture social impacts and stimulate social innovation? In Session III we discuss how to make progress on these accounts to unleash the potential of the social economy. Kai Hockerts (Copenhagen Business School), Antonio Miguel (Maze – Decoding Impact), Eleanor Carter (University of Oxford), and Eva Varga (Euclid Network) will present their research and chaired by Gorgi Krlev (University of Heidelberg) discuss how effective governance structures and policy frameworks could look like.

Closing remarks by Mikel Landabaso and Slawomir Tokarski (European Commission)

Mikel Landabaso Alvarez

Director Growth and Innovation, Joint Research Centre, European Commission (JRC)

Eleanor Carter

Lead Researcher Government Outcomes Lab at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government

Kai Hockerts

Professor in Social Entrepreneurship and Academic Director of Responsible Management Education at Copenhagen Business School

Gorgi Krlev

Post-Doc Center for Social Investment & Innovation at the University Heidelberg

Antonio Miguel

Managing Director of the Maze – Decoding Impact
Professor at NOVA SBE

Antonella Noya

Head of Unit, Social Economy and Innovation, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Cities and Regions, OECD

Slawomir Tokarski

Director Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing, Directorate General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, European Commission (DG GROW)

Eva Varga

Vice-President Euclid Network
Independent Researcher on Social Enterprise Development and Social Investment

2 Days, 15+ Top Social Economy Scholars & academics, 3 digital sessions

Register HERE for the #SES2020!
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Organised & Supported by


Giulio Pasi

Scientific Officer
Joint Research Centre at the European Commission

Marika Bernhard

Founder & Chairwoman
Social Entrepreneurship Baden-Württemberg e.V.

Larissa Hofer

Project Manager
Social Entrepreneurship Baden-Württemberg e.V.

Gorgi Krlev

Center for Social Investment & Innovation University Heidelberg

Dominika Wruk

Assistant Professor
for Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Institute for SME Research, University of Mannheim

Christiana Benedetti Fasil

Economic Analyst
Joint Research Centre at the European Commission