Social solutions are top of the agenda at major conference

05 September 2016

Cabinet Secretary Angela Constance (centre) and GCU Principal Professor Pamela Gillies (second from right) join organisers of the ISIRC Conference

Cabinet Secretary Angela Constance (centre) and GCU Principal Professor Pamela Gillies (second from right) join organisers of the ISIRC Conference

Scotland’s social innovators are transforming communities at home and abroad, according to Angela Constance MSP.

The Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities was speaking at the start of the 8th International Social Innovation Research Conference (ISIRC) in Glasgow today (Monday, September 5).

She told the 236 delegates representing 33 different countries how Scotland is proud to provide the most supportive environment in the world for social innovation to flourish and praised the pioneering projects at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and across Scotland.

Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities Angela Constance said: “It is fantastic to welcome this conference to Scotland during our Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, and particularly fitting for the event to be held at the Yunus Centre which is well respected as a world leading centre of research on social enterprise and innovation. 

“The research and support offered to entrepreneurs at the Yunus Centre and across Scotland are helping our social enterprises develop and receive international recognition. Scotland’s social innovators are already transforming communities at home and abroad by making a vital contribution to the Scottish Government’s drive to tackle inequalities and boost the economy.

“We are committed to building on these successes and later this year will launch a ten-year approach to social enterprise, to ensure this dynamic movement for change continues to make an impact in Scotland and internationally.”

The three-day Conference is hosted by the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at GCU and supported by the Scottish Government Third Sector Unit. Delegates are also attending a civic reception hosted by the Lord Provost’s Office.

The Yunus Centre is currently conducting a pioneering five-year study funded by the Medical Research Council evaluating the potential of social enterprise – businesses which trade for a social purpose – in improving health and wellbeing.

GCU achieved Ashoka U Changemaker Campus status in 2014, joining a network of leading universities worldwide committed to promoting social innovation education.

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE, said: “It is a great honour to welcome the world’s leading social innovation researchers to Glasgow. As the University for the Common Good, Glasgow Caledonian University is committed to working with others to deliver social benefit through novel approaches and this conference will be a significant source of inspiration in this endeavour.”