Responding to Contemporary Social Equity Issues: What Role for Social Innovation? (Video Available)

City cafe with sign which says all profits go to supporting people experiencing poverty and homelessness

Online via Zoom

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Download Professor Barraket's Slides

Additional References and Resources

Barraket, J., McNeill, J., Campbell, P. & Carey, G. 2021. Navigating network governance: the role of social enterprise in local employment services, Public Management Review, DOI: 10.1080/14719037.2021.2005327

Bartels, K., 2017. The double bind of social innovation: Relational dynamics of change and resistance in neighbourhood governance. Urban Stud. 54, 3789–3805.

Damgaard, B., Torfing, J., 2011. The Impact of Metagovernance on Local Governance Networks. Lessons from Danish Employment Policy. Local Gov. Stud. 37, 291–316.

Henry, E., Newth, J., Spiller, C., 2017. Emancipatory Indigenous social innovation: Shifting power through culture and technology. J. Manag. Organ. 23, 786–802.

Kania, J., Kramer, M., 2011. Collective Impact. Stanf. Soc. Innov. Rev. 94.

Keast, R., Mandell, M.P., 2013. Network Performance: A Complex Interplay Of Form And Action. Int. Rev. Public Adm. 18, 27–45.

Mandell, M., Keast, R., Chamberlain, D., 2017. Collaborative networks and the need for a new management language. Public Manag. Rev. 19, 326–341.

Offe, C., 1985. New Social Movements: Challenging the Boundaries of Institutional Politics. Soc. Res. 54, 817–868.

Onyx, J., Leonard, R., 2010. The Conversion of Social Capital into Community Development: an Intervention in Australia’s Outback. Int. J. Urban Reg. Res. 34, 381–397.

Select Resources

Social Entrepreneurship Evidence Space – a moderated repository of applied research on social entrepreneurship and the social enterprise ecosystem

Networks and Collaborations – website of Professor Robyn Keast

Transition Design Seminar – Carnegie Mellon University

About this Event

Join the Melbourne Social Equity Institute's new Director, Professor Jo Barraket, for a lunchtime seminar on the role of social innovation in 2022.

The intersecting effects of pandemic, populism and planetary risk are currently amplifying many major social equity issues. At the same time, social innovations initiated by civil society, social economy organisations and cross-sector collaborations are seeking to respond to complex problems that seem more wicked than ever. How effective are these interventions and what is needed to scale or sustain their impacts?

In this seminar, the new director of Melbourne Social Equity Institute, Professor Jo Barraket, will draw on findings from several of her research projects on social innovations in the context of social enterprise, public policy reform, and digitally enabled social change, to consider these questions and the implications for whether and how social innovations can contribute to redressing the major social equity challenges of our time.

The session will run from 1.00pm – 1.45pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (AEDT). For other time zones click here.


Professor Jo Barraket

Jo Barraket is Professor and Director of the Melbourne Social Equity Institute. She is also a member of the Dilun Duwa Centre for Indigenous Business Leadership.

A political sociologist, Jo is Australia’s premier researcher of social enterprise and a leading researcher of social innovation. Her work focuses on how social equity is improved through new ways of organising, resourcing and scaling social change, and the relationships between state and civil society organisations in policy processes. Jo’s current projects include comparative research on implementing social procurement policies in Victoria and Scotland, and a study of the effects of social procurement on youth unemployment in the construction industry. She has previously led national and state-based mapping of social enterprise, action research on the impacts of social enterprise through the Social Enterprise Impact Lab, and was a founding researcher of the Australian Digital Inclusion Index. She has led multiple evaluations for governments, philanthropy and social economy organisations, including evaluating the Commonwealth Social Enterprise Development and Investment Funds.

Jo is passionate about community-engaged and transdisciplinary research in support of a fairer world. She conducts research that generates high quality research publications, as well as outputs – such as interactive online tools, policy and practice guides – which support the uptake and use of research knowledge. She has led or co-led more than $11 million, including six ARC grants, in funded research and 75 scholarly publications in her areas of expertise. Jo is a regular advisor to governments, philanthropy and industry and has been national expert advisor to the OECD on two initiatives related to improving inclusive employment through the social economy. Prior to her current role at the University of Melbourne, she was the founding director of the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne, which she built into the largest social economy research centre in the world.

Jo is a member of Philanthropy Australia’s policy and research committee, and a board member of the Westpac Foundation.