5th EMES International Research Conference on Social Enterprise - Helsinki (Finland) - June 30th - July 3rd, 2015

The EMES International Research Network, in partnership with the Finnish Network on Social Enterprise (FinSERN), is pleased to announce the 5th International Research Conference on Social Enterprise entitled “Building a scientific field to foster social enterprise eco-system”. This unique research conference will be held in Helsinki (Finland) from June 30th to July 3rd, 2015.


Building a scientific field to foster social enterprise eco-system


In the midst of what some consider the aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis, social enterprises continue to struggle with changing conditions that transform their role and position in society. In addition to growing social challenges and inequalities both in urban and rural areas, the need to develop key industries for ecological transition, or the challenge to provide opportunities for increasingly disadvantaged groups constitute the playing field for social enterprises today. Social enterprises are developing in a variety of fields (social services, health, education, culture, environment, finance, etc.) and their relevance continues to increase.

This conference will provide a forum for truly international and interdisciplinary academic discussions about social enterprise, giving the floor to a variety of scientific approaches (non-profit sector, cooperatives, social economy, solidarity economy and civil society) as well as for emerging research communities (social innovation, social entrepreneurship, social investment, venture philanthropy, hybrid organisations, etc.).

In order to allow academic debate across fields and disciplines, the conference will be structured along 15 main thematic lines, which are listed below


  1. Social enterprise models in an international perspective
  2. Social innovation
  3. Social impact, value creation and performance
  4. Financing social enterprises
  5. Governance of social enterprises
  6. Social enterprise, human resource management, employment creation and job quality
  7. Public policies, welfare systems and institutionalisation
  8. Critical perspectives on social enterprises (crises of capitalism, gender issues…)
  9. Social enterprise and sustainable transition
  10. Rural perspectives on social enterprise
  11. Social enterprise in healthcare and social care
  12. Poverty reduction and community–led social enterprise
  13. New waves on cooperatives
  14. Social enterprise and the solidarity economy
  15. Social enterprise education, training and learning

The conference will include a “From research to practice and back” forum aimed at practitioners and policy-makers. The full call for papers with a description of the thematic lines and their conveners as well as additional information about the venue and registration procedure will be published soon. For planification purposes, the submission deadline for paper abstract(s) and/or panel proposal(s) will be February 15th, 2015.


The conference co-chairs are Marthe Nyssens (Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium) and Pekka Pättiniemi (FinSERN, Finland). They will be supported by the members of the Scientific Committe

  • Carlo Borzaga (University of Trento/EURICSE, Italy)
  • Jo Barraket (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia)
  • Taco Brandsen (Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
  • Kate Cooney (Yale University, US)
  • Jacques Defourny (HEC-University of Liege, Belgium)
  • Giulio Ecchia (University of Bologna, Italy)
  • Bernard Enjolras (Institute for Social Research, Norway)
  • Sílvia Ferreira (University of Coimbra, Portugal)
  • Luiz Ignacio Gaiger (UNISINOS, Brazil)
  • Helen Haugh (University of Cambridge, UK)
  • Lars Hulgård (Roskilde University, Denmark)
  • Yu-Yuan Kuan (National Chung Cheng University, Taiwan)
  • Jean-Louis Laville (CNAM/LISE, France)
  • Carmen Marcuello (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
  • P. K. Shajahan (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India)
  • Mary O’Shaughnessy (University College Cork, Ireland)
  • Roger Spear (Open University, UK/Roskilde University, Denmark)
  • Victor Pestoff (Ersta Sköndal Högskola, Sweden)
  • Annette Zimmer (University of Münster, Germany)


Helsinki Deaconess Institute

The Helsinki Deaconess Institute is a public utility foundation. Together with its subsidiaries, the Institute forms a social enterprise group providing a range of social and health care services, as well as educational services.

As an expert and leader in tackling difficult social issues, the Helsinki Deaconess Institute relies on its strong social conscience. For nearly 150 years, the Deaconess Institute has contributed to creating new solutions in parts of society where, for one reason or another, people are in danger of falling beyond the reach of services.


You may submit your abstract by visiting the conference abstract submission system (you will be required to setup an account first).
Submit now