The Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, acts as a platform for research and engagement with social innovators, academia and policy in UK and across the world. Its primary focus is to understand, promote, and engage with social innovators and create and support social ventures and projects.
Social innovation is concerned with the development of creative and practical solutions to complex social problems. While many social innovators work in non-profit organizations, they are increasingly found in government and corporations. Indeed, the boundaries between the sectors have become increasingly indistinct, and much social innovation takes place at the intersection between them.
The Centre will therefore focus on leadership for social change, wherever it takes place. Leadership for social change involves a different kind of leadership, one that's less adversarial, one that seeks to have a positive impact on the kind of world that we live in, and one that blurs the boundaries between what's for-profit and what's non-profit.
The Centre will engage in scholarship focused on social innovation and social ventures that aim to create sustainable social and economic value, which encompasses the private, public and third sectors. It will create new academic courses aimed at practitioners who want to use research to enhance understanding of, and the impact of social innovation.
The Centre will also support social innovators through events, training programmes and online materials. A central tenet of the Centre would be that it brings academics and practitioners together in all aspects of its governance and delivery.
Creating sustainable social and economic value through generating and disseminating knowledge, as well as supporting the development of, social ventures is central to Cambridge Judge Business School's entrepreneurship vision.
In the last few years there has been a significant and sustained global interest in creating social value through social innovation and social enterprise. Moreover, creating social value is no longer the preserve of the NGO sector, but integral to the strategies of many public organizations and, increasingly, the private sector.
The boundaries between sectors are becoming blurred in the attempts to tackle 'wicked problems' through social innovation and be seen as 'virtuous organisaations'. The term social ventures attempts to capture the plurality of this new wave of entrepreneurial, environmental and organizational innovation.
CJBS will engage in scholarship focused on social innovation and social ventures that aim to create sustainable social and economic value, which encompasses the private, public and third sectors led by the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation
The Centre will engage in research and teaching on social innovation and ventures across sectors and direct support to entrepreneurs and organisations. It will focus on:
- knowledge creation through research focused on individuals and ventures and the organisations, networks and institutions which frame, enable or constrain them. Dissemination of knowledge will focus on academic publications and mechanisms to reach a practitioner and policy audience
- learning and unlocking potential through the development of taught academic courses and the Executive Education offer
- support to social ventures through providing informed, accessible and timely information as well as mentoring, space and events.
Paul Tracey, Co-Director
Professor of Innovation and Organisation
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Professor Tracey's research is concerned with the distinctive management challenges of leading social purpose organisations that generate their income through market-based activity. An ethnographer by training, between 2010 and 2012 he held an Economic and Social Research Council Mid-career Fellowship, during which he conducted an in-depth participant observation study of a leading social enterprise. The study focused on how community-based organisations may become stigmatised for helping "unwelcome" parts of the community, and the implications for organisational outcomes.
Visit Professor Paul Tracey's faculty webpage
Neil Stott, Co-Director
Senior Faculty in Management Practice and Director of the Master of Studies in Social Innovation
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Dr Stott has studied social innovation in poor places and the role of entrepreneurial third sector organisations. He was Chief Executive of Keystone Development Trust from 2003-2015, one of the largest development trusts in the country, delivering community development, social enterprises and property development.
Previously Neil was Head of Community Development at Canterbury City Council, Principal Officer (Community) at Cambridge City Council as well as work for charities such as Mencap, Contact-a-Family and Elfrida Rathbone Society.
Visit Dr Neil Stott's faculty webpage
Helen Haugh, Research Director
University Senior Lecturer in Community Enterprise
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Dr Haugh has written extensively on the topic of social entrepreneurship. A particular focus of her work is community-based enterprise, and more specifically the role of communities in creating sustainable solutions to social problems. In 2008 she established the Tata International Social Entrepreneurship Scheme, which offers final year undergraduate or postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge the opportunity to work on social entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility projects within the Tata Group of Companies in India.
Visit Dr Helen Haugh's faculty webpage
Programme Director, Cambridge Social Ventures
Read more about Belinda
Belinda Bell is Programme Director of Cambridge Social Ventures, part of the Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation, supporting a wide range of businesses making social and environmental impact.
The programme was founded in 2014 as Social Incubator East, a partnership between the University of Cambridge, Allia Ltd, Foundation East and Keystone Development Trust.
She is a social entrepreneur herself having established a range of social ventures over the last decade including those focusing on finance, ageing and young people. She has acted as a mentor, advisor and supporter to many more social entrepreneurs and as such has developed a broad knowledge of business models for social innovation.
Her specific interest is in the social finance market and leveraging capital for social impact. She was Founder and first Chief Executive of Foundation East, a groundbreaking community finance organisation where she remains a Director. She has also undertaken research at the University of Cambridge focusing on the social finance sector and continues to write on this topic.
Belinda holds a Masters Degree in Community Enterprise from the University of Cambridge and a Bachelors degree in Social Anthropology from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Orsi Ihasz, Senior Programme Manager and Research Assistant
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Orsi is most interested in researching organisational theory and strategy, focusing on identity in the context of social entrepreneurship. She has actively contributed to the academic development of various educational programmes on entrepreneurship and creativity with the focus on supporting social ventures and innovation on a global scale. She previously worked with Microsoft Research, American Express, Evonik and the NHS to create cross-departmental collaboration to improve productivity and harness innovation. Prior to her work at Cambridge she lead projects in the field of sustainable development and youth-led action. She also interested in human-centred design and the role of creativity to tackle complex problems.
Laura Carnicero, Business Development and Programme Manager of the MSt in Social Innovation
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Laura manages the admissions into the MSt in Social innovation. She is responsible for the business development of the programme and coordinates the delivery of the online and offline elements of the Masters.
Teaching Associate of the MSt in Social Innovation
Read more about Lilia
Lilia Giugni is about to complete a PhD in Politics at the University of Cambridge. Her thesis analyses the role that ideas and discourse played in the organisational changes of European left-wing parties after the 1980s. She has published on various academic journals, commenting on different aspects of Italian politics, and collaborated with think tanks and editorial projects such as Renewal, the Fondation Jean-Jaurès and the LSE Politics & Policy blog. She has also taught Comparative Politics at Cambridge and in several summer schools.
Previously, Lilia had studied and conducted research at LUISS Guido Carli University, Rome, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Strasbourg, the London School of Economics, the European University Institute and the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. She has worked as a MEP assistant, volunteered in a Vietnamese NGO, and served as managing editor of the academic blog Politics In Spires.
Lilia is also a young social entrepreneur and is in the process of creating a think tank, Gen Pol (Gender & Policy Insights), which will provide research, evidence-based policy proposals as well as training and consulting services on matters of gender. She is deeply interested in the way gender affects representation, policy-making, and the way we understand social problems, including, especially, organised crime and migration. Lilia is currently the chair of an Italian non-profit organisation promoting gender quality and has spoken on matters of gender at several public events.
The Cambridge Centre for Social Innovation is a research centre within Cambridge Judge Business School. It has a Practitioner Advisory Board of Social Innovation Fellows selected by a competitive process.