Festival of Social Science

Social Enterprise in the context of a new national post-election policy.

This year’s ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) Festival of Social Science took place from 7-14 November and over 200 events were held across the UK.

Plymouth University hosted a series of events as part of the ESRC’s annual festival and we at the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre were proud to contribute and support the festival with our live event and simultaneous webinar that took place on Tuesday 10th November 2015.

SE Webinar Posters

Social Enterprise in the context of a new national post-election policy was the topic of our webinar/live event with the aim of investigating a new policy arena brought about by the General Elections of 2015. The event also explored the link between the new political environment and society and investigated new initiatives and their effects on small businesses, entrepreneurs and social economy.

SE Webinar 3

Dr Hilary Duckett, the director of Plymouth Business School, opened the evening and discussed the current business situation and the need for growth of socially orientated businesses. She further talked about world and regional market trends and highlighted the thought-provoking statistics in this field.

Tim West, our keynote speaker discussed past systems of social enterprise and offered valuable insight into current trends and future developments.

Tim has been working in the space where business and social purpose meet for well over a decade. He leads mission-focused creative agency Matter&Co, which delivers PR, branding, design, film, events and strategic support to social ventures, government/public sector and corporate clients. Matter&Co recently also became one of the UK’s first certified B Corps. Tim is also founding editor of Pioneers Post, the digital and print magazine for social entrepreneurs, which has readers in 60 countries and is itself a social enterprise. He founded Good Deals, the UK’s leading social enterprise conference, and he co-created SE100.net, a market intelligence platform tracking the growth and impact of 1,300+ social enterprises. An NCTJ-trained journalist, Tim also studied music at Oxford University and business at Warwick and Cranfield. He is a director of Big Issue Invest, the investment arm of The Big Issue, a trustee of ECT Charity, one of the UK’s leading transport charities, and serves on the UK Council of Social Value International.

SE webinar

We were also delighted to welcome Lindsey Hall from RIO and Gareth Hart from Iridescent Ideas who contributed immensely with their knowledge on social enterprise and also with their experience of running their own social enterprises.

The festival was an opportunity for our researchers to engage with non-academic audiences, increasing awareness of the impact of social science on society and the economy. It was also an opportunity for the audience to meet the researchers, engage in research activities and potentially influence research (Plymouth University).

The event was partly organised by the University event team and I would like to thank them on the behalf of the Futures Centre for their hard work and for making us proud.

The entire event was recorded and in due course will be uploaded to the following website:

I enjoyed the event immensely and I am looking forward to many more. Thank you for taking your time to read my post. For more information please email me at: elena.novakova@plymouth.ac.uk

Elena Novakova- Network Advisor in External Relations
Elena Novakova– Network Advisor in External Relations



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