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Social Innovation in Brazil and Germany – A visit to Porto Alegre

Prof. Jürgen Howaldt, Dmitri Domanski and Adrian Götting from TU Dortmund University visited Porto Alegre within the scope of the DAAD exchange project “Social Innovation in Collaborative Projects”. On the 23rd of September a workshop took place in which Prof. Jürgen Howaldt and Dmitri Domanski both held presentations, reflecting on different approaches with regard to the topic of social innovation. On the following day, Prof. Howaldt, Dmitri Domanski and Adrian Götting were invited to the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS) to discuss further collaboration and plans to intensify the partnership with the TU Dortmund University.

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The seminar “Brazil and Germany of Social Innovation – Challenges in Europe and Latin America” took place on the 23rd of September at the Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINUS) in Porto Alegre, Brazil. It marked the last event within the course of the DAAD exchange project “Social Innovation in Collaborative Projects”, which was coordinated by Prof. Jürgen Howaldt, director of TU Dortmund University’s Social Research Center and by Claudia Bitencourt, Dean of Unisinos Business School. Thereby, the topic of social innovation took center stage at the event, while the presenters reflected on different approaches, projects and developments with regard to social innovation in Latin America and Europe.

On this occasion, Prof. Jürgen Howaldt held a presentation in which he talked about chances and barriers for Higher Education Institutions in terms of the implementation of social innovation. Amongst other aspects, Prof. Howaldt reflected on the integration of social innovation along the three missions of universities - teaching, research and the so-called third mission. In the following session, Dmitri Domanski focused on the role and the meaning of social innovation ecosystems, by giving an insight into the theoretical framework of social innovation ecosystems and by showing means to strengthen these ecosystems through projects like the European Erasmus+ project SIKE. Celia Cruz, Executive Director of ICE – Instituto de Cidadania Empresarial, further examined the topic of ecosystems in her presentation “Supporting the Brazilian ecosystem of impact investing and social business”. Furthermore, Robert Schade, DAAD lecturer at UFRGS, presented the objectives and structures of the work of the German Academic Exchange Service “DAAD” in Brazil. Watch the complete seminar here.

On the following day, Prof. Jürgen Howaldt, Dmitri Domanski and Adrian Götting visited the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul – PUCRS. There, they met the Dean of the School of Humanities Draiton Gonzaga de Souza and discussed further cooperation between TU Dortmund University and the Center of German and European Studies, which is operated by DAAD, UFRGS and PUCRS. Aside from that, current issues with regard to social innovation in Brazil and Germany were discussed. Afterwards, they were received by Carla Camargo Cassol da Silva, Head of the Office for International Cooperation, Cíntia Becker of PUCRS’ Science and Technology Park and Prof. Dr. Lucas Bonacina Roldan, Strategic Coordinator in the Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, in order to exchange ideas on how to further strengthen the topic of social innovation at Higher Education Institutions and foster knowledge exchange with actors from other societal sectors. Above that, recent findings of the project Students4Change were discussed, since TU Dortmund University and PUCRS both participated in this project.