Oxford Brookes Business School Social Enterprise and Social Innovation Conference
Thursday, 10 December 2020
The third annual Social Enterprise and Social Innovation Conference (SESI), organised by Maureen McCulloch and Simon Adderley, took place on the 8 December.
The Business and Management programmes at Oxford Brookes Business School
are characterised by their focus on enterprise and entrepreneurship. Our
programmes foster enterprising and entrepreneurial behaviours,
attributes and competencies among our students, which enhances
employability and can culminate in graduate start-ups. The range
of curricula and extra-curricular opportunities to pursue enterprise and
entrepreneurial learning are a defining feature of Oxford Brookes University.
Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Tim Vorley, in his opening the conference
said “There is a need for Business Schools to drive societal change, and
this is embodied by the SESI conference with our students exploring socially
enterprising and innovative ways to address
The conference showcased the work of Final Year students on the BMGT 6012 SESI
module, giving them the opportunity present papers based on socially
enterprising and innovative topics of their own choosing. The conference
is always fascinating and in the past papers have explored the social policies
of drug cartels within local communities in South America, the
opportunities of social innovation within the Civil Rights Movement of 1950s
America and the neo-colonial aspirations of large NGOs among many other
This year students organised their papers into six tracks; Finance and
Capitalism, Hybridity and Purpose, Sustainable Business Models, Resource
Depletion, Social Media and Legitimacy and Decoupling. Individual
papers explored a number of topics from case studies of the CSR policies
of large corporations to the impact of extensive agricultural production on the
natural world and indigenous populations. A series of papers also
explored topics such as the role of the prison system as a corporate
entity and whether sustainability was compatible with a socialist state.
A particular theme this year was the mechanisms by which industries are granted
legitimacy by changing moralities and social norms. A number of papers looked
at companies engaged in gambling, alcohol and pornography and explored how
companies had re-positioned themselves to secure greater public acceptance.
Interestingly a number of paper were concerned with the
"democratization" of such industries facilitated by the growth of
social media. Following the SESI conference Programme Lead, Ross
Jordan, said "It was great to hear our student engaging with a wide
variety of significant and challenging societal topics, and performed
exceptionally well given the conference was virtual this year”.
The conference was made possible by the support of a large number of staff who
volunteered to chair sessions and sit in on the different tracks.
For more information, contact: helloOBBS@brookes.ac.uk