Funding for Social Innovations Research Team

Photo: UHH/Lutsch Universität Hamburg is a founding member of the Hamburger Alli
Photo: UHH/Lutsch Universität Hamburg is a founding member of the Hamburger Allianz für Social Entrepreneurship. It aims to encourage sustainable social companies in the metropolitan region.
Social innovations like multigenerational houses or crowdfunding have a long-term impact on living in society. But how can they be specifically encouraged at universities? That is the subject of a new research project at the Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences and the Faculty of Business Administration, and has been awarded €53,000 by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Climate change, poverty, lack of educational opportunities in the face of many technological advances: the challenges for society are as many and as diverse as the potential solutions. Initiators of social innovations are therefore trying to find targeted, long-term solutions for these social threats. They want to guarantee that social needs are optimally addressed, and that living with and within a society is made better and easier. The best known social innovations are car sharing Particular attention is being given to virtual reality in the context of founding social organizations. -Virtual reality offers great potential for encouraging social innovations, and can be an important instrument in the founding of companies,- explains Dr. Rouven Seifert, a research associate to the professorship for marketing and media in the Faculty of Business Administration. For example, we can imagine that people interested in founding a company could experience a day in the life of a care provider, and thus adapt their ideas for facilitating certain activities more exactly to the actual needs.

In another part of the project, we are working on research with actors from the ecosystem of Hamburg innovators, the Hamburg Innovationsökosystem. The Innovationsökosystem is part of the Hamburg Senate’s regional innovation strategy, and includes start-ups and technology centers whose work will drive innovation and sustainable development throughout the Hamburg Metropolitan Region.

The new Universität Hamburg project also features a collaboration with the Hamburger Allianz für Social Entrepreneurship (Hamburg alliance for social entrepreneurship), the Spice VR company, and Hamburg foundations. -What we learn in social entrepreneurship education can make a meaningful contribution to development in the Hamburg Metropolitan Region,- explains Michel Clement, professor of business administration focusing on marketing and media. More companies being founded in the area of social entrepreneurship benefit not just the University, but also the city and the community as a whole.

For Universität Hamburg, as a founding member of the Hamburger Allianz für Social Entrepreneurship, it is important to foster sustainable social development across the whole region.