Breakout session 2: 12.00 - 13.00

In the second session, the next four research groups will take the stage: IOS-Stream Inequality, IOS-Hub Future of Citizen-based Initiatives, IOS-Stream Legitimacy and Institutions and IOS-Hub Social Entrepreneurship Initiative. In addition, an interdisciplinary research project will be presented. 

The breakout sessions will be held at the Utrecht University Hall, in the rooms: Aula, Belle van Zuylenzaal, Westerdijkkamer, Zaal 1636, and Eijkmankamer. These rooms are all on the ground floor.

IOS-Hub Social Entrepreneurship Initiative (SEI) [Aula]

‘Community finance as an enabler of social entrepreneurship and civic wealth creation’

Social enterprises require financial resources to flourish. Academic literature suggests a match between social entrepreneurship and community-based financial instruments due to mechanisms based on social capital, collective action and legitimacy. This reliance on community finance opposes traditional, market-based financial instruments that mainly relies on transactions and hard data.

In this session we will take stock of emerging initiatives and opportunities as well as state-of-the-art research to explore the links between community finance as a resource, social entrepreneurship as a process/method, and (civic) wealth creation as outcome. By comparing and contrasting emerging themes with ongoing initiatives and challenges from practitioners in the field we address current knowledge gaps and new collaborative research opportunities for the future.

UU scholars involved: Niels Bosma, Helen Toxopeus, Friedemann Polzin.

With contributions by: Ronald Kleverlaan, director of the European Centre for Alternative Finance (ECAF); and Martijn Arnoldus, independent social finance expert, founder Scale Matters.

Read more about the IOS-Hub Social Entrepreneurship Initiative (SEI) >>

IOS-Hub Future of Citizen-based Initiatives (FOCI) [Belle van Zuylenzaal]

‘Are citizens the future? Transition theory and the rise of citizen-based initiatives in society'

It is no secret that citizen-initiatives have become more prominent in society in the past few years. But not only seem civilians more inclined to organize themselves to obtain certain goals, institutions (e.g. local governments) also appear increasingly interested to give them opportunities to do so and incorporate such initiatives in their policies. During this session we will look at this phenomenon through the lens of transition theory. How do citizens fit in this theory? And what can transition theory add to the work of those academics studying citizen initiatives? 

Flor Avelino will start the session on 'Are citizens the future? Transition theory and the rise of citizen-based initiatives in society'.

Dries Hegger en Heleen Mees will discuss ‘Citizen-based initiatives in the climate realm – who is in, who facilitates, who is responsible?’

Sanne Akerboom will take a closer look at 'Citizen initiatives in the energy transition: from experiment to consumer empowerment'.

Confirmed participants: Dries Hegger, Heleen MeesSanne Akerboom, Flor Avelino (Dutch Research Institute for Transitions, DRIFT).

Read more about the IOS-Hub Future of Citizen-based Initiatives (FOCI) >>

IOS-Stream Inequality [Westerdijkkamer]

‘The inequalities of the future’

In this session, two members from the Inequalities stream will discuss which inequalities they believe will be most in need of our attention 10 years from now, based on their scholarly expertise, as well as whether there are any inequalities that they have reasons to believe will be less prominent. What kind of inequalities are these? If these concern particular groups, then which groups? Why do we have reasons to believe they will be stronger or weaker? What does this require from scholarship and research, and from society or other societal agents? After the presentations, there will be a discussion with the audience. 

Speakers: Ingrid Robeyns, Jos Philips.

Read more about the IOS-Stream Inequality >>

IOS- Stream Legitimacy and Institutions [Zaal 1636]

‘Legitimate Institutions in the Open Society’

Legitimacy is a key concern for institutions. Institutions that are not considered legitimate, by citizens, clients, members, users, or stakeholders, will lack support and are hard to sustain. This is the case for legal institutions, such as contracts and courts, political institutions, such as parties and parliaments, economic institutions, such as currencies, markets and corporations, and social institutions, such as churches, social movements and marriages. This is the case in any society, western or non-western, open or totalitarian. The norms and concerns that determine legitimacy may differ, however, across time and place.

We will try to shed some light on the various dimensions of legitimacy that are specific for institutions in contemporary open societies. The aim is to provide a general framework which can be helpful in analysing and assessing the legitimacy of specific institutions and arrangements in open societies. Meike Bokhorst (Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR), Utrecht School of Governance) will present dimensions and forms of legitimacy in open societies, drawing on insights from different disciplinary perspectives, such as law, political science, philosophy, and sociology. Elaine Mak (Utrecht Law School) will apply this framework to the specific case of legitimate markets.

Participants: Meike Bokhorst, Elaine Mak.

Read more about the IOS-Stream Legitimacy and Institutions >>

IOS Research: The New Silk Road & ETHOS [Eijkmankamer]

This break out session will highlight two interdisciplinary research projects:

1. ‘Open systems in a changing global context’

Western globalization has been based on the paradigm of openness; open borders, open trade areas, open Internet, open innovation, open access, open science, etc.. These were underpinned by the liberal values of an Open Society, the great promises of the Internet for liberal democracy, as much as by the neo-liberal logic for economic growth. Meanwhile, the inherent value of freedom and of security as a condition, have been taken for granted for decades.

But now the US is challenging the principles of open trade and open borders and weakening its security guarantee to Europe, the EU is struggling with the consequences of its open borders, and all Western societies with the dark side of a totally open and unregulated Internet, China’s divergent value-mix with a preference for economic growth and security over freedom and openness is more coming to the fore.

The balance between the security risks related to openness on the one hand and freedom and support for liberal democracy on the other, is under debate in the West. Will security outweigh freedom? Here is the key dilemma for the EU and the question to be asked: is the EU naïve if it wants to continue its open access (data and publishing) and open science policy, in combination with enhanced cooperation in these areas with China?

A presentation of the project The New Silk Road, carried out by an international consortium coordinated by Utrecht University’s Centre for Global Challenges (UGlobe). Presentation by project coordinator Marijk van de Wende

2. 'Justice in Europe'

ETHOS is a Horizon2020 project developed to create a new integrative perspective on justice and fairness. ETHOS does so by combining conceptualizations of justice within various disciplines and various schools of thought, bridging a gap between the theoretical and the empirical reflections of justice and fairness, and by accommodating multiple voices of vulnerable populations via communicative tools, workshops, focus group meetings, policy briefs, and the interactive European Landscapes of Justice.

Presentation by project coordinator Trudie Knijn and Barbara Oomen.