Social Innovation and Forced Migration - Updates from ISIRC 2018

ISIRC 2018

Last week, Simone Baglioni and Francesca Calò, chaired a stream about Social Innovation and Forced Migration at ISIRC 2018 (Heidelberg).

Among papers exploring a variety of social innovation cases (for the full programme please visit here), two presenters focused specifically on social innovation processes in the integration of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers into labour markets.

Dr Monika Gonser, researcher at University of Heidelberg Education, analysed motivations, logics and structure behind the companies' choice of integrating refugees into their workforce. Her study has been based upon interviews with representatives of 18 companies (in different European countries) that employed refugees in the course of 2016 and early 2017. The paper is one of the outcomes of a research project conducted by Heidelberg University in collaboration with the Adecco group and other partners. The project  aimed to explore best practices of labour market integration promoted by companies and policy makers. To know more about the project and read the results please visit here.

The second presenter, Maria Jégu, research assistant at FIAP e.V (Institute for innovative and preventive job design) introduced findings of  the SELMA ProjectThe research started with the examination of the question on how selective processes of the integration into workplace environments in three sectors (geriatric nursing, IT economy, building trade) proceeds. It explored the ambiguities and selection processes that complicate the further development process in the world of employment against the background of historical and path-dependent working cultures. Focusing on three case studies, the researcher explored how migrants could be identified as social innovators and how their integration into labour market has promoted institutional cultural transformation in services related to skills profiling, development and recognition.

Food of thoughts was provided and hopefully next year at ISIRC 2019 (Glasgow) there will be further discussions on how social innovation could enable or hinder integration of migrants, refugees and asylum applicants into labour markets.