In November the Erasmus Mundus social economy project, led by York St John University, UK, was highly commended the UK Times Higher Education International Collaboration of the Year 2013 an award that ‘recognises exceptional projects carried out jointly between a UK institution and one or more international partners’.
The project is international in its scope (see partners and associate partners/supporters) and aims to gain insight into the values and belief systems that people working in the social economy have in different regions of the world, and the way in which this motivation is turned into action with a social purpose. It aims to make this knowledge accessible and practical within higher education. It has international collaboration, the value of learning from each other and of creating knowledge together, as its lifeblood.
Over 30 Universities and NGOs worldwide have become Associate Partners of the project and over 600 people have signed up as friends of the project across the globe. Looking ahead, we want to attract more universities worldwide to study social enterprise in their regions to gain a better understanding of how the social economy impacts on people’s lives and communities. We are also seeking to understand how universities teach social enterprise and promote it on campus.
The most inspiring thing about being part of this project is the contact with people from all over the world who are motivated by the its aims and have been prepared to put many hours and days of work in to help move things forward, who have written pieces (see this blog), sent interesting articles and who have given a word of encouragement when it’s been most welcome.
Getting this far has been a truly collaborative effort.