GCNYC celebrates Tartan Week

Glasgow Caledonian New York College is hosting a series of Tartan Week events during April.

Researchers from the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health will discuss how banking can be a force for good in an event to promote a US-UK collaborative research initiative, entitled Money, Debt and Public Health; and the Centre for Climate Justice will outline how climate change is increasingly one of the biggest factors affecting health and wellbeing in urban areas, in a special Townhall Event.

The campus will also host a brand new exhibition by the award-winning Scottish artist Ethel Walker, whose paintings are inspired by landscapes on the west coast of Scotland.

For more information about the events, visit the Alumni & Friends section of the website.

Prof Michael Roy offered Fellowship at Princeton

A Professor from GCU has been offered a prestigious Fellowship from a research institute based at Princeton University.

Professor Michael Roy, who holds a joint appointment at the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health and Glasgow School for Business and Society, will spend a semester at The Center of Theological Inquiry (CTI), in New Jersey, from January 2020.

CTI’s model, based on the world-famous Institute for Advanced Study, brings together academics from around the world to provoke dialogue between the humanities and social sciences on issues of global concern.

During his time in the US, Professor Roy plans to build upon his previous work, and that of colleagues, on the role that social enterprises play in tackling poverty and inequality.

Professor Roy will work on his research project entitled Economic Organising for the Common Good? Karl Polanyi, Catholic Social Thought and the Grand Challenge of Economic Inequality, at CTI.

He said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been awarded this Fellowship.

“The process was really involved and competitive. The proposal I submitted is designed to draw upon the theoretical and philosophical thinking for which scholarship at CTI is globally renowned.

“I’m keen to use this amazing opportunity to use this to advance understanding of practical, community-oriented responses to economic inequality, and of the policy frameworks that need to be in place to effectively support such activities.”

Professor Cam Donaldson, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Vice-Principal (Research), said: “The award of this Fellowship from an Ivy League university is a great honour and represents the stature now attributed to Michael’s work, as well as recognising the international reputation of our Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health.

“Michael’s work on the social economy is a model of the research contribution of Glasgow School for Business and Society to our Common Good mission. Working with colleagues at Princeton will also further establish Glasgow Caledonian’s base in the US HEI landscape.”

Last year, Professor Roy won the coveted Helen Potter Award from the Association for Social Economics, also based in the United States, for his social enterprise research.

The annual prize recognises outstanding work that challenges mainstream economic thinking. It is presented to the author of the best article in the academic journal Review of Social Economy.

CommonHealth Research on Impact of Rural Social Enterprises on Social Isolation and Loneliness

Dr Danielle Kelly has had an article published in the Journal of Rural Studies titled ‘Filling a void? The role of social enterprise in addressing social isolation and loneliness in rural communities’.  To view the article, please click on the link below:


Researchers celebrate landmark social enterprise research

Researchers have marked the completion of one of the largest ever research programmes on social enterprise with a celebration event at Glasgow Caledonian University.

CommonHealth was a collaborative five-year study, led by GCU, aimed at addressing health inequalities and establishing new ways to help vulnerable communities across Scotland.

The programme, funded by the Medical Research Council and the Economic & Social Research Council, was made up of eight research projects delivered in partnership with over 30 social enterprises across Scotland and academics from Stirling, Glasgow, Highlands and Islands and Robert Gordon Universities. Glasgow Centre for Population Health was also a research partner and the programme received endorsement from Social Enterprise Scotland the ScotSEN (Scottish Social Enterprise Networks).

Subjects included the history of social enterprise in Scotland since the 1970s, how social enterprises operate at a local level, and the health and wellbeing effects of rural social enterprise activity in the Highlands and Islands.

Academics also looked at how skills development and training helps build confidence in hard-to-reach groups, what impact social enterprise had on participants aged 50 and over, how information and data can be used to improve service levels, and how social enterprises operating in the housing sector can have a significant positive impact on tenants.

The outcomes stressed the need for organisations to balance their successful relationships with local and national government with community links, and for there to be a better understanding of the impact of small, but transformative actions.

This week GCU hosted an exhibition of project findings and a presentation from Professor Cam Donaldson, the programme’s principal investigator, to celebrate the end of the project.

Social enterprise and public health experts including Leona McDermid, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Foyer, Aidan Pia, CEO of ScotSEN, and Carol Tannahill, Chief Social Policy Advisor to the Scottish Government, also delivered speeches.

Professor Donaldson, GCU’s Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, said: “We have pulled off one the largest ever research programmes on social enterprise and managed to conceptualise and evidence a new idea for public policy; that any social enterprise, even without mentioning health in its mission, can be portrayed as acting on social determinants of health.

“This is because the various contexts in which social enterprises operate almost always involve addressing some aspect of social vulnerability that will likely be associated with health.

“As well as completing and publishing the results of our projects, CommonHealth has produced a cadre of talented researchers across Scotland, which is much needed for this important area of social and economic activity in which Scotland leads the way. ”

Figures show there are now more than 5000 social enterprises operating in Scotland, with 64 per cent being led by women.

GCU is to host a national archive capturing Scotland’s social enterprise story after securing £90,000 of government funding.

Scotland’s Social Enterprise Collection will be open to all members of the public and will chronicle the history of the thriving sector. Alongside it, the papers and other outputs from CommonHealth will be archived, so making the work of the research permanently available to public audiences.

For more information on the project, please visit http://www.commonhealth.uk/

Creating a replicable digital storytelling toolkit

Julie Adair, Director of Digital Collaboration at Glasgow Caledonian has been successful in a bid for funding to AshokaU.  The project is ‘Creating a replicable digital storytelling toolkit’ and is a collaboration with Dan Jackson, Northeastern University and Tracy Mitchell-Ashley, Georgian College.

Project Summary
Storytelling and listening are superb means of promoting empathy and resilience, and shared understanding between individuals and communities. Our collaborative immersion will bring together leaders from three Changemaker Campuses (Georgian College in Canada, Northeastern University in the United States and Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland) to explore and transfer knowledge through digital storytelling as a social innovation. This project will address areas such as diversity, equity and inclusion, faculty/research engagement, community engagement/partnerships and extra-curricular student programming. As storytelling is a means of engaging community, breaking down barriers, encouraging empathy and demonstrating resilience, the intention of this project is to help institutions incorporate digital storytelling practices into their campus culture and curricula. The goal of this collaboration will be to deliver a replicable and adaptable toolkit for Change Leaders to put into practice on their own campuses, to facilitate digital storytelling

For further details about the project, please contact Julie.Adair@gcu.ac.uk

Social Innovation as a Tool for Inclusion

Professor Simone Baglioni spoke about social innovation in public policies at a European event last week in Bordeaux, France. The workshop entitled “Social Innovation As a Tool for Inclusion” was organized by Eurodir, a transnational network of academics and social workers interested in innovations in social and public services in the health and care sectors. Professor Baglioni delivered a key-note discussing the diffusion of social innovation as a policy idea at the EU level and its implications for national and local policy making.

This week, Simone is speaking again in France, at an international conference in Brest entitled ‘Participation in social and health policies: which autonomy for social actors?’ where he’s addressing the issue of civil society role in policy making in a cross-country perspective.

GCU secures £90,000 to host national social enterprise archive

Glasgow Caledonian University is to host a national archive capturing Scotland’s social enterprise story after securing £90,000 of government funding.

Scotland’s Social Enterprise Collection will be open to all members of the public and will capture the story of the thriving sector.

Figures show there are now more than 5000 social enterprises operating in Scotland, with 64% being led by women.

The Scottish Government has a 10-year Social Enterprise Strategy aimed at supporting and businesses that reinvest their profits to address social change in areas such as homelessness, unemployment, inequality, and climate change.

The Collection will expand on the existing archive of work by the late John Pearce, viewed as one of the most influential figures in community enterprise in the UK.

Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, said: “With so much happening across Scotland and given the vibrancy of this sector it is vital that this story is probably captured, understood and shared for the benefit of all.

“That’s why I am delighted to announce the Scottish Government will provide £90,000 to the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University, named in honour of the Nobel Peace laureate Muhammad Yunus, to help establish Scotland’s Social Enterprise Collection.”

Professor Cam Donaldson, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise and Co-Director of the Yunus Centre, said: “Glasgow Caledonian University’s Special Collections and the Yunus Centre are both delighted and honoured to accept this award.

“The plans we have developed with Scottish Government are exciting not only in terms of ensuring Scotland’s social enterprise story is preserved but also because the Social Enterprise Collection (Scotland) and the pioneering work of John Pearce can be further developed and opened up for use by historians and other academics, practitioners and policy-makers and, indeed, communities and individual members of the public.

“This will be a living resource, open to all.”

Carole McCallum, GCU’s archivist, said: “I’m thrilled and delighted with the news. We will be working in partnership with the Yunus Centre, and we will now be able to recruit a part-time archivist to catalogue the collection. The archivist will also go out and actively seek new material to build the collection within the archive. The real legacy of this project will be the creation of a comprehensive collection based here at GCU which will endure for the future.”

The announcement coincided with the start of the 2018 Social Enterprise World Forum in Edinburgh, which runs from September 12 to 14.

– Watch the announcement