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2021 events

Academic Forum

Academic Forum

16-17 November

Practice-informed research and education provide one of the most significant opportunities to build the future of social enterprise. Designed in partnership with leading academics in the field of social enterprise, the SEWF Academic Forum 2021 aimed to advance the impact of research through innovation in knowledge translation, action research and boosting opportunities for work-integrated learning.

Many joined educators, academics, researchers, students and practitioners from around the world at SEWF’s first-ever virtual Academic Forum! The forum focused on achieving stronger collaboration between academia and the social enterprise sector by exploring the ways through which academia can support sectoral growth. It pushed participants from academia and the social enterprise sector alike to question the role of academia in supporting the growth of the social enterprise sector and furthering action and conversation about best practices in community engagement, emerging research and how we could collectively and collaboratively work across sectors to tackle wicked problems.

How do you effectively conduct academic research or teach to create impact? How can universities and researchers be allies to the social enterprise sector adding value through their skills and expertise? How can we best mobilise knowledge for those that do research and those that are actively engaged with social enterprise on a practitioner level? These questions provided the focus for the three tracks for the Academic Forum: advancing social enterprise research, advancing social enterprise teaching and advancing social enterprise engagement.


Call for papers: Thank you to everyone who submitted an abstract to our call for papers. Submission is now closed for Academic Forum papers and panels; however, there was a new prize opportunity for research that aligned with our call and had been published since 2019. Thanks to the generous support from the Trico Foundation, we aimed to award the Social Entrepreneurship Research Award which honours excellence in social entrepreneurship research in Canada with a $10,000 prize. To have been considered for the Award, one had to submit a link to their publication if it met the following criteria:

  • involved the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources on social entrepreneurship in order to discover or improve knowledge;
  • presented research results that had, since November 2019, been disseminated and made widely available to others who might want to access them, which could include publishing the results in a journal, submitting the research to an online database of publications, producing a book, creating a paper for a previous conference or simply posting the research on an external website; and,
  • was authored by a Canadian undergraduate, graduate, postgraduate or faculty member.


Programme: Confirmed in October after abstract submission. Those who submitted abstracts to the call for papers by 17 September 2021 were notified of their selection for the Academic Forum by 8 October 2021.

As part of the SEWF 2021 events programme, we spotlighted Canada, while also featuring international content and expertise. The Academic Forum spanned two days with 3-4 blocks of sessions throughout the entire event to enable live participation from around the world. Within each session block, there were keynote addresses, panels and breakout discussions.


Language: The event was in English with closed captioning available.


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