In celebration of World Cities Day 2014, the British Academy held a seminar on 31 October which highlighted the role and importance of social innovation in contemporary urban change and ‘smart’ liveable city spaces. Participants included scholars, policy makers, social entrepreneurs as well as representatives of private sector and non-governmental organisations from the UK and overseas. Discussions revolved around issues pertaining to urban violence and community resilience, new forms of civic and political participation in urban spaces, alternative business models and informal economies. Speaker presentations showcased examples of social innovation and creative responses to urban challenges and transformations from the UK, China, India, Japan, Lebanon, Jamaica, Zimbabwe, South Africa, the USA and elsewhere.
The British Academy organised this event in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).