Irish Social Science Platform Summer School, June 22-26, 2009

Irish Social Science Platform

Summer School

June 22nd - 26th 2009 

Hosted By
National University of Ireland, Galway

Policy Making: Implications for Innovation and Communities

Overarching Theme
Recent upheavals in the global economy have radically challenged social cohesion at national, European and international levels. Structural change in markets and communities is pervading all aspects of global business and society. Significant structural changes including the advances in science and technology, increasing influence of oil producing countries and Asian central banks and new collaborative models of innovation are shaping the manner in which business, communities and policy makers conceptualise innovation and its impacts on business, society, communities and individuals.

During the 20th century the USA took the innovation lead but many countries are putting innovation on top of their national agenda. A diversification in the national responses to the innovation challenge has lead to novel approaches that require the active engagement and support of societies and communities. If we are to learn from this experience, it is crucial that social scientists interpret and explain the real and perceived impact of these global events and changes in policy directions upon our communities and business. As old certainties are questioned, the need for new approaches to understanding how market, state and civil society interact, has heightened.  The challenge for policy making is significant given the changing demands and growing responsibilities being placed on business and society.

The Social Sciences can play an important part in this process. The Irish Social Science Platform Summer School provides a platform for graduate students alongside national and international experts to explore how balanced development can be achieved, communities sustained and innovation based growth kick-started in the post Celtic Tiger Ireland.  Within the Irish context many diverse views exist on how policy making should respond not alone to current threats but also to develop the long term resilience of both business and society in a globalising world.  Therefore the need to understand the policy making issues that confront policy makers in innovation and communities and the need to engage with international policy debates has never been more pressing. In a unique way this Summer School explores the public policy interplay between innovation and communities by exploring policy making through the prisms of innovation, communities, and balanced development.