Dr. Igor Calzada talks Social Innovation, Urban transformation, and much more at Malmö University

by Jake Hunter on August 26, 2011

in Events,Guest Speaker,Inspiration

On August 22 the Urban Studies department was honored to welcome Dr. Igor Calzada , lecturer & principal researcher at the University of Mondragon (Basque Country-­‐Spain) and associate researcher at the University of Nevada, Reno – Center for Basque studies, for a seminar and open discussion titled “Social Innovation, Same Questions & Different Locations:  A perspective from the Basque Country/City-Region Case.” The seminar capped off a full day of presentations given by students completing their examinations for our master’s program in Leadership for Sustainability.

The seminar touched on several interesting aspects of Dr. Calzada’s PhD work, which examined and compared cases from the Basque country of Spain, Dublin, Ireland, and Portland, USA, involving the redesigning of territories, urban innovation, and transformation models. He was also able to draw many comparisons and similarities between what he is seeing in the Basque country and what is taking place in the Öresund region, particularly in Malmö with the transformation from an industrial to a social innovative mindset.

Throughout the seminar, Dr. Calzada touched on several interesting points, one of which being the importance of understanding a location’s unique qualities when undertaking a socially focused project. Although some aspects of a project may work in various locations, others may have to be adjusted in order to take into account local differences with politics, people, or infrastructures that might affect the project’s overall goals. It is also apparent that once these differences are identified, they could be used as strengths to help the project evolve into something with a sustainable future.

One solution Dr. Calzda suggested, which could ease some of the economic hardships that are currently plaguing the Basque country, and Spain in general, is to take advantage of the resources around them and not to be concerned by certain barriers that often stand in the way of innovation. He cited an example of how the Spanish government is paying to keep an airport open in the region even though it is operating at a loss, and there are other better equipped and easily accessible airports in the region.

There were also many more interesting topics of discussion including the importance of grass roots movements in social innovation, universities’ roles in pushing social innovation, and how trans-local collaborative communities of practices can be one path to urban social innovation.

We have posted a link to watch the complete presentation of that day soon and feel free to join the conversation either on our blog here or through our Twitter or Facebook accounts

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

AboutBC August 27, 2011 at 11:47 am
Igor Calzada August 29, 2011 at 11:07 am

Thanks a lot from here at home again.
Thanks specially Fredrik Björk and Jake Hunter.
Keep in touch.
Dr Igor Calzada, Ph.D

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giant twist comfort cs October 28, 2011 at 1:00 am

Quite very good publish, thanks a good deal for sharing. Do you happen to have an RSS feed I can subscribe to?

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