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School of Business and Management

Revaluing the Mundane: a conversation about common concerns, Second radical social innovation colloquium

10 May 2017 - 11 May 2017

Time: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Venue: Graduate Centre, First Floor, Queen Mary, University of London

Academic plenary speakers

Maurizio Franzini (University of Rome), Margaret Kohn (University of Toronto), Henry Mintzberg (McGill University, Montreal) and Jane Wills (Queen Mary, University of London).


The paradox is that our rich societies have a crisis about failing social settlements, inadequate supply of welfare critical goods and services such as care and housing and insufficient investment in the economic and social infrastructure. This sphere of the mundane which connects households and serves the everyday needs of the whole population, has its own distinctive economic logic because the sources of value here are social sources of value and the ultimate aim is the development of human capability.

Our concern is therefore with something other than a crisis of the macro economy that could be resolved by inclusive growth.  At the same time we doubt whether the generic interventions of the centre left can deliver inclusion when the market friendly policies of upskilling and (transport) infrastructure have limited economic leverage and progressive policies of redistribution through taxation lack political credibility. So much depends on our management of the mundane economy which probably requires experiments in radical social innovation very different from technocratic fixes.

In trying to think through the issues around the mundane economy academics have used different terms for overlapping concepts like the commons or the foundational economy; they have drawn on a variety of current and historical frames of inquiry from science and technology studies to French solidarism; and have drawn in practitioners who are both maintainers and innovators. The aim of this year’s colloquium is to bring these different perspectives into conversation and build shared understanding of our common concerns.

The colloquium at Queen Mary will bring together a heterogeneous group of around 50 participants for dialogue and interaction. We will, as in the standard conference format, have some plenaries by academic guests as well as parallel sessions which will everybody to present; but we will also have practitioner presentations on doing things differently. The colloquium and dinner are free, but numbers are limited in the interests of discussion.


Colin Haslam, Sukhdev Johal and Nick Tsitsianis (Queen Mary, University of London) with the organising committee: Ewald Engelen (University of Amsterdam) and Angelo Salento (University of Salento); Julie Froud and Karel Williams (CRESC and Manchester Business School)

Ian Rees Jones (WISERD and University of Cardiff) 

More Information

Please email the Alumni Relations and Events Officer: Alicia George (

As part of the 2nd Radical Social Innovation Colloquium, Professor Henry Mintzberg will present the following lecture: Journey in pursuit of a rebalanced society on Wednesday 10 May, 6pm Arts 2 Lecture Theatre. For further information and booking click here.

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