CSSI Partnerships Conference 2022

Important dates

15 October 2021: Call for Papers published on the website
21 February 2022: Extended Deadline for Abstract submissions
25 March 2022: Notification of acceptance
1 April: Registration opens
13 May: Deadline for Early Bird Registration with reduced fee
20 May 2022: Deadline for Full Paper submission
16 June 2022: Registration closes
21 June 2022: Doctoral Consortium
22-24 June 2022: CSSI 2022 Symposium
27 June 2022: Paper Development Workshop for BAS Special Issue

Announcement: The 9th Cross-Sector Social Interactions (CSSI) online Symposium on “Power and Inclusion in Cross-Sector Social Interactions" will be organized at the University of Cape Town, Graduate School of Business Cape Town, South Africa, 3-6 April 2024!

Hosted by the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, in collaboration with The Partnering Initiative and PRME Chapter Africa, CSSI 2024 aims to respond to calls from scholars, practitioners and policy makers that development can only be “inclusive” if it also considers intellectual traditions, philosophy, and experience from the Global South.

CSSI 2024 will focus on the theme of “Power and inclusion in cross-sector social interactions”. The ideal is for cross sector collaboration to advance the Sustainable Development Goals and foster inclusive social innovation. Despite some important successes, this ambition often remains elusive. Societal exclusion and power imbalances often shape who participates in cross-sector initiatives, what such initiatives focus on, and how they unfold. These patterns of exclusion include local manifestations of class, racial, and gender inequality, as well as global inequalities between the Global North and the Global South. Due to institutionalized privilege and routinized ways of working, both researchers and practitioners of cross sector partnerships risk perpetuating such power imbalances and exclusionary practices.

CSSI scholars are giving these themes of power and inclusion growing attention. The time is ripe to take stock of what we know and do not know, and to advance both theory and practice to enhance more inclusionary cross-sector social interactions. Questions worth considering include:

  • Why and how do collaboration partners use or abuse power to enhance either inclusion or exclusion in cross-sector social interactions?
  • What are the implications of such use or abuse of power for partnership objectives, emergent practices, and outcomes?
  • What shapes the power of cross-sector collaboration initiatives as societal actors, and how is this power exerted for inclusionary or exclusionary outcomes?

Bringing CSSI to Africa is particularly appropriate for this symposium theme. Africa will have the most rapid population growth of all continents this century. This brings remarkable opportunities and risks for sustainable development. Much will depend on whether cross-sector collaboration can foster policies and practices that realize the opportunities – and mitigate the risks – of this demographic dividend, in sectors such as education, health, urban development, clean energy, and many others.

Through CSSI 2024, we seek to connect the CSSI community to this “African century.” We will ensure that the local context is foregrounded in symposium discussions through field trips, plenaries, and research-practice conversations. We will ensure that African researchers and practitioners are prominent participants in the event, with the broader intention of expanding the CSSI community’s African membership. And we will encourage and enable the CSSI community to give more systematic attention to Africa in its work.

We welcome you to mark the date on your calendars and keep an eye out for the call for papers which will be issued by April 2024. More information to come!

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For the 8th Cross-Sector Social Interactions Symposium in 2022 at Wageningen University in the Netherlands, we selected “Partnering for Resilience and Transformation” as the central topic. How do partnerships perform in times of crisis? Are they able to respond quickly enough, and to flexibly adjust course where necessary? What makes partnerships resilient? What makes partnerships transformative? These are pertinent questions that have been catapulted to the top of the agenda and require our attention as a scholarly community.

Responding to a crisis is a crucial first step for building resilience of the collaboration and involved partners. Being resilient may also be the steppingstone towards rebuilding a brighter future. Bouncing back to the old situation, with its associated vulnerabilities, is not necessarily the best approach. Reconciling resilience and transformation is a major challenge both in practice and in the theoretical debate. How can partnerships facing crises or disturbances contribute to the transformations necessary for a more sustainable future? Do partnerships provide transformative capacity for in-depth change? We hope that inquiring into partnering processes with resilience and transformation as lenses will result in inspiring scholarship that is both theoretically innovative and practically useful.

Overlooking the Lower Rhine river and situated in the Food Valley, Wageningen hosts a vibrant green campus where education buildings and research facilities intermingle with other activities, including a Unilever R&D plant, a branch of the public Food Safety Agency and a student-run vegetable farm - partnerships are in the DNA of this university! The mission of Wageningen University and Research is “to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. As a life science university, Wageningen specializes in research on food, the living environment and health, and puts high value in interdisciplinary research between the natural and the social science. The social science department covers nearly all social science and humanities disciplines, from history to management, and from economics to policy sciences, but with a focus on topics like agriculture, food, environment, water, climate, biodiversity and health. In sum, an excellent environment to discuss the grand sustainability challenges of our time, and the role of partnerships in fostering resilience and transformation.