European Commission Awards Grant for Aurora seizmic Doctoral Network

European Commission Awards Grant for Aurora seizmic Doctoral Network

Leading academic institutions within Aurora universities, and associated partners from diverse sectors, were recently successful in their grant application to the European Commission’s Call for MSCA Doctoral Networks 2023.

Led by Professor Kai Hockerts at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), the seizmic doctoral network (seizmic DN) is a collaborative effort that aims to research the scaling of social enterprises. Despite the recognized potential of social enterprises to drive significant societal change, their scaling processes – critical for broadening their impact – remain poorly understood. The seizmic DN addresses this gap by developing a coherent interdisciplinary theoretical framework that studies how social entrepreneurship ideas are replicated and imitated.

“As we launch the seizmic doctoral network, our aim is not only to fill a critical gap in our understanding of how social enterprises scale but to fundamentally reshape the landscape of social entrepreneurship education,” says Dr. Kai Hockerts, Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at CBS and academic lead of the seizmic doctoral network. “This grant from the European Commission empowers us to pioneer a model that brings robust academic rigor and practical insights together, setting a new standard for doctoral training in Europe.”

seizmic Doctoral Network for Social Entrepreneurship

Central to the mission of seizmic DN is a robust doctoral training programme, designed around three doctoral summer universities. These will be hosted by members of Aurora universities the University Federico II of Naples, Copenhagen Business School, and the University of Iceland, to prepare candidates for leading roles in both academia and practice. The programme offers a dynamic research environment where doctoral candidates study complex real-world examples of social entrepreneurship cases under the guidance of 22 experienced supervisors. The seizmic doctoral trainings span interdisciplinary research methodologies and include significant exposure to the non-academic sector, facilitating a practical understanding of social entrepreneurship.

“Being part of the seizmic doctoral network is a unique opportunity to bridge theory and practice in a transformative way,” explains Dr. Anne-Karen Hüske, Aurora Institutional Coordinator at CBS. “Our interdisciplinary approach is designed to equip doctoral candidates with the skills necessary to drive and influence the future of social enterprises. Through this initiative, we are committed to developing leaders who are not only scholars but also change-makers in the social economy.”

Innovation, Social Impact and Sustainability

The doctoral network combines divergent research streams across four disciplinary areas: business model design, finance, education, and digital ecosystems. It seeks to equip a new generation of researchers and practitioners with the innovative tools needed to expand the reach and effectiveness of social enterprises. This effort is particularly pertinent as it aligns with Europe’s sustainability goals and the broader vision of the European Action Plan for the Social Economy.

As seizmic DN progresses, it encourages engagement from the academic community, industry stakeholders, and the public. For those interested in the intersection of innovation, social impact, and sustainability, the doctoral network offers numerous opportunities for collaboration and professional development. The seizmic DN is more than just a research initiative: it is a vibrant community of scholars and practitioners dedicated to a better understanding of social entrepreneurship scaling.