WG2 Research Workshop "Tackling the migration and refugee challenge"

Nov 22 - Nov 24, 2018

University of Trento (Italy) – Department of Sociology and Social Research


The first activity of Working Group 2, entitled “Industries”, will revolve around the relationship between social enterprises and migration.

Description of the WG 2 workshop:

The title of the workshop “Tackling the migration and refugee challenge. Exploring innovative policies and practices through the lens of social enterprises and third sector organizations” reflects the focus on the potential of local communities to self-organize and design effective solutions for tackling the challenges posed by migrations to local societies, particularly, the creation of innovative organizations.

These organizations include social enterprises understood as organizations which combine an entrepreneurial dynamic to provide services or goods with a primacy of social aims and cross various types of borders; across sectors (public, conventional enterprises, cooperatives, associations), resources (market, public and philanthropy) and activity fields. Many of these initiatives are being promoted by individuals, immigrants organizations, local businesses, religious organizations and groups of volunteers who are self-organizing to deliver first aid and co-provide basic services, work and social inclusion and advocacy; these may include suitable housing, education, work and entrepreneurship, and the design of new skills assessment tools. Since most of these initiatives developed spontaneously at the grassroots level, they are difficult to grasp. Hence, our endeavour is to promote an interdisciplinary discussion forum that can contribute to systematizing innovative practices and pave the way for further empirical and theoretical analysis in a field of research that has relevant policy implications.

Goals of the WG 2 workshop:

This workshop targets specifically scholars that have been exploring innovative paths of social, economic and political inclusion of migrants achieved by local communities across Europe.

This workshop is conceived as a high-profile academic event aimed at exchanging initial thoughts in an incipient field of research covered by the EMPOWER-SE COST Action thematic line: social enterprise and migration. Enough time will devoted to present and comment on contributions presented. One of the goals of the workshop is to contribute to EMPOWER-SE Working Group 2 with regards to immigration issues, but also to create connections that can lead to future joint research proposals.

Researchers will be invited to present the research findings of the EU and international projects they are coordinating, including:

Thematic lines:

  1. Housing arrangements and pathways: state of the art, dilemmas, ways ahead.
  2. Innovative tools and methodologies aimed to facilitate the social and work inclusion of asylum seekers and refugees in EU countries.
  3. Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers living in mountain and rural localities: determinants of inclusion versus exclusion processes.
  4. Unlocking the potential of third sector organizations and social enterprises vis-à-vis the asylum seeker/refugee challenge.

For a detailed description of each thematic line, please see the full call below.

Scientific committee:

  • Paolo Boccagni, University of Trento (Italy)
  • Andrea Brighenti, University of Trento (Italy)
  • Jennifer Eschweiler, Roskilde University (Denmark)
  • Sílvia Ferreira, University of Coimbra (Portugal)
  • Giulia Galera, EURICSE (Italy)
  • Malin Gawell, Södertörn University (Sweden)
  • Ingrid Machold, Federal Institute for Less Favoured and Mountainous Areas (Austria)
  • Andrea Membretti, University of Pavia (Italy) and EURAC (Italy)
  • Mary O’Shaughnessy, Cork University Business School (Ireland)
  • Manfred Perlik, University of Bern, Centre for Development and Environment (Switzerland)
  • Giuseppe Sciortino, University of Trento (Italy)

Disciplinary approach and submission:

We invite proposals for paper presentations focusing on findings of theoretical analyses, empirical quantitative and qualitative field research, and comparative analyses covering various EU countries. We welcome the submission of papers drawing on all fields of social science (sociology, economics, political science, law, geography, social anthropology). Interdisciplinary perspectives are particularly welcome.

Interested authors should submit a 250-300 word abstract of their contribution that includes: author(s)’ full information (including country, gender and whether ECI); contribution title; main research objective/question; methodological approach; (expected) results and contribution, and bibliography. All submissions will be made via email to the address empowerse-migration@emes.net by 15th July 2018. A full paper template will be shared with selected authors when they are notified so they can submit their contribution by 1 November 2018.

Important dates:

10 May 2018: Call published

15 July 2018: Deadline for the submission of abstracts

3 September 2018: Notification of acceptance to authors

1 November 2018: Full paper submission

16 November 2018: Programme published

22 November 2018: Launch of the WG 2 Workshop

Stakeholders involvement:

As always, stakeholders are encouraged to participate actively and in various forms in the EMPOWER-SE events. It is crucial to the objectives of this Action to expand the impact of its findings beyond the scientific community, particularly with regard to the topics covered by the Action and the urgency or innovative solutions to problems facing our societies.

A stakeholder bridging event with six participating stakeholders has been planned on Friday evening to make the connection between the academic discussion that will have taken place the previous two days.

In addition, a full-day stakeholder event has been organized the day after the research workshop gathering over 250 individuals (citizens and practitioners), organizations, umbrella organizations, policy-makers and journalists to share the results of the workshop and build from some of the transversal ideas and unique experiences presented during the previous two days. Euricse, our local partner and host, has created the following event in Facebook where you can mark your interest in participating. The program of this stakeholder event is available below or clicking here.

The first “stakeholder bridging event” will take place in English while the second one will be held in the local language, Italian, so as to increase active participation from local and national audiences.


  • WG 2 Trento
  • WG 2 Trento
  • WG 2 Trento
  • WG 2 Trento | Get-together
  • WG 2 Trento | Stakeholders Meeting
  • WG 2 Trento | Stakeholders Meeting
  • WG 2 Trento


People involved

Matteo Bassoli


Emilia Bitossi


Francesca Calo

United Kingdom

Carlo Cominelli


Alessandra Corrado


Slobodan Cvejic


Claudia Dauria


Louise d’Eer


Cristina Del Biaggio


Cristina Dalla Torre


Clara Esparza Mengual


Natalia Garrido


Leila Giannetto


Marcela Gola Boutros

United Kingdom

Jure Gombač


Marika Gruber


Filipo Guerra


Carmen Guzmán Alfonso


Fatma Ibrahim

United Kingdom

Simonetta Jucker


Stefan Kordel


Valentina Patetta


Asja Pehar Senekovič


Manfred Perlik


Daniel Spizzo


Hamdi Tekin


Antonella Torchiaro


Saara Toukolehto

The Netherlands

Jaakko Turunen


Tobias Weidinger


Klara Öberg