Dr. John Schouten

Report from the Canada Research Chair (CRC) (Tier 1) in Social Enterprise


Specific to my role as Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in Social Enterprise at Memorial University, I engaged in the following activities during 2019, with the associated impacts.

In the realm of outreach and awareness-building, I organized and hosted an international social enterprise and marketing workshop in St John’s and Petty Harbour. Attending the workshop were marketing and consumer culture scholars with social enterprise-related research in progress. They came from Canada, United States (U.S.), France, United Kingdom (U.K.) and Brazil. The workshop brought a sense of unity, collaboration and shared identity to scholars formerly working in relative isolation.

I used the momentum from the social enterprise and marketing workshop to organize a special session, titled Options for a post-capitalist future: Consumer culture perspectives on social enterprise and community renewal, for the 2019 Consumer Culture Theory Conference in Montreal, Que. Four research teams from the workshop presented their research to a well-attended session. The interest in the session was sufficient that participants decided we should pitch special issues related to social enterprise to journals in our field. The first invitation to edit a special issue came from the journal Sustainability.

I helped develop and host the PLACE Dialogues, which are continuations of a meeting of community and social-enterprise champions on Fogo Island in November 2018. The PLACE Dialogues were held in Petty Harbour and St. John’s in October 2019 and provided continuity to previous participants and accessibility to many others who were unable to attend the Fogo Island meeting. I provided funds from the CRC and the SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, of which I am the principal investigator and which partners with Fishing for Success. The meeting also helped advance awareness of the activities of Fishing for Success. The above activities have helped facilitate closer collaboration with scholars from the U.K. (Dr. Neil Stott and Dr. Michelle Fava of Cambridge University) and the U.S. (Dr. Beth DuFault of the University at Albany-SUNY).

I also co-developed and presented PLACE Dialogues for local champions in the smaller communities of Norris Point (January) and Happy Valley-Goose Bay (June). These workshops benefited from CRC funding. In addition to disseminating knowledge from the seminal Fogo Island workshop, these small, local workshops served as data collection and triangulation opportunities.

In teaching related to social enterprise, I developed and taught BUSI 8503: Managing Social Enterprise – Marketing, as part of the new master of business administration in social enterprise and entrepreneurship (MBA-SEE) program. I co-supervised and supervised PhD students Jennifer Brenton and Farshad Amini and with them co-taught special readings courses in social enterprise. I also supervised and financially supported Nanaaishat (Aisha) Umar in extracurricular studies as a MBA-SEE student and PhD hopeful.

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