GUNi highlights the importance of measuring social innovation and the social impact of universities during the 6th IAU Global Meeting of Associations


The meeting took place en Montréal from 6 to May 8 under the topic “Social Innovation: challenges and perspectives for higher education” where participants were able to discuss the local and global impact regarding social innovation and its challenges.

GUNi participated in the 6th IAU Global Meeting of Associations, co-organized by the International Association of Universities (IAU), the Inter-American Organization for Higher Education and Université de Montréal, with participants coming from universities and associations from more than 30 countries from all around the globe. The topic of the meeting was “Social Innovation: challenges and perspectives for higher education”.

Despite the evidence that Social Innovation is a concept that is still in search for a consolidated definition, the event started the analysis and discussion from a description of social innovation as “a dynamic that, in response to current clearly defined social needs, offers more appropriate and more sustainable solutions. Social innovation, taken up by an institution, an organization or a community, offer measurable benefits for the collective rather than simply for certain individuals. The impact of social innovation is transformative and systemic. By its inherent creativity, social innovation represents a break from what is”. The meeting made more evident the central role of Higher Education Institutions in tackling the challenges of society at all levels, local and global, and, thus, their broad responsibility in undertaking research, facilitating, promoting, disseminating and acting on Social Innovation.

The participation of GUNi has centered in the need for measurement impact and the description of the experimental benchmarking process that is taking place in Catalonia (Spain) as an example of the analysis of impact of a system of universities at regional level. The conclusions of this study will enrich the 6th GUNi Report Higher Education in the World, devoted to the local and global engagement of universities.

For further information access here.


  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya
  • Ajuntament de Barcelona