EMES Alumni Network

Description and members profiles

The EMES Alumni network gathers scholars who’ve had their PhD on a topic related to social enterprise and who participated in one of the EMES PhD summer schools. The Alumni hold different types of positions in academia (research and/or teaching) or outside. They share their experience and networks with PhD candidates, thereby forming a bridge between these students and senior scholars in the field of social enterprise; they participate in the consolidation and diffusion of the EMES network across geographical and disciplinary boundaries; and they more broadly contribute to promoting research and networking in the field of social enterprise.

If you want to join the group, email us at This is an email link: alumni@emes.net

Connect to the group on LinkedIn

Benjamin Huybrechts

Centre for Social Economy, HEC Management School, University of Liege

I defended my PhD thesis at the University of Liege in January 2010. After that, I went on a post-doctoral research stay at the University of Oxford (Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Saïd Business School). Back in Liege, I was appointed as an Assistant Professor end of 2011, holding the SRIW-Sowecsom Chair in Social Enterprise Management. Since then I have been teaching at master’s and doctoral levels and pursuing research on social enterprise and social innovation.

In the next years, besides securing a tenured position, I would like to see a European Master’s in Social Enterprise and welcome lots of master, doctoral and post-doctoral students from all parts of the world. I would also love to participate in staff exchanges for short teaching and research stays and thereby contribute to building a stronger community of researchers and teachers in the social enterprise field.

I participated in the first EMES PhD Summer School in Corsica (2008). It helped me a lot to clarify the structure and the contributions of my thesis. It was also a great opportunity to meet other students from around the world, some of which I’m still in contact with. In 2010 (Roskilde) and in 2012 (Trento) I was part of the teachers’ staff, which allowed me to share advice while having the PhD journey still fresh in my mind.

Michela Giovannini

Euricse, European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises, Trento

I recently defended my thesis (October 2013) at the University of Trento, School of Social Sciences.

Right after that, I moved to Santiago de Chile where I am carrying out a research on urban recyclers’ organizations in the framework of the Marie Curie project INTRECOOP, coordinated by Euricse.

In the next 5 years I would like to have the possibility to continue researching on themes related to social and community enterprises.

I participated in the Emes summer school in Trento (2012), where I had the chance to present a substantial part of my thesis and to have useful feedback from the participants in my group. The summer school was also a great opportunity for me to meet old and new colleagues and to exchange ideas with them. In general, I think it was great in terms of expanding the network of people who are interested in these topics.

Carmen Guzmán

Department of Economics. University of Huelva

I finished my studies in Economics in the University of Seville (Spain) in 2008. After that, I started my doctoral studies in the field of Social Ecconomy in the University of Huelva (Spain). In order to go in depth in my studies in this field of research, I did an stay for five months in the Centre for Social Economy (Liege). As a final result of this process, I defended my PhD thesis at the University of Huelva in February 2014. In my research, I studied the macroeconomic quality of the Social Economy firms in Spain and compared them with capitalist firms from the same territory.

In the following months I plan to get the publication of my study in different articles and international journals. In addition to this, I would like to do a post-doctoral stay in another country with the aim of repeating my research and check if the Spanish results are kept and confirmed in different places.

I participated in the 3rd EMES PhD Summer School, which took place in Trento (Italy) in 2012. It was a great experience as I had an external and very wide opinion about my research from a very expertised people in the field of Social Economy. Moreover, I could meet the people involved in my research field and set up the links for my PhD stay in Liege. It also gave me the opportunity to work together with many of my colleagues in some papers, articles and projects. Finally, I also forged a very good frienships with people from all over the world.

Millán Diaz-Foncea

GESES Research Group. Universidad de Zaragoza

I defended my PhD thesis at the University of Saragossa in June 2012. During my doctoral stage, I enjoyed two pre-doctoral stays, a with the professor Avner Ben-Ner at the University of Minnesota, and another with the professor Sybille Mertens at the Centre for social Economy, University of Liege. Along this period, I combined my research, focuses on cooperatives and social enterprises and mainly in the determinants of their creation, with my position as a lecturer at the Department of Business Administration. Since the current year, I improved this position to Assistant Professor at the same Department, and I manage the Master on the University of Saragossa in Social Economy.

One of my priorities has always been the support and the dissemination of the labor of practicioners in the field of Social Enterprises and Social Economy, and my academic career is driven to this goal. The GESES Research Group has been the springboard for, in addition to the diary activity of research, collaborating with different Social Economy local networks and participating in their technical staffs. My current interest is focused on the building and the strengthening of continuous training tools and higher educational programs adapted to the specific necessities of these organizations, starting at local level, but also seeing the national and international field.

I participated in two EMES Summer Schools, the second one in Roskilde (2010), and the third, in Trent (2012). They helped me to give sense to my research and understand the context in which it is framed. Between both events, I assumed the coordination of the EMES Junior Experts’ Blog (EJEB), one of the tools developed by the EMES network to maintain contact and increase the acknowledgement among ourselves, as young researchers in this field. I believe this is actually important for obtaining a good level of impact of the research and our activity in relation to Social Enterprises and Social Economy, more even when cooperation and networking is intrinsic in the field about we research.

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