International Conference on ‘Uncertainty, Social Entrepreneurship and Role of Technology

About Event

Entrepreneurship requires action (intentional behavior), and so does social entrepreneurship. Therefore, to be an entrepreneur/social entrepreneur, it is critical to act on the identified opportunity. However, whether entrepreneurial action occurs depends on how much one must rely on one’s judgment, which, in turn, depends on the degree of uncertainty experienced in the decision of whether to act (McMullen and Shepherd, 2006). It clearly indicates the importance of how it occurs (the process of entrepreneurship) and the individual who does it (the decision-making of an individual).

At the same time, the concept of ‘uncertainty’ has been of interest to researchers, particularly in areas concerned with decision-making and knowledge (Wakeham, 2015). It inevitably establishes a strong connection between the two, i.e., uncertainty and social entrepreneurship. It becomes crucial to understand the act of decision-making of an individual under uncertainty to understand social entrepreneurship. Sometimes, crisis creates uncertainty, and to respond to the fluid nature of the crisis, decision-makers need to break out of the existing patterns by focusing on social entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial action is fraught with uncertainty, yet some of the leading theoretical frameworks in the entrepreneurship literature downplay uncertainty (Klein, 2020). These approaches are not enough to describe doing business in a world of rapid technological change, social disruption, economic volatility, or a major health crisis (ibid.). It is true in the context of social entrepreneurship because social entrepreneurs also follow the same process to solve social problems and achieve their social mission.

Social entrepreneurship drives societal transformations, and social entrepreneurs concurrently act to address particular social issues and problems and empower transformational progress throughout the system (Gandhi and Raina, 2018). They also play an important role in the recovery of areas struck by natural disasters (Chandra and Paras, 2020). They solve social and/or environmental problems and create social value. Social entrepreneurs are known as ‘change agents’ (Nicholls, 2006). Not only do they face various forms of uncertainty in the process of solving the social problem, but sometimes, they also initiate entrepreneurship to address the problem created by the uncertain situation. In other words, like any other entrepreneur, a social entrepreneur also operates in the same uncertain world.

The concept of ‘uncertainty’ has been used in economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, management, etc. (McMullen and Shepherd, 2006; Wakeham, 2015). In social sciences, ‘uncertainty’ has varied meanings, depending on the agenda, methods, and theoretical assumptions of the researcher (Wakeham, 2015).  ‘Uncertainty refers to an inevitable feature of the chaotic, unpredictable world, yet it also refers to a psychological state or phenomenological experience (Wakeham, 2015, p. 720).

In a broader sense, uncertainty refers to an epistemic state at the limits of knowledge (Wakeham, 2015). It is concerned with ‘what is known or believed without certainty’. It is also concerned with ‘what is not known’. There are subjective and objective dimensions to uncertainty (Tannert et al., 2007). Let’s focus on the subjective dimensions of uncertainty first. An individual may experience uncertainty with regard to his or her own knowledge about some particular topic. There are questions about how the experience of uncertainty drives or influences behavior and how social context shapes the perception and experience of this cognitive and emotional uncertainty. The objective dimensions of uncertainty presume a world out there that is knowable only to a degree. Uncertainty, in this sense, is not necessarily something that is felt, but rather a feature of living in a complex world. Within social sciences, researchers have emphasized different aspects of uncertainty, depending on their field and their research subject.

In this context, it will be exciting to know how objective and subjective dimensions of uncertainty influence the behavior of social entrepreneurs and drive the process of social entrepreneurship.

 In addition, sometimes crisis creates uncertainty. We all witnessed the uncertainty created by the Covid-19 crisis. Country after country has been infected by the Covid-19 pandemic at different levels, each imposing massive costs and unfathomable uncertainties (Etemad, 2020). The covid-19 pandemic is a public health crisis with profound implications for society (Bacq and Lumpkin, 2020). The emergence of Covid-19 in early 2020 brought radical, unanticipated economic, political, and social changes. In most parts of the world, schools, businesses and workplaces were closed (voluntarily or involuntarily); people sheltered in their homes; and bankruptcies and unemployment soared. Governments and central banks announced unprecedented stimulus and subsidy packages, but many companies large and small, operating with razor-thin cash reserves, are struggling to survive (Klein, 2020). In order to adjust to the new reality more entrepreneurship is required, particularly social forms that focus on value co-creation (Ratten, 2020). Thus, more innovative thinking is required to meet sudden social change (ibid.). In fact, the rapidly emerging evidence suggests that capable, far-sighted, and innovative enterprises perceived the slow-downs, or stoppages in some cases, as an opportunity for starting, or increasing, their alternative ways of sustaining activities, including online and remote activities and involvements. In this context, technology has a lot to offer. Organizations can wholesale social change or develop programs that almost overnight touch millions of people using technology to provide innovative solutions (Hecht, 2008). Technology cannot solve all the problems, but certainly, the application of technology and innovation can play an important role to bring positive social change in the lives of these people (Majumdar, Guha, and Marakkath, 2015).

We all witnessed how technology has enabled us to address many of the challenges created by the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, telemedicine services, work-from-home options and remote collaboration, and online school/college classes. Technology has become a critical enabling tool for governments, international health organizations, and populations to enhance our collective response to the crisis (Mansouri, 2020). The current crisis has brought in many innovative use cases for existing technology. Tunisia deployed robots to check their awareness of lockdown rules and the reasons for people’s movements during the lockdown. African countries, such as Kenya, have turned to mobile money as a public tool (ibid.). In India, many start-ups have come forward to address the challenges during the pandemic. In response to the shortage of ventilators for critical care, start-ups such as Nocca Robotics, Aerobiosys Innovations, and AgVa Healthcare are developing low-cost, user-friendly, and portable ventilators that can be deployed even in rural areas of India (Sahasranamam, 2020). There is a need to enhance the entrepreneurial mindset, technology adoption, and innovation not only to continue the fight against Covid-19 but also to respond to other challenges created by uncertain situations in the future.

No doubt, the previous few years have noticed striking and surprising progress in the field of social entrepreneurship and has amplified attention ranging throughout all the diverse sectors (Gandhi and Raina, 2018). However, several critical questions remain unanswered in the context of uncertainty, demanding scholarly attention. For example, how should social entrepreneurs think, plan and act in times of uncertainty created by a crisis? How do they deal with uncertainty in general? How do social entrepreneurs recognize/identify opportunities in an uncertain situation? What role does technology play in an uncertain time to solve social problems? How can technology be deployed in the process of social entrepreneurship for wholesaling social change in uncertain situations? How can technology help entrepreneurs to deal with uncertainties efficiently in the social entrepreneurial process?

In this pretext, the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship (CSE) of School of Management and Labour Studies at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai Campus, proposes to organize the International Conference on ‘Uncertainty, Social Entrepreneurship and Role of Technology’ from February 22 to 24, 2023.


Attendee Types

Registration Fee without Accommodation

UP TO 22 Feb 2023

Registration Fee with Accommodation

UP TO 22 Feb 2023


INR 10000

INR 20000

Foreign Registration

Attendee Types

Registration Fee without Accommodation

UP TO 22 Feb 2023

Registration Fee with Accommodation

UP TO 22 Feb 2023


USD 400

USD 800

*GST Not Applicable

Important Dates

  • Ends for other Delegates: February 15, 2023
  • Power point Presentation Submission: Submission of Extended Abstract in the prescribed structure: July 31, 2022
  • Notification on acceptance of the Extended Abstract: August 15, 2022
  • Submission of Full Paper (First Draft): October 15, 2022
  • Notification of Acceptance (First Draft): November 30, 2022
  • Submission of Revised Full Paper: December 30, 2022
  • Notification of Acceptance (Revised Paper): January 6, 2023
  • Registration Starts for Paper Presenters and other Delegates: January 10, 2023
  • Registration Ends for Paper Presenters: February 5, 2023
  • RegistrationJanuary 30, 2023
  • International Conference: February 22-24, 2023


  • Day 1

  • Day 2

  • Day 3


Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Venue Location

Tata Institute of Social Sciences, V.N. Purav Marg, Deonar , Mumbai , Maharashtra , India , 400088


Dr. Archana Singh (Assistant Professor & Conference Coordinator)