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Abstract submission deadline: 28th of January, 2020 --> Extended deadline February 5th, 2020

Printable Call for Papers:

Call For Papers Uddevalla Symposium 2020_extended deadline (1).pdf


June 11-13, 2020


Stenungsbaden, Stenungsund, Sweden

Special sessions

Complete list of theme and special sessions.

Keynote Speakers

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Maria Abreu, University of Cambridge, UK
Prof. Zoltan Acs, George Mason University, USA
Prof. Sharmistha Bagchi-Sen, University of Buffalo, USA
Assoc. Prof. Tom Brökel, University of Stavanger, Norway
Prof. Susanne Durst, University West, Sweden
Prof. Maryann Feldman, University of North Carolina, USA
Prof. Nicolai Foss, from now Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Dr. Sari Kerr, Wellesley College, USA
Prof. Dr. Annekatrin Niebuhr, Kiel University, Germany
Prof. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, London School of Economics, UK
Prof. Michael Storper, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, USA


In 1985 the Swedish regional economist Professor Åke E. Andersson published a book in Swedish “Kreativitet – Storstadens framtid” (“Creativity – the Future of the Big City”), where he claimed that the growth of knowledge through education and R&D had created new conditions for a qualitative expansion of large and dense urban regions as creative regions. In such regions, the regional milieu for (higher) education, research and culture develops and is supported by a dense physical milieu with a high degree of variation. The preconditions for creativity are created at the individual level, at the regional scale and through those institutional and economic conditions designed by companies and national and regional public organizations. The handling of knowledge in education, R&D, culture and mass media generally demands face-to-face contacts, which are best managed in large and dense urban regions.

Since 1985 the interest among researchers has increased very substantially. A search using Google Scholar for the concept creativity gives 12,700 hits for 1985 and 77,500 hits for 2018. The number of hits for 2018 is 6 times higher than the number of hits for 1985. The increased research interest in creativity has widened the field to also include research concerning creative industries, the creative class and the spatial clustering of creative activities.

It is common to relate creativity to innovation. However, it is essential to make a clear distinction between the two concepts. All innovation needs creative ideas but there is no guarantee that creative ideas will generate innovations. Creativity is the act of generating new ideas, while innovation is the process to apply some creative ideas in a specific context.

It is in the same manner common to relate innovation to entrepreneurship but also here is it important to make a clear distinction between the two concepts. All entrepreneurship needs innovation but there is no guarantee that innovations will generate entrepreneurship. That an entrepreneur or a firm launches an innovation is no guarantee for success and growth in the marketplace.

Various models within endogenous growth theory illustrate how innovation and entrepreneurship drive economic growth at the national and regional level. However, at the regional level growth often tends to be concentrated to large and dense urban regions that offer the best economic milieu for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

For this symposium, we welcome specifically papers:

  • that analyse the spatial preconditions for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and to what extent they coincide or differ and how they change over time,
  • that analyse theoretically and/or empirically the relationship between creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and regional growth and development,
  • that analyse the specific role that large and dense urban regions play for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship,
  • that analyse the need for policies to stimulate creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship and discusses the effective instruments including institutions,
  • that analyse how the tendencies of concentration of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship to large and dense regions affects other types of regions,
  • that analyse clusters of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship inside large and dense regions,
  • that analyse clusters of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship outside large and dense regions,
  • that analyse other critical relationships between creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and regional growth and development.
  • that analyse innovation and societal development from the perspective of work integrated learning.
  • that analyse the role of regional institutions and governance in boosting/hampering creative, entrepreneurial and innovative activity
  • that analyse regional entrepreneurship and innovation dynamics along the expansion/contraction phases of the economic cycle

Theme and Special Sessions

This year, additional to the main theme

The Geography of Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship – Implications for Regional Growth and Development

we have 13 special sessions. Complete list of theme and special sessions.


Following the tradition established by the previous Uddevalla symposia, starting in 1998, the 23rd symposium is designed to bring together leading-edge views of senior academic scholars and mix them with the critical and creative views of post-docs and PhD students engaged in their thesis work. We welcome researchers from various fields, such as economic geography, entrepreneurship, international business, management, political science, regional economics, small business economics, sociology and urban and regional planning.  

The objectives of the twenty-third Uddevalla Symposium 2020 are: i) to provide a unique opportunity for scholars including senior and junior researchers to discuss path-breaking concepts, ideas, frameworks and theories in plenary key-note sessions and parallel competitive paper sessions, and ii) to facilitate the development and synthesis of important contributions into cohesive and integrated collections for potential publication. Therefore, unpublished complete papers are invited for presentation and feedback from other scholars.


Leading-edge contributions from previous symposia have appeared in so far eight special issues of prestigious journals with an additional one in the pipeline, and nineteen edited book volumes. Following the traditions, we are considering publishing either a special issue and/or a book volume consisting of a selection of papers presented at this symposium except for a Proceedings with revised papers.

For a selected list of publications of previous symposia, please see Our publications

Submission information

Abstract Submission Deadline: January 28th 2020  
Submission Deadline for Complete Papers accepted for presentation: May 18th, 2020

Registration deadlines and other important deadlines

Registration fees

The organisation of the symposium

The 23rd Uddevalla Symposium 2020 will have the following structure:

Keynote sessions: Mornings up to lunch are set aside for 3-4 plenary keynote contributions of prominent scholars.

Parallel paper sessions: Afternoons are devoted to parallel sessions focusing on the development of emergent concepts, frameworks, and theories for better understanding of the themes of the symposium and the new challenges they pose for scholars and practitioners.

About the event

Best Paper Awards

To stimulate high quality papers the Scientific Committee of the Uddevalla Symposium 2019 designate the Best Paper with €1000 and the Best PhD Can­didate Paper with €700. The prizes are sponsored by the Uddevalla Municipality, Sweden.

All Best Paper Award Winners 

Scientific Committee

Scientific Committee members 

Organisation Committee

Organisation Committee members

Co-Financers and sponsors

European Regional Science Association ERSA
George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government, Fairfax, VA, USA
Municipality of Uddevalla, Sweden
The Institute of Business Administration (Företagsekonomiska institutet), Stockholm, Sweden 
University West, LINA, Trollhättan, Sweden
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Trollhättan, Sweden



Updated by Rebecca Olsson