Sílvia Ferreira is assistant professor in Sociology at the Faculty of Economics of Coimbra University, researcher at the Centre for Social Studies and at the Center for Cooperative and Social Economy Studies of the Faculty of Economics. She lectures at undergraduate and at graduate levels in the Sociology degree, master in Sociology, master in Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and in the Sociology PhD Programme. She is co-coordinator of the master in Society, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University (UK). She has been involved in research on social security reform, third sector and social policy, gender equality in third sector organisations, social entrepreneurship and social innovation in the social and solidarity economy, social enterprises, volunteering and local governance through state/third sector partnerships. Her basic interest has been the evolving nature of the welfare state and of the welfare mixes, more recently, from a sociological standpoint based on complex social systems approaches. Her extension work focuses the relation between the university and society, particularly the third sector/social economy.