CQUni Knows Jodie
My name is Jodie Mlikota. I have a marketing and communications background. I studied a Bachelor of Arts (Communications and Marketing) and now I’m working towards a Graduate Certificate in Social Innovation at CQUniversity.
Social innovation is about doing good better. You don’t become a social innovator, you become socially innovative in what you do. It is all about coming up with new solutions to old problems, learning how to take the resources you’ve got, redirect them and make a positive impact, and create change. Through social innovation, you can become a change-maker and start to lead the positive impact that you want to see. Whether that’s starting a social enterprise or simply finding a new solution to an old problem. It’s small changes that can make the biggest impact.
The more that we can find new and innovative ways to address social issues, the more we can find a more sustainable solution. It’s about working together to scale these solutions across different communities, to use our resources better and create a better world together. You discover new ways to solve all sorts of problems. It’s similar to business innovation, except instead of solving a business issue, you’re solving a social issue.
One of the key principles of social innovation that I love is the co-design factor. If more people from all levels look to solve similar issues, or look at an issue from a different angle, if they can work together, a lot of the time a more sustainable solution can be found.
I was really attracted to social innovation because it had a lot of practical tools involved, so it was theoretical, but it also had a lot of reality. On the course, we learn a lot about case studies and we looked at different examples of the ways that communities have worked together.
The great thing is, it’s only four subjects, so it’s not a huge commitment in terms of time, but you might come away with some new approaches. The first unit really introduces you to social innovation. You discover different tools like human-centred design thinking and a lot of other content that starts you on the journey of learning from best practice. The next subject is all around work-integrated learning. The third unit is all around entrepreneurship, learning about scalable start-ups. Through that, I actually designed my own start-up.
I co-founded a start-up called Gathar, which is like Airbnb for cooks. It’s a tech platform where people can sign up as cooks and then, if you’re having a dinner party with friends, you can jump onto the platform and book a cook to come to your house and cook dinner.
What I’m about learn about next is all around sustainable business innovation. So, it’s a little bit of everything. It gives you a taste of innovation, entrepreneurship and social innovation, and then you get to put it all together and add work integrated learning into it.
I’ve had a whole range of lecturers from different backgrounds, like industry professionals from an engineering background specialising in sustainable business innovation, and social impact psychology and business start-up leaders. If you’ve always approached something in a traditional way, doing a course like this might bend the way you think of things. I recommend it.