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Fresh web presence as Social Innovation team wraps big year

Fresh web presence as Social Innovation team wraps big year

Published:05 December 2017

Engaging images of staff, students and community initiatives feature on CQUni's Social Innovation web presence.

Social innovation at CQUni has a fresh new look, as the team driving the transformative agenda takes stock of its biggest year yet.

The Office of Social Innovation (OSI) has unveiled its new web presence at cqu.edu.au/socialinnovation, which captures the diverse range of ways CQUni is helping drive positive social change.

Pages for students, staff, alumni and community members outline colourful opportunities to get involved with social innovation learning, teaching, and practical projects.

Developed with support from the Digital Marketing and Corporate Communications teams, and featuring the smart suite of icons that illustrate socially innovative practice, the pages offer a one-stop-shop for understanding social innovation at CQUni, and for kickstarting a personal social change journey with the OSI.

Director of Social Innovation Lara Carton said the web launch marks the end of a big year for social innovation at CQUni – and flags exciting new features for 2018.

“This year we took our social innovation agenda global, being inducted as Australia’s first and only Ashoka U ‘Changemaker Campus’,” Ms Carton said.

“Becoming part of that international network, and forming connections with social innovators and entrepreneurs from around the world, has opened so many doors for CQUni – and for our students.”

In March, 11 students received scholarships to join CQUni leadership at the Ashoka U Exchange conference in Miami. Later that month, another 10 students grew their social change skills closer to home, applying co-design strategies to support community groups through the Gladstone Social Innovation Studio.

Since then, two more CQUni students have attended Ashoka U opportunities in Japan,

In August, five students were appointed Change Champs, working to drive social innovation across CQUni’s national footprint, and to support Social Innovation clubs on campus.

Excitingly, students have also been at the centre of developing iChange – a free and fun orientation program to activate changemaking at CQUniversity.

“From February, we’ll be inviting newly enrolled students to take on iChange and hear inspiring stories of transformative change, and equip themselves with tools, networks and creative ideas to drive social innovation,” Ms Carton said.

“iChange is all online and video-based, and our presenters Leslie Lowe and Urusha Kansakar are two fantastic students who are already very involved in social innovation.”

CQUni staff involvement in social innovation has also boomed in 2017.

In the past year, 47 staff have completed the Contemporary Issues in Social Innovation unit, one of four units in the Graduate Certificate of Social Innovation, which has been fully subsidised by CQUni for staff.

A further 80 staff joined social innovation sessions at 2017 Staff Conference conducted by Social Innovation Program Managers Robin Dick and Ashley Clarke, and 95 participated in webinars on social innovation and curriculum implementation presented by Associate Director Academic - Social Innovation Dr Linda De George-Walker.

And more than 350 students, staff and community members were inspired by CQUni’s Social Innovation Lecture Series events, with topics ranging from ethical eating and accessible transport, to data-driven social enterprise and corporate social responsibility.

Presented in collaboration with community organisations, partners have included Seven Women, SecondBite, Travellers’ Aid, the Foundation for Young Australians, The Social Deck, Impact Boom, Nundah Community Enterprises Co-operative, Food Connect Foundation, The Big Issue, Melbourne Knowledge Week, and many more.

The Lecture Series will return in 2018, as will Gladstone’s Social Innovation Studio, and a range of other events and initiatives.

“It’s so exciting to look back on what the team has achieved this year, and it’s just a taste of what’s coming in 2018!” Ms Carton said.