International spotlight for CQU's Changemaker impact

Published:12 August 2020

Office of Social Innovation team members Ashley Clarke, Dr Tobias Andreasson and Lara Carton

The Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) has shared how CQUniversity is embedding social innovation education and practice across its curriculum, publishing a new article titled A Generation of Changemakers.

The international journal to inform and inspire leaders of social change commissioned the piece as part of its series Innovating Higher Education for the Greater Good.

Authors and CQU Office of Social Innovation leaders Lara Carton and Dr Tobias Andreasson outline the University's work across five years to embed social innovation, "exponentially growing social change leadership and capability across all of Australian society".

"By embedding the social innovation attributes of resilience, creativity, empathy, curiosity, collaboration and systems-thinking into each discipline — and core social innovation content at each stage of a degree — we have committed to training every student to graduate with the confidence and competence to create positive social change," the authors explain.

The comprehensive article shares six vital steps that ensured CQU could take social innovation from strategy to practice.

It also highlights social innovation priorities for CQU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE: A Generation of Changemakers

“There is a growing recognition that organisations want staff with social innovation skills, particularly the ability to understand issues within complex systems, demonstrate a user-centered approach to problem-solving and bring resilience and empathy to dealing with change,” Prof Klomp said.

“For students the benefits are clear: we create global citizens who take their place in the world and make a difference, but it also makes them more employable, since many governments and organizations recognize that these are the future-of-work skills.”

The article also explains how CQUniversity has kickstarted thousands of changemaker journeys, through embedded social innovation curriculum, the online social innovation orientation program iChange©, and a range of hands-on programs for students, staff and community.

The SSIR series, presented in collaboration with Ashoka U, shares insights from leaders in higher education, presenting stories, strategies, and lessons in rewiring higher education’s purpose, relevance, and business models.

In January this year, CQUniversity was re-accredited as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, still the first and only Australian university to achieve membership of the exclusive global network committed to social innovation, enterprise and impact.

Earlier this month, Ms Carton shared more about CQUniversity's social innovation impact, via an virtual panel named Impact Gathering - Why Female-Led Is Different.

The session, presented by social enterprises Impact Boom and Mumma Got Skills, attracted an audience from across Australia.

"CQU feels a really strong commitment to making sure that our students have opportunities to dive deep, to understand the social issues that they care about, and how they can individually play a role in bringing about positive social change," Ms Carton told the gathering.

"More recently we've been focusing on working with the social enterprise sector and introducing social procurement approaches to the University."