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Crisis calls for changemaker skills: CQUni expert

Published:23 April 2020

CQUni academic Dr Tobias Andreasson is calling for social innovation to be embedded across all Australian curricula.

The COVID-19 crisis has shifted how Australians think about employment, the economy, and even how we connect with each other, and CQUniversity academic Dr Tobias Andreasson says the uncertainty can pave the way for transformative changes.

Writing for public sector news website The Mandarin, the Associate Director – Social Innovation argued that educators must take the lead in equipping people to build a more resilient post-coronavirus society.

“The current crisis demonstrates that we all need social innovation and changemaker skills - skills that enables someone to approach social challenges in new and creative ways,” Dr Andreasson explained.

“We need to ensure that our future workforce is ready to step up when another crisis emerges, which it surely will.

“This means higher education and the VET sectors need to reassess their curricula, while corporations and business leaders will need to think about how well they are preparing their staff, including new graduates, and government departments should assess the training they are proving to public servants, old and new.

“Those without changemaker skills are likely to be left more vulnerable: they can be stuck, not able to see a way out, get confused or be bewildered. Mental health issues are then not far behind. We know this has been the case in the past when new technologies have changed our way of life and our jobs.”

Dr Andreasson argues that millennials, or young people born in the 1980s or later, already faced unprecedented levels of job insecurity prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

And the post-coronavirus world create new challenges for job markets, and new demands for fresh approaches.

“At CQUniversity, we want students to be changemakers, be innovative and ready to positively contribute to their world. Now it seems more urgent than ever.”

You can read Dr Andreasson’s full opinion piece, We must embed social innovation into all curriculum by 2023, here: https://www.themandarin.com.au/130041-opinion-we-must-embed-social-innovation-into-all-education-by-2023/

This year CQUniversity was re-accredited as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, after becoming Australia’s first-ever University to achieve the title in 2016.

CQUniversity’s 2019-2023 Strategic Plan: Our Future Is You includes plans to further embed social innovation across 90 per cent of the curriculum, as well as supporting for-good enterprise with social and Indigenous procurement growth targets.

This week, CQUniversity was ranked in the top 200 institutions globally in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, recognising universities that protect the environment while addressing inequality through sustainable development.

The Office of Social Innovation is now delivering social innovation education for staff through Totara, with a range of new informative videos to help kickstart changemaking, and connect you to other changemakers. Start with Introduction to Social Innovation here.