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Ignite your inner changemaker with CQUni's Festival of Change

Published:06 July 2021

CQUni's annual Festival of Change will feature events across a national footprint in 2021.

The annual Festival of Change is back on CQUniversity campuses Australia-wide, with a focus on innovative solutions that reduce our environmental footprint, and grow community .

Featuring two weeks of free events across eight campuses and online, the learning festival will celebrate social innovation and hear from experienced changemakers leading projects that are changing the world!

Events showcase sustainability projects including the World’s Biggest Garage Sale, innovative resource recovery leaders Green Collect, agricultural waste innovators QPlas and community-led Repair Cafés.

CQUniversity students will also wage their own war on waste, taking on the month-long Big Ideas Design Sprint to create innovative solutions to sustainability issues in their community.

The Festival of Change, held from Monday 26 July to Friday 6 August 2021, is CQUniversity’s fourth year bringing students, staff and community together for the thought-provoking and inspiring events.

In 2020, hundreds of people from across Australia connected with a series of virtual sessions for Festival of Change, but Social Innovation Program Manager Ashley Clarke welcomed the return to face-to-face events in 2021.

“This year we are implementing a hybrid model. Participants can dial in or engage face to face to learn about innovative solutions to some of the world’s biggest environmental issues,” Ms Clarke said.

“Participants will hear from innovators behind social enterprise cafés, learn about new approaches to green cities, be inspired by Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing and understand how upcycling can create new economies by repurposing waste materials to make smarter, sustainable products.”

“The Festival of Change is an opportunity for participants to engage with likeminded people, hear from inspiring speakers and build their own capacity as changemakers. We hope it sparks bright ideas that create connections in our communities and opens up opportunities for new projects and solutions.”

Other highlights include:

  • Female Champions of Sustainability – Balancing People and Planet: A panel conversation featuring sustainability leaders across community, government and agriculture,
  • Social Innovation Through an Indigenous Lens: An online session exploring Australia’s pre-colonial history of creative communities and innovative solutions, presented by Bundjalung man and CQUniversity innovator Leslie Lowe,
  • Food Waste Solutions Photo Challenge: Inviting participants to share their smart initiatives for reducing food waste,
  • Screenings of inspiring documentaries including Chasing Coral, Before the Flood and Dukale’s Dream,
  • Big Ideas Design Sprint Pitch: Get inspired by student ideas for responsible consumption and production, and see which team takes home $2500 in prizes!

Campus-based events also include community gatherings catered by social enterprise, swap and upcycling events, an Indigenous Walking Tour, practical initiatives to reduce waste, a sustainable tourism showcase, inspiring documentary screenings, and more.

With 34 events across the two weeks, there is something for everyone. Anyone can explore the Festival of Change schedule and register via cqu.edu.au/festivalofchange.

The Festival of Change forms an important part of CQUniversity's role as Australia's only Changemaker University, accredited by global network for social innovation in education Ashoka U.