Giving Compass' Take:

• CQUniversity is in the process of embedding social innovation education practice across the curriculum and offers insights into its strategic planning. 

•  How can other universities learn from this model and these strategies? What can students gain from social innovation education? 

• Read why the future of higher education is social impact.

Imagine if every single graduate—from engineering management and physiotherapy to primary school education and digital media—was equipped with a practical skill set to innovate and drive social change. In a time when students are seeking careers with impact—and employers are demanding graduates with core skills of problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, and teamwork—how does a university equip every student with the changemaking skills to tackle complex social issues and future challenges not yet imagined?

CQUniversity is five years into a long-term process to embed social innovation education and practice across the breadth of our curriculum, 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.

Providing opportunities for students to practice hands-on learning is central to the work we do. A range of community programs allow students to work with industry in immersive design processes to develop foundational skills in action research and design-led approaches to problem-solving.

As we move along this ongoing transformation journey, the following are some of key stepping stones guiding us, deliberatively and iteratively, from strategy to practice:

  1. An early roadmap
  2. A commitment to clear goals, widely communicated
  3. Standardized learning outcomes
  4. Sustained support for staff development
  5. Capture and celebrate early wins
  6. Long-term commitment to resourcing

Read the full article about supporting a generation of changemakers by Lara Carton & Tobias Andreasson at Stanford Social Innovation Review.