Approaching social innovation

A visualisation of a few approaches and techniques used by social innovators/designers, their communities and support groups.


Activating Change Mid-Sem Review

Where to start?? Mick invited fellow Social Studio member Zac and I to attend the mid-semester review for his class and provide some feedback and guidance. Zac and I were described as ‘sustainability guru’ and ‘founder of YESS’ respectively, what titles! We had big expectations to meet! We were joined by recent grad Tim, lecturer and food activist Juliette and later by Alissa of FYA.

The students have been working alone or in groups to create change in areas they are passionate about. These include the Victorian fishing industry, food waste, social sustainability, art, education and community gardens. Some of the groups have already been very active, hosting events as shown in the posters above and below. All in all these have been a great success, showing that in order to achieve something, you should just get things happening straight away, don’t worry about months of preparation to make it perfect, just get your hands dirty and things will get moving!

It was great to see what they have done and it will be even better to see where they go with the rest of semester. Providing feedback was also a good experience, it was nice to be on the other side after 4 years of my own presentations!

Change It Up!

Change It Up is an initiative of Foundation for Young Australians where teens in rural areas with big ideas get together and figure out what they’re going to do about it. On the 29th of April, Ella and I accepted an invitation from Alissa of FYA and dropped in on the second last day of the session to a chat with the mentors and students. It was an inspiring day, and you could see that the concept of world change and sustainability are increasingly important with each generation. Each of the participants had their own passions and a vision for their town

One of the best activities we took part in was a ‘text bomb’ to all the local councilors. Everybody present sent text messages asking the members to attend the pitches that the students were presenting the following morning. So each member received about 30 texts each! The mayor was intrigued enough to turn up in the afternoon and ask what was going on. She was very intrigued about the goings on and was glad that the youth had such a loud voice.

At the pitches the following day, a few more of the councilors came  and three of the students were presented $1000 to help realise their visions. Maddy’s big ideas on anti-bullying , and Mitchell and Sam’s dream of changing the negative stereotypes the kids at the skate park each received the seed funding. It will be great to see what they get up to!

The mentors initiated a sticky timeline for the sessions, very clearly and concisely displaying what was done and learned. So all in all, a really great event, it will be great to see what the Woodend crew get up to, and to see Change It Up events continue in the future!