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Locals hungry for social innovation at lecture series

CQUniversity communities are proving their appetite for social innovation, as a public lecture series from the Office of Social Innovation offers a smorgasbord of options for serving up change.

CQUni Noosa was the latest to host local changemakers, with the event Create Good. Transform the World. How? Start with Breakfast!

More than 40 people attended the dynamic breakfast session on Tuesday 10 October 2017, featuring a lively public panel session on how individuals can make a difference, and how social innovation principles can drive the process.

Presenters included Sandy Bolton, a project coordinator for not-for-profit disabilities support agency Sunshine Butterflies, director of The Social Deck strategic communications consultancy Mel Butcher, and CQUniversity’s own Dr Olav Muurlink, who chairs Co-operation in Development, one of the largest educational NGOs in Bangladesh.

The Noosa event followed similar sessions in Brisbane, including the Delicious Social Innovation! panel focusing on social enterprise and food.

Presenters included Brisbane’s Food Connect Foundation executive director Robert Pekin, CQUniversity Home Economics lecturer and researcher Dr Jay Deagon, and representatives from Nundah Community Enterprises Co-operative, providing sustainable employment and training for people with mental illness or intellectual disability, through businesses such as Espresso Train Cafe and Catering.

In Melbourne, previous social innovation lecture series events have covered transport and accessibility, corporate social responsibility, and big data for change.

Now on Monday 13 November 2017, CQUni Melbourne will host the final event in the series, focusing on ethical eating, and innovation at the table.

Perceptions and Pipelines: Unpacking Food Sustainability is a free event for staff, students, alumni and community, from 6pm – 8.30pm at the CBD campus.

Guests will hear from Jim Mullan, CEO of food salvage organisation SecondBite, and former CEO of The Big Issue UK, along with CQUniversity’s Dr Talitha Best, a psychologist and food production researcher.

Finally, on Tuesday 28 November 2017, CQUniversity Rockhampton North will host a film screening and Q&A with social enterprise founder Stephanie Woollard, with live video connections to multiple CQUni campuses.

While travelling in Nepal in 2006, the young Australian met seven local women with various disabilities, and came to understand the challenges they faced to earn a living.

She founded Seven Women, a not-for-profit that has supported more than 5000 disadvantaged Nepalese women to gain skills, employment and economic independence, and to access heath care and education.

Bringing the Light: The Seven Women Story documentary follows Stephanie and her work, and captures Seven Women’s impact.

CQUniversity researchers are currently working with Seven Women in Nepal, on a project to expand its hospitality training school.

The 4pm film and Q&A event will be a fitting finale for a big year of social innovation across CQUniversity, and aims to inspire fresh activities and initiatives in 2018.

Source: CQU

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