Virtual Design Jam Challenge-Social Innovation Series

by Green Lab Futures

(Business)

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Our virtual design jam event was developed during the Melbourne/ Victorian lockdown, and the plan was to engage students with the opportunity to solve problems for industry using the design thinking model. The project then grew to Social Innovation and solving local and global problems.

Project implemented: June 2020

Project goal

The goal of our project is to grow the Social Innovation space at a Grassroots and global level, by engaging vocational and tertiary students in our social innovation challenge events. These events allow students the opportunity to ideate problem statements based on the themes of the events that we choose (which are mapped to the 17 SDG’s), then we support students to explore their problem statement by ideating as many solutions as possible individually or in a group.

Over the course of the workshop, students are then able to refine their solution into a business canvas and pitch presentation that they give at the end of the work shop.

After the workshop has completed, students are able to access the Green Lab Futures LaunchPad Learning Management System, where they can continue to shape and validate their concept in a Pre-Accelerator program.

It is our aim to establish over 100 new concepts each year, with the target of creating 40 startups enterprises in the social innovation space annually. Through the collaboration with the vocational and tertiary sector, we believe this target will help the education sector to understand it critical role in this exciting space.

delivering on

why is this project important?

Right now, Australia is moving towards a COVID recovery with more businesses than ever exploring how they can create or further establish a linkage to the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

In the education world including both Vocational and Tertiary across Australia, students are really starting to learn more about this space and with the growth of the Startup space across Australia, we have felt that this space and our work is critical to the success of Social Innovation.

Our work is unique, because we focus on the grassroots level of the Startup ecosystem where ideas are sprouted through inspiration and guidance. Based on our value proposition and market research, we are the only Startup/think tank organisation in Regional Australia focusing on this component of the ecosystem.

Our student participants are able to link into the already established accelerator or Incubator programs that exist across Australia so there is minimal overlap.

Key steps to make it happen

1Planning the Project

Planning the project commences by us identifying a team of student volunteers who will undertake the codesign of the program

2Finding Panelists

Planning the project commences by us organising a panel of industry speakers who can own the topics and themes of the event.

3Identifying CSR sponsors

The team identifies 15 Corporate Socially responsible businesses that can support the event through inkind or $ sponsorship

4Schedule events

All events are scheduled into a series and we then promote events via EventBrite, our website and with Universities and Tafe

5Panel interview

Prior to running the event, we run one on ones interviews with all panelists and load this content into our LMS

impact to date

131 participants
We had participants from every state and Territory except the ACT. The time difference provided students with a valuable networking opportunity with fellow graduates across the country
24 Industry Panelists
Over the 4 events, we engaged with 24 Industry Leaders who provided critical context and content for our participant designers
72 new Startup ideas
Over the 4 events, our participants created amazing new startup ideas as founders and cofounders, that are now being launched into our LaunchPad Program in 2021.
35 new Founders
Over the 4 events, our participants created amazing new startup ideas as founders and cofounders, that are now being launched into our LaunchPad Program in 2021.
62 new Cofounders
Over the 4 events, our participants created amazing new startup ideas as founders and cofounders, that are now being launched into our LaunchPad Program in 2021.

  • We increased the effective use of Learning Management Systems across event partner universities
  • We increased the number of participants who attended virtual industry events through our university event partners
  • We increased the exposure of students across Australia to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals
  • We increased the exposure of our industry panelist across Australia and the US to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals

In 2019 I was lecturing at Federation University within a post graduate course called Business, Planet and the Society. The course was heavily focused towards exploring the concepts of a triple bottom lined business model and the how the sustainable development goals could be embedded in business practice to deliver better social impact value through this alignment.

After running a number of design thinking workshops within my post graduate cohort, I developed a model in 2020 that would provide students with an industry engagement solutions while uncovering solutions that can support the growth of Social Innovation across Australia.

The Virtual Design Jam series was born, which was student centered and student led, with students also co-hosting and co-facilitating the events that were run virtually across Australia from August-December.

Last year we engaged 130 students across Australia over four months-our event statistics are loaded into an attachment at the end of this submission

This year, we have 23 public events planned for students to attend virtually/face to face, which we hope will increase the exposure of students interacting across state and territory borders, while designing their own innovation or start-up solutions to some of the problems we will use as our event themes.

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