Tomorrow is our first class with RMIT business professor Peter Sheldrake. He is going to help us craft our social innovation concepts, into a real world business proposal. Something we could go to the bank with, literally! We had a brief run through last week, of where everyone’s ideas are at so far, and there’s some interesting ones in there.
My concept for a social innovation has been crafted into the following:
‘Now What?’ will be an internet based portal for recent school leavers. My inspiration comes from the existing Lattitude program (formally GAP) that offers school leavers the opportunity of volunteering overseas in various areas from caring, teaching, and environmental work. I went to Poland with GAP and taught English there in Warsaw. This was an amazing experience, especially being fresh out of school. I think I gained a lot from the experience, and personally was a much better choice then diving straight into uni.
‘Now What?’ will however target school leavers, who are looking to do something within Australia. They’ll probably have aspirations of further education, but have had enough for now, and want a year off to experience something else. ‘Now What?’ will be an agent between interested young people and community groups, NGO’s, conservation groups, who are interested in keen, engaged volunteers. ‘Now What?’ will work to establish a network of organisations that have at their core, an ethos of improving and assisting the community and area around them. This could be organisations such as Meals on Wheels, Green Corps, The Flying Doctors Service to name a few. It could also be roles such as assisting in research trips, conservation efforts and such. Applicants could either try out a field that they are interested in pursuing as an educational direction, or try something completely different to what they think they could end up doing.This opportunity would give them amazing life experience as well as a possibly valuable, relevant experience into their chosen field of further education.
The applicant could elect to either work within their own community, or apply to work somewhere else within Australia. This would be ‘Now What?’s main role, and allow young people the opportunity to travel Australia and gain a better understanding of the different environments that make up this massive country.
The money side of things I still need to develop, I don’t think a membership fee is viable, but possibly an introduction fee of some sort, or sponsorship from groups, schools, government?