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The University of Southampton
Winchester School of Art

Students selected for global social entrepreneurship competition in Toronto, Canada

Published: 13 January 2016
The selected students
Kathryn Seager, James Westwood and Lloyd Turner

On 30 – 31 January, a team of undergraduate students from University of Southampton will participate in the Ryerson Social xCHANGE – a global social enterprise competition at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

 

The xCHANGE has been organised by the Social Impact Lab at the University of Southampton in partnership with Ryerson University and the University of Waterloo in Ontario. The two day summit is a hands-on introduction to social enterprise and social innovation, where students can attend talks, workshops and participate in a ‘hackathon’ style event, working in international teams to design a social venture around the theme of ‘city building and engaging communities’. The students will get to work with experts from all three universities to create their ventures, and will also have the opportunity to pitch their final ideas to a panel of judges for the chance to have their projects become a reality with seed funding and venture support in Ryerson’s social enterprise incubator.

The Southampton team is made up of Kathryn Seager, Lloyd Turner and James Westwood, who are third year graphic designers from the University’s art school in Winchester; and Stanley Palmer, a foundation year engineering student. The students will participate in the xCHANGE as part of a week-long social enterprise study visit to Toronto, where they will visit local social businesses in the city and meet with staff and students at Ryerson and Waterloo. For the students, the visit and xCHANGE will not only be a chance to learn about global social entrepreneurship but also a unique opportunity to develop new skills including cross-cultural problem solving, teamwork and effective communication.

For the organisers, the inclusion of arts and foundation year students in the event is a really exciting prospect; while arts based subjects have not traditionally been associated with social enterprise, the xCHANGE will be a great opportunity for demonstrating the important contribution that students from non-traditional subjects can make to social entrepreneurship and innovation. Josie Francis, the Social Impact Lab’s Programme Manager, said ‘having students from such a great range of subjects will only stand to enhance the experience for all involved. Not only will our students get to learn transferrable social leadership skills, but the whole process of social problem solving will be enhanced by the creativity and insight that they will bring with them. We hope that their involvement in the xCHANGE will inspire other students from across the university to get involved in social entrepreneurship and benefit from experiences like this one’.

To win their places at the xCHANGE, the students took part in the Social Innovation Challenge – a one day social impact competition, hosted by the Social Impact Lab, where students designed projects to improve student life in Southampton. The team saw off competition from ten other student teams with ‘Loop’, a wearable safety device.

The students’ journeys will be the main focus of the study visit, which will be captured through daily video and written blogs, as well as photographs and social media updates. More information on the xCHANGE can be found on the official website.

Updates from the xCHANGE and study visits will be available in real time on our social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wordpress.

Footage and content will also be available post-event from the Social Impact Lab Programme.

Notes for editors

 

The Social Impact Lab is a university-wide social leadership training programme at the University of Southampton. Through our diverse range of activities and specialised development opportunities, we support students to become resilient, successful graduates and responsible global citizens.

More information can be found on our website.

 

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