LEVERAGING INSTITUTIONAL IDENTITY FOR INNOVATION
Changemaker Campus since Fall 2010
At Marquette social entrepreneurship is embraced across the disciplines as an effective “tool for learning and framework for life,” and is coupled with the university’s Jesuit-aligned principles of “preparing men and women for others” and the lifelong call to “be the difference.” “We argue that students learn better and are more engaged learners when offered models of interdisciplinary learning such as social innovation and social entrepreneurship.” says Jeff Snell, Special Advisor to the President and change leader for the Marquette Changemaker Campus team. Jeff believes that integrating social entrepreneurship into Marquette’s curriculum brings more coherence to Marquette’s entire educational framework and helps students understand the purpose and meaning of what they study.”
Marquette University sees its trajectory as Changemaker Campus broadly. “Our interest is not necessarily in producing more social entrepreneurs.” Jeff says, “Only a small percentage of our graduates will become actual professional social entrepreneurs. Instead, we want all of our students to be equipped as systems-thinkers and problem-solvers. There is a spectrum here: from professional, venture-launching social entrepreneur to your cubicle worker intrapreneur equipped with the change skills they need to make a difference. Educating for social entrepreneurship and changemaking is essential for the entire spectrum of possible career outcomes.”
As a Changemaker Campus, Marquette has leveraged two Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence assignments and the Ashoka U Faculty Institute into two new courses, two modules, and one new certificate program. Marquette’s development into a leader in social entrepreneurship will be highlighted at its commencement this spring with the conferral of an honorary degree to Bill Drayton, Ashoka’s founder. “Over the past year, we have learned much about how to use the institutional identity to support our efforts in building social entrepreneurship education,” Jeff says.
“Our goal for the next few years is to build a smorgasbord of curricular offerings in social entrepreneurship,” Jeff says. Marquette is also working to position the university as a regional convener for social entrepreneurship, collaborating with Ashoka Fellow Jill Vialet to develop an executive education seminar for non-profit leaders.
Spotlight on 3-2-1 Institutional Embeddedness Strategy
The Marquette Changemaker Campus team uses a 3-2-1 embeddedness strategy: three students engage and pair up with two faculty members in each college as champions for social entrepreneurship. “We have had real success enlisting students as solicitors of faculty,” Jeff says. “We issue exclusive invitations to faculty and students for special social entrepreneurship related meetings and events. This builds alliances and buy-in from the ground up. We are learning how to engage faculty to produce a groundswell of support and commitment.
Marquette on Joining the Changemaker Campus Initiative
Given Ashoka‘s reputation and credibility, becoming a Changemaker Campus made strategic sense. But we also
asked ourselves: who else are we joining in this work? Joining a consortium is like buying a house. You want to know who your neighbors are going to be. Being part of the consortium put us in an excellent position to build our new campus identity. The consortium has created for us a happy hunting ground for collaborative opportunities and a robust learning community. The relationships – having real learning partners – is the most important thing.
Click here to learn more about Marquette University’s social innovation initatiatives.