Social Innovation for Positive Change
Launched in October 2020, the Community Leadership and Social Innovation Centre (CLASIC) at SIT has since set in motion a grant scheme, a module revamp, as well as a pipeline of projects aimed at benefitting the community. Read on to understand their objectives, first milestones, and plans ahead.
Asst Prof Intan Azura Mokhtar, Deputy Director, CLASIC (extreme left), Lee Mui Hoon, Senior Assistant Manager, CLASIC (second from left) and Prof Yaacob Ibrahim, Director, CLASIC (extreme right) met up with representatives from Engineering Good in November 2020 to discuss collaboration opportunities. The CLASIC team now includes Senior Lecturer Dan Chia as Assistant Director.
The problems of today’s world are often multifaceted, and they need to be looked at from all angles with the relevant contexts in mind. As such, social innovation projects allow students to apply various approaches to achieve impactful solutions for challenging issues and promote a more resilient community that strives for continuous improvement.
With a mission to strengthen the SIT-DNA value of being ‘Grounded in the Community’, the Community Leadership and Social Innovation Centre (CLASIC) at SIT has been set up as a one-stop centre that curates, coordinates, and oversees community and social innovation projects and initiatives across the university. The objective is to make SIT an academic partner of choice amongst community and industry partners for community-related projects and initiatives.
Empowering Future Talents to Lead with Impact
By drawing on the expertise of SIT academic staff and complemented by SITizens’ involvement across various clusters and domains, CLASIC aims to curate projects that would enhance the quality of life of identified beneficiaries. Each project will involve at least two SIT students, who will be mentored by a faculty member or a Professional Officer. Students will be exposed to community projects that enable them to be more attuned and sensitised to the needs of different segments of the community, informed of their industry practices, and motivated in the exploration of innovative solutions that seek to benefit the wider community.
Change Management Module Refresh
SIT is also expanding the breadth of its curriculum to afford greater interdisciplinarity in learning. Complementing students’ learning in their domain expertise, the curriculum will be enhanced with knowledge in understanding how change occurs, why it occurs, and what can be done to anticipate, encourage, and manage it. CLASIC has recently revamped the ‘Change Management’ module to incorporate a stronger focus on social context elements. These elements are aimed at developing a keen understanding of how situations and problems need to be assessed holistically, and the skills in arriving at diverse sets of ideas and meaningful solutions. The module refresh will be introduced for selected programmes in Academic Year 2021, and is planned to be rolled out across all SIT degree programmes by AY2023.
Creating Practical Solutions through Impactful Projects
A CLASIC project grant scheme has been established to fund service-learning, social innovation, or community-related projects undertaken by SIT students under the mentorship of faculty members and Professional Officers. Project proposals will be evaluated based on criterion, such as the opportunity for students to interact with community members, academic staff to leverage their professional expertise, and the community impact they hope to achieve.
Both CLASIC and NACE@SIT will jointly engage the elderly residents and staff of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital to understand their needs and expectations of the hospital’s upcoming nursing home in Potong Pasir.
The CLASIC team is currently facilitating 10 projects (and counting) and working with a wide spectrum of partners, including industry leaders, secondary schools, and social service agencies. One of the projects include a collaboration with Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital (KWSH) to engage the elderly residents and staff of KWSH to better understand their needs and expectations of the features in their new nursing home in Potong Pasir.
“Working together on community projects will allow students across disciplines to learn that to formulate practical solutions for issues that impact society often require a holistic assessment of the environment and its stakeholders. This is where they can further develop their creativity, as well as analytical and critical thinking skills, which are crucial for the future economy,” commented Prof Yaacob Ibrahim, Director, CLASIC. “Do keep us in mind if you have ideas for a community project!”
Click here for more information on Community Leadership and Social Innovation Centre (CLASIC).