University Innovation Fellows care about enhancing the innovation ecosystem on campus.
They care about lasting institutional change that benefits the students’ educational experience. They care about leaving a legacy on their campus.
They are entrepreneurial, but they CARE enough about their peers, society and their alma mater to be a leader and expend the time it takes to change an institution that is very slow to change… the academic institution. That’s what makes them different from the person that only cares about their own personal success/venture.
University Innovation Fellows (UI Fellows) organize the demand-side … the students … and are making the academic experience more relevant so that engineers are productive citizens doing meaningful work that benefits society and is lucrative at the same time. They care about their generation not being unemployed, camped out in another #occupywallstreet demonstration. They are leading a movement on their campuses because students who thinking entrepreneurially, working on innovation projects with Engineers and their interdisciplinary peers, will be more likely to transition effectively to the workforce. These students will be more apt to solve the problems they WANT to solve versus the ones dictated by prevailing corporate R&D interests. They’ll be in the drivers seat of their careers, ‘taking back’ their future, ‘taking back’ our economy, ‘taking back’ the direction of society by producing citizens able to imagine a different world and invent it and make it happen. To Dream. Design. Deliver. what our planet needs.
UI Fellows might work catalyzing maker spaces, venture funds, incubators, 1,000 person TEDx events, Startup Weekend, design team formation, the addition of a CEO club or a Kairos chapter… All of these organization add value. All of them speak to a unique market segment on campus. UI Fellows and their team might work to bring each one to their campus. It doesn’t matter what it is so long as it enhances the innovation ecosystem and fills a gap that is presently inhibiting the production of entrepreneurially-minded students and ventures.
If you have a resource, cub, fellowship, association or program that our University Innovation Fellows should be aware of, check out our CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS to include it in our Partners Directory. Being in it will instantly give you access to a network of bright students who care about plugging your resource to their campus constituents. Apply by August 31st, 2013.
~Humera Fasihuddin, @ihumera
Senior Program Officer, University Innovation Fellows
(Pictured above: UI Fellows listen to Google’s Head of Innovation after tour of its global headquarters during Stanford E-Week 2012.)