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ASU, Colorado both Changemaker Campuses in Pac-12; ASU hosts conference

February 09, 2012

Editor's Note: Arizona State University basketball will take on the University of Colorado on Feb. 11. The men’s teams will play at 4:30 p.m, in Tempe, Ariz. and the women’s teams at 7 p.m., in Boulder, Colo. Read more about ASU's collaborations with Pac-12 schools.

Social entrepreneurship is a key part of students’ education at both Arizona State University and the University of Colorado, Boulder. ASU and UC are the only two schools in the Pac-12 which have been named to the Changemaker Campus Consortium by Ashoka U, in recognition of their commitment to helping students implement ideas that will improve society. 

ASU also will host a national conference for 500 of the most innovative and influential leaders for social entrepreneurship in higher education, the Ashoka Exchange, on Feb. 10-11. Representatives from 88 universities and 75 organizations are expected to attend.

The Exchange will be held at the Tempe Mission Palms, Galvin Playhouse and the Memorial Union. There also will be two site visits. At ASU Preparatory Academy downtown, visitors will experience how this year ninth graders are piloting the Ashoka Youth Venture Dream it Do it curriculum. At Global Resolve on the Poly campus, visitors will see examples of projects currently underway and participate in fabrication and construction of a sample technology with an exercise that can be used in classrooms. 

Valuing entrepreneurship is one of ASU’s eight design aspirations, with the goal of harnessing knowledge for innovation and contributing to the public good. As a Changemaker Campus, ASU is unique in that it has worked to infuse entrepreneurship into the fabric of the entire university, creating over a dozen mini-centers of entrepreneurship across all four campuses. 

Faculty and students from more than 100 majors are bringing entrepreneurship into the classroom, using it as a means to identify local and global needs and to move forward with implementing solutions. 

Last fall ASU created Changemaker Central, a hub where students can connect with others who are passionate about service, entrepreneurship and the community. They can learn about community resources and existing opportunities in community service, service learning and high-impact careers. 

Social entrepreneurship education at CU has focused on international issues and sustainable community development in the developing world, branching out into local and national projects. The university has created two certificate programs with tracks in social entrepreneurship, one in arts and sciences and one in business. 

The CU-Boulder Changemaker Campus team also has developed two residential academic programs, located in a themed residence hall for incoming first-year students. Students participate in the programs all four years and take classes in the field of social entrepreneurship and sustainability. One program focuses on sustainability by design. 

The Colorado residential programs consist of academic courses within  a core focus area, as well as a team project course. 

Written by Sarah Auffret