NSYSU establishes Institute of Social Innovation to cultivate social change leaders
The new Institute of Social Innovation (ISI) was inaugurated on September 21st, 2020; it will connect academic subjects with practice to advance social change. University President Ying-Yao Cheng said that ISI is the first institute among public universities in Taiwan, which provides practical education in innovative leadership and action. In a fast-developing world, the Institute will strive to train top-level professionals to uncover and study local issues in the global context, effectively apply technological tools, integrate interdisciplinary resources, and lead a team to solve key social issues.
The ISI was established under the Si Wan College, whose aim is to provide interdisciplinary education. Dean of the College Professor Dun-Hou Tsai emphasized that the ISI is to cultivate professionals to contribute to social innovation and the development of sustainable management. The ISI will focus on training students’ reasoning on issues such as education innovation, regional revitalization, service innovation, and innovation in the green energy industry, and through action-oriented interdisciplinary courses, workshops, and industry-academia cooperation, nurture their concern about social issues, technological literacy, global vision and promote their international mobility. The graduates of the ISI will be able to find employment in profit or non-profit organizations in Taiwan and abroad, government agencies or social enterprises, or become entrepreneurs.
Top managers, planning professionals, or small-scale business owners all need to have competence in interdisciplinary innovation and social practice. Dean Tsai further explained that to cultivate future leaders to solve problems of today, it is necessary to abandon the retraining model and adopt a completely new education model, gradually transform the current top-to-bottom relation between the government and the people into a partnership model. The ISI will uphold the spirit of social practice, and by fulfilling the university social responsibility (USR), nurture students’ sense of mission, creativity, compassion, global vision, sensibility, integrative abilities and sensitivity to problems, the ability to solve issues that require an interdisciplinary approach, such as COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and other threats to global wellbeing that cannot be fixed by just one individual or one country, ability to cooperate with others, leadership skills and abilities related to social innovation.
According to the forecast by World Economic Forum (WEF), the top five out of ten core skills to thrive in the year 2020 are: complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, and coordinating with others. The ISI will incorporate the training of these abilities into the curriculum and their application in social practice to work out effective solutions to negative phenomena in global development. People are the key element for social innovation, said Dean Tsai. The ISI was established to respond to international trends and cultivate professionals with a sense of social responsibility and a mission, able to deal with global issues.
The Institute of Social Innovation at NSYSU accepts applications from September 30th to October 13th. For more information refer to: https://siwan.nsysu.edu.tw/news/institute-of-social-innovation/