Social Innovation Project

Social Innovation Project. Banner depicting two students collaborating on a project.

Develop your skills, create innovative real-life projects, and positively impact your community!

What is a Social Innovation Project?

Local not-for-profit organizations are often faced with multiple resource challenges and competing needs that they need to prioritize. Functional needs come first, but many of these organizations may not always have the time, or financial resources to allocate to exploring new opportunities and innovative ideas that could potentially bring exciting initiatives to their operations. This is where you come in! Social Innovation Projects pair a team of student volunteers with a community organization who have identified a challenge or problem within their organization. The team of UTM students will work together with the organization over a 16-week period to come up with an achievable solution for that problem.

As a volunteer, you will be working on real-life projects to develop an attainable solution for a community organization that you will present back. In addition to working closely with your community partner and student volunteer team, students will have the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor to connect to classroom learning and gain access to additional resources. Participating students will be able to develop the following competencies:

  • Community and civic engagement

  • Decision-making and action

  • Design Thinking

  • Collaboration

  • Professionalism

  • Strategic thinking

  • Teamwork

Responsibilities

Volunteers must:

  • Develop a project that meets the challenge of a community-identified issue, working with a team of other student volunteers and a project leader. 
  • Volunteer 2-5 hours per week on your own time to meet milestones of your project (breaks for reading week and exams are accommodated).
  • Complete online training modules and attend weekly team meetings with your group of volunteers and CSE student staff overseeing the project
  • Arrange and attend (virtual) faculty and community partner check-ins: quantity and dates are up to students, but a minimum of three check-ins each are required. 
  • Attend the Social Innovation Project Wrap-Up Event; students will prepare and present project details in the form of a poster. 

Students will be required to attend synchronous virtual weekly 1-hour team meetings but will be able to work on individual tasks asynchronously to fulfill project needs.

Important Dates:

  •  Saturday, October 24th, 2020: Kick-off Event
  •  Monday, March 22nd, 2021: Wrap-Up Event

Current Projects

Partners and Projects for 2020-21

Learn more about our current partners and projects by clicking the links below:

Building Partnerships

To develop new initiatives, we encourage partners in the community to connect with us to explore ways we can work together to provide these opportunities at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and in the local community. We invite schools, parents and families, local community organizations, and UTM community mentors and student groups to explore how we can work together. If you are interested in partnering with the Centre for Student Engagement on Social Innovation Projects, please fill out this form

Registration is now open!

1.    Log into CLNx at https://clnx.utoronto.ca/students/overview.htm

2.    Click on “UTORid Login”.

3.    From the navigation menu, go to “Experiential Learning”:

4.    To enroll in the program, select one of the following two options (either a or b):                                                                                                                                    

a. New Student the Experiential Learning Module (i.e. first time participating in an experiential learning program): Click on the “View Available Programs/Courses” button.

b.   Students previously enrolled in any Experiential Program can access the program by clicking on the “View” button” (located in the “Current Experiences” tile), or by clicking directly on the respective tile located to the right of your screen.

5.    In the “Current Experiences” catalogue, select “Social Innovation Project”.

6.    Follow the program instructions on CLNx to officially register and select your project!

 

This experience is approved on the Co-Curricular Record (CCR)! Links to the ccr website.

Inquiries

For all questions and feedback regarding Social Innovation Projects, please contact:

Michelle Atkinson
Community Engagement Coordinator

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