Nov. 11, 2020Print | PDF
Wilfrid Laurier University’s Changemaker Campus designation has been renewed by Ashoka U for another three years. The designation, and its renewal, recognizes Laurier's commitment to the values and ideas of change-making, which are clearly reflected in the university's Strategic Plan and institutional priorities.
Ashoka U is a global network that strives to foster a culture of social innovation in higher education and is part of Ashoka, a respected international association dedicated to the belief that individuals and organizations can create positive social change. Laurier first received the designation in March 2016 and was only the second university in Canada to hold the status at the time.
The Changemaker designation applies to all of Laurier’s locations, including the Waterloo and Brantford campuses, the Faculty of Social Work in Kitchener, and the Toronto office and weekend MBA program.
“At Laurier, we are committed to inspiring lives of leadership and purpose. It’s not just our motto; it’s what we do and what we stand for. It’s about helping students develop the mindset and skills to emerge as leaders that can make real change in the world and about inspiring them to do so.”
Laurier’s renewal process qualified for fast-tracking, a status reserved for campuses with a robust social innovation and change-making ecosystem that clearly demonstrate the spirit of Changemaker Campus criteria.
“At Laurier, we are committed to inspiring lives of leadership and purpose,” says Laura Allan, assistant professor of business and former executive director of the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation. “It’s not just our motto; it’s what we do and what we stand for. It’s about helping students develop the mindset and skills to emerge as leaders that can make real change in the world and about inspiring them to do so.”
Students at all levels of study have opportunities to integrate entrepreneurship and social innovation into their Laurier experience, including degree programs in Global Studies, Social Justice and Community Engagement, and options and minors in areas such as social entrepreneurship, social innovation, leadership and sustainability.
Outside the classroom, Laurier offers several change-making opportunities for students, including those offered through the Faculty of Arts’ C3 Innovations Labs, LaunchPad Incubators at the Brantford and Waterloo campuses, the Changemaker Innovation Challenge, campus maker spaces, and extracurricular initiatives dedicated to sustainability and inclusion.
Laurier is also a member of Enactus, an international experiential learning platform dedicated to creating a better world while developing the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and social innovators. In September, Laurier’s Waterloo Enactus team represented Canada at the Enactus World Cup and placed second globally for their zero-waste toiletry product venture EarthSuds.
Laurier plans to continue building on its change-making capabilities, which includes the creation of a change team that represents the diverse voices of the university community. This initiative is supported by Laurier’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) as part of its core values. In recent months, Laurier has undertaken significant steps to support EDI across its campuses, including creating the role of assistant vice-president, equity, diversity and inclusion, developing an EDI action plan and striking an EDI strategic planning committee.
“We have the opportunity to further embed change-making practices into our campuses and enhance engagement across the university,” says Allan. “It’s an exciting time for Laurier.”
We see you are accessing our website on IE8. We recommend you view in Chrome, Safari, Firefox or IE9+ instead.×