Workshop "Spark the Change: From Idea to Action" was held
On July 9 (Sat.) 2022, students from Sophia University conducted a 2-hour workshop in English called "Spark the Change: From Idea to Action" for a group of students at Reitaku University.
The workshop was organized by Magdalena Ionescu, Associate Professor, Faculty of Global Studies, Reitaku University. Prof. Ionescu has taught for many years at Sophia University as a part-time lecturer and has served for the last three years as a faculty champion for Sophia University student cohorts participating in Stanford University d.school's University Innovation Program (UIF). She is also a Fellow herself at Stanford University's d.school, having completed the Faculty Innovation Fellowship (FIF) .
In this workshop, participants had the opportunity to utilize the design thinking mindset and methods and apply their creativity and individual knowledge towards defining and solving real-life problems. They also interacted with fellow students who hold the same passion and interest in taking action towards tackling a wide variety of problems within campus and even within society.
These Sophia University students received entrepreneurship and innovation training in a program called University Innovation Fellows (UIF) offered by Stanford University's d.school at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. Upon completing their training they have organized themselves and established a student organization called UIF Sophia.
The mission of UIF Sophia is to empower students to be the leaders of change by sparking creative confidence and building a culture of collaboration.
Knowing that many of their fellow students are passionate about social issues yet struggle when faced with the questions of "where to start" and "what to do" when taking the first steps towards action, UIF Sophia students designed a workshop that aims to do address this exact struggle.
The goals of this workshop are to enable participants to 1) gain confidence in taking action towards positive change; 2) identify the skills and resources they possess at hand; 3) gain clarity about what steps they can take towards meaningful change; 4) gain a sense of belonging to their community by working and collaborating together in change making
Currently, UIF Sophia is actively designing and implementing solutions to various challenges related to sustainability on and off campus. Looking ahead, they are exploring ways in which they can collaborate with our Reitaku students.
Comments from Reitaku participants:
This was the first time for me to interact with students from another university, since entering Reitaku. From beginning to end, I enjoyed how Sophia students facilitated the workshop, listened to the opinion of every participant, and created an atmosphere conducive to open thinking and interaction. We discussed how we can take action towards the things we want to change on campus. By learning through this workshop how to bring forth from different angles my ideas, potential, and skills, I was able to build confidence and motivation to start something new.（Kanon Mizuno）
This workshop was the first time for me to interact with another university. The content was both challenging and interesting, but two hours flew by! I was able to understand how taking a positive view of my own personality by identifying my own strengths and thinking about how I can contribute represents the very first step to turning ideas into action. I also learned how this is directly connected to problem solving.（Hikari Takeda）
By participating in this workshop I was able to learn the process of turning my ideas into action. Up until now I have been able to think about goals, but unable to take action to achieve them. I intend to use what I learned from here to achieve many goals for myself.（Jose Rey Bersabal）
Before participating in this workshop, I used to think that my dissatisfaction or questions regarding school life were just my own, and I did not think to take action towards them since I would be graduating in a few years. However, through this workshop, I was able to find there are things that I can do because I am a student, because I am myself and that, if I get serious about it, I can actually contribute towards positive change. I think knowing my own power and my strength will also help me in job-hunting, so I intend to use what I learned in this workshop in the remainder of my student life.（Saya Watanabe）
※The Japanese version of this article can be read here.