The University of California San Diego has become the first University of California campus to be designated as a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka U. The designation is in response to UC San Diego’s role as a leader in social innovation education. Only 40 universities in the world have been named Changemakers, and now UC San Diego has joined the network after an extensive three-year selection process.
The Changemaker Campus Network is composed of students, staff, administrators, faculty and community partners who share a desire to broaden the reach and impact of social innovation around the world. It’s led by Ashoka U, which is an initiative of Ashoka—the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. The organization and the Changemaker designation recognizes colleges and universities around the world that have made social innovation a core value. According to Ashoka U, to succeed in today’s fast-paced world, students need interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial and solutions-oriented skillsets.
Ashoka U’s co-founder and executive director, Marina Kim explained it this way in a press release. “Students are all seeking meaning and a viable career path where they can thrive and contribute,” she said. “Social innovation skills focus on developing creativity, collaboration, problem-solving and empathy, and prepare students to add value in the world, regardless of whether they innovate within existing organizations or start their own organization.”
The development of these skillsets is one place where UC San Diego shines. UC San Diego students can participate in many co-curricular community service programs as well as in over 600 registered student organizations—more than 90 of which have a primary focus on service. In fact, each year, UC San Diego students complete more than 3 million changemaking community service hours.
In addition, UC San Diego is home to the Center for Social Innovation and Impact housed at the Rady School of Management. This Center combines business thinking and the entrepreneurial spirit to address the significant issues that face society today.
“We are honored to be recognized for our ongoing work to provide students with highly innovative educational experiences and opportunities inside and outside the classroom, so they are poised to make a positive difference in the world,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “This distinction acknowledges UC San Diego’s rich history of cutting-edge research, teaching, and action in the areas of social innovation, public service, environmental sustainability, and local and global engagement.”
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