About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2359-2367
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain

BE A SOCIAL INNOVATOR! STUDENTS LEARN HOW TO GENERATE INNOVATION TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE

L. Rogel, D. Cantù

IES Abroad (Institute for the International Education of Students) (ITALY)
Educating to create a more sustainable lifestyle is one of today’s most important issues. Students from the first years of school should be able to understand the impact our lifestyle has on the society and on the environment. Education is a fundamental aspect for change. Explaining how bad the situation is and using fear and threats is too often the only method used for this type of education. Explaining what is wrong and telling us we are not behaving in the right way is simply not enough. Students should be assisted in asking the right questions and then tutored and guided towards understanding how they can act rightly and how they can develop solutions.

College students in their first years are still defining their future job and occupation. Giving them a new perspective about their personal potential in changing the world we live in might just give them a new interesting direction in their professional life. Everyone can be a social innovator and real change comes from the bottom up.

This is what our students learn in the course “Social Innovation - Strategies of Social and Environmental Sustainability” in Milan’s IES abroad center. To really make the students understand the complexity of topics, we use a project based approach. Groups of 3-5 students work on a topic that is directly related to their personal life and to the school itself. The students come up with ideas that are able to change their own personal experience but that have a strategy of growth. This project, which is so close to the students, helps them understand that innovation and change can come from anybody and that even what seems to be a small initiative might have a large impact if it is well thought out in terms of scalability. Beyond the project itself, the students benefit from being outside of their country of origin (USA) and are more open to new and stimulating ideas. Over the years, students have developed projects on cloth swapping, knowledge sharing, food awareness, community creation and local food production.

In this way, using a positive, ideas-based approach, students not only create something new, but also learn what goes into innovations. By learning about the thought process of inventing and then implementing inventions, how to constructively critique oneself and others and how to devise modes of adapting an idea to a particular situation, students gain skill-sets that are essential for their future as well as the future of sustainable living in general.
@InProceedings{ROGEL2013BEA,
author = {Rogel, L. and Cant{\^{u}}, D.},
title = {BE A SOCIAL INNOVATOR! STUDENTS LEARN HOW TO GENERATE INNOVATION TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {2359-2367}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Rogel AU - D. Cantù
TI - BE A SOCIAL INNOVATOR! STUDENTS LEARN HOW TO GENERATE INNOVATION TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 2359
EP - 2367
ER -
L. Rogel, D. Cantù (2013) BE A SOCIAL INNOVATOR! STUDENTS LEARN HOW TO GENERATE INNOVATION TOWARDS A MORE SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE, ICERI2013 Proceedings, pp. 2359-2367.
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