CSI integrates high quality research, teaching and community engagement. Next month’s CSI UWA Social Impact Festival is a fantastic example. This month I’ve asked Professor Paul Flatau to tell you about it. - Andrew Young
Social Impact Festival 2016 – Professor Paul Flatau
It was around this time last year that, admittedly, I sent my team into a panic as we hurtled towards our first Social Impact Festival. In just a few weeks, we pulled together eight events and saw almost 1,000 registrations come through our doors here at CSI at The University of Western Australia. The festival was a huge success. The events were interesting, engaging, innovative, and at times, controversial. And no-one left the Festival without being a lot more informed, and a little bit wiser to what needs to be done to create beneficial social impact in Australia.
Fast forward to 2016, and this year’s festival is shaping up to be bigger, brighter, and better than before. We’ve got a packed program of more than 30 events spread over seven days, and we’ve taken a new approach in how you can take part. In fact, the 2016 festival takes a form that is completely unprecedented. It is a series of low-cost or free events that allow thousands of people passionate about generating a positive social impact in WA to engage, learn, and connect.
Read on for an outline of what’s on offer. We hope you’ll join us.
Everyone can start their festival journey at the Festival Opening on Wednesday 20 July. We are delighted that UWA Chancellor Dr Michael Chaney AO CitWA and CEO of the Australia Council of Social Service, Dr Cassandra Goldie, will join us to open the festival, along with a program of music, dance and poetry.
Every morning between 7.15am and 9am, we will host Stories from the Field, guest lectures from a range of social impact pioneers. You’ll hear from Edith Cowan University and the City of Freemantle's The Happiness Project’s Chris Kueh, Social Ventures Australia’s Steph Shorter, Beyond Bank’s State Manager Michelle Coelho, Foundation Housing’s Tom Tolchard and more.
Throughout the festival we will be running a range of academic seminars and interactive workshops where you’ll get to hear from me, along with CSI’s Professor Kristy Muir, UTS’s Dr Danielle Logue, The Difference Incubator’s Bessi Graham, UWA’s Professor Harry Blagg and Dr Tamara Tulich, and CSI UWA’s own Dr Ramon Wenzel. We’ll be covering a range of topics such as Australia’s Social Landscape, financial innovations, learning for purpose, justice for Indigenous young people and much more.
No self-respecting festival would be complete without a marketplace, and we will be showcasing the absolute best of Perth’s social enterprises. We’ll host an ethical fashion show, food stalls, and artisan crafts, all of which are working with social purpose.
Towards the end of the festival we will be hosting the Impact Seed Pitch Event, where social enterprises are invited to pitch their business ideas to receive investor funding and development assistance from Impact Seed. The evening’s MC is long time social impact supporter, WA Business News CEO Charlie Gunningham. Social business founders can register their interest here. Applications to pitch are open until Friday, 24 June.
To stay up to date on program changes, sign up to the Festival Newsletter here.