Laying Foundations | Initiating Innovation for Transformation

Laying Foundations | Initiating Innovation for Transformation

Flinders University New Venture Institute // City of Marion // City of Onkaparinga

In 2018 the Flinders University New Venture Institute partnered with neighbouring Councils Marion and Onkaparinga on a 12 month innovation journey.

Laying Foundations: Initiating Innovation for Transformation brought together over 100 staff from the two councils to connect and collaborate on common challenges and opportunities.

The project involved five key initiatives: a professional certification in ‘Innovation for Transformation’; an Inspiration Workshop; Innovation Learning Labs; Student Innovation Challenges; and Innovators on the Couch inspiration sessions.

“Personally, the professional certification challenged me to put our community consciously at the centre of everything that I do. I also was able to experience how it feels to fail and then get back up and do it all again in a safe environment and to understand how valuable that is in the innovation process” said Cass Gannon, City of Marion.

“The cross functional and cross council collaboration with facilitation by Flinders University New Venture Institute resulted in the development of innovative solutions to problems that our sector is facing. The bonus is that we now have the cross council relationships that mean we can make these happen regionally, benefiting more of our community.”

Throughout the lifespan of Laying Foundations, 12 projects were developed to address real life challenges such as social isolation, unemployment and waste management in the Marion and Onkaparinga regions; with four projects given a green light for implementation after being pitched to an expert panel.

This initiative has continued Flinders University’s tradition of active neighbourhood engagement, and discussions are underway with further neighbouring Local Government Areas to participate in the program in 2019.