Student Involvement

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The Millennials and Social Innovation: Engaging Students Better

There is much talk about millennials.

Broadly defined, the millennials refer to those born between the early 1980s to early 2000s and the dates vary between countries.

As a group, they represent a shift in generational mind set from that of scepticism in the Generation X to one that is more “free-spirited, flexible and open-minded.”[1]

This signals a change in the way this group is being engaged, be it for commercial or for social good and stakeholders such as companies, non-profit organizations and schools are considering ways to engage them better.

The Republic Polytechnic School of Management and Communication is joining this foray by conducting an exploratory research on tertiary-level students’ involvement in the social sector, with a focus on the social innovation scene.

We see students’ involvement in socially innovative projects as a good pipeline for future social entrepreneurship involvement, which we define broadly to include the creation of new social enterprises and involvement in new models of volunteerism or social engagement. The engagement spans across the government, non-profit and business sector.

Comprising desktop research and preliminary surveys, this research seeks to provide a brief overview of the current status of social project involvement, factors that appeal to youths and stretch factors in providing a better environment for student social entrepreneurs to grow.

We hope this information can spur discussion or actions in these three areas: - Match between youth asset and unmet needs (Relevance to beneficiaries) - Match between youth interest/inclination and engagement opportunities (Relevance to youths) - Match between youths and support (Relevance of capacity builders)