By Mel Bride, 2015 Graboys Leadership Symposium Faculty Chair, Dean of Students
Kids these days are told all the time “Find your passion.” “Be a change agent.” “Get involved in your community.” “Make an impact.” A short generation ago, these were expectations we all had of college students, a generation before that, of full- grown adults. So, imagine being fifteen years old and being told that before you even get to college you need to save the world or at least your community! These are tall orders, indeed.
That said, kids these days also know way more about social media, the power of Facebook, Instagram, and crowd-sourced fundraising than we did even ten years ago. They see kids their age volunteering regularly, starting businesses or non-profits, and feel like they, too, have the tools to make an impact.
These same students hit college campuses, and not only is the community service learning office one of the busiest and most exciting places on campus, but what college does not have a social entrepreneurship department, too? Social entrepreneurism is all the rage on college campuses for the aforementioned reasons, as well as for the societal emphasis on empathy and compassion.
On October 19-20, Tabor will host the third annual Graboys Leadership Symposium tilted “Creative Leadership through Social Entrepreneurship,” an attempt to both acknowledge and value this generation’s inclination to do good in the world, as well as to give them a taste of this exciting field at the college level.
The program will kick off on Monday evening with a talk by Professor Alan Harlam, Director of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at Brown University’s Swearer Center for Public Service. The next morning, the community will hear from a true leader in the field of women’s entrepreneurship, Professor Candy Brush, Vice Provost of Global Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College, the nation’s leader in entrepreneurship education. From there, students will divide into self-selected industry sectors ranging from “Health and Wellness” to “Environment and Marine Science” to “Tech and Biotech”.
In those sectors, they will hear from a number of social entrepreneurs in their fields (among them six Tabor graduates) with whom they will work closely over the course of the day to find solutions to real life challenges through a carefully designed process to learn about the innovation stages of ideation, creation, and prototyping.
The day concludes with a keynote speech by a well-known tech entrepreneur and venture capital specialist, Jim Deters, who started a unique education model called Galvanize, which disrupts the traditional education model in teaching coding to non-traditional students.
The symposium promises to be engaging and interactive. Who knows, maybe Tabor students will be so inspired by what they learn that they will start thinking in new ways about how they can combine their passions with their excellent Tabor education to make true on our mission to “encourage personal responsibility” and “foster care for others and committed citizenship.”
We look forward to sharing posts in the coming weeks leading up to the Symposium from a few of our alumni participants so you can see what they are up to!