By Max Lynch (GSB’19), FSIC Student Leader.
I hope that by now I have successfully told the story of the Changemaker Student Summit. I have never fancied myself a great storyteller or blogger, so I hope that my writing does the Summit justice. If not, and you so happen to have questions, feel free to reach out to me in person or via email(email@example.com).
Now that the Summit is over it is time to look to the future. The first question I will ask myself is, what is my vision and what do I hope to achieve with Fordham? Great question Max. My vision is not yet cut in stone, but as of now it goes a little something like this; I want to be a social innovation leader who creates programs and develops social innovation at Fordham, with the end goal of inspiring and influencing the Fordham community to live lives of social purpose. What a mouthful, but I think that my vision is definitely attainable. It is almost like I want to be lord commander of an army(Game of Thrones anyone?). I may not fight in every battle, but I make strategic moves so that I can successfully lead the charge for my army. By developing social innovation at Fordham, I believe that I can create an army of social warriors.
Through social innovation leadership I want to make Fordham world-renowned in the social sphere. The University of Northampton, a school that has a great social innovation system benchmarks itself with other schools that are in the Ivy League. I want Fordham to be on that list, and I think it can be done. First of all, Fordham’s Bronx campus is in the center of inequality. Walk outside the gates onto Fordham Road and racial inequality, gender inequality, wage gap, and environmental abuse, to name a few, can be seen everywhere. Fordham is in a crucible of social innovation opportunity, just waiting to be put to work. Second of all, Fordham is a Jesuit University. Service to others is ingrained in the culture and persona of the student body. I believe that everybody at Fordham can be a Changemaker because of this empathetic nature, they just need to be influenced in the right way. Social Innovation at Fordham doesn’t need to be forced, because it makes sense. It is like 2+2=4.
The second question I ask myself is, what projects do I currently have in mind? My main project and priority is to create co-curricular social innovation practica that would enhance the learning experience. This would look like an extra module or set of assignments in a finance class that focus on using investment techniques to promote socially responsible business. Or better yet, bringing underprivileged high school students from the Bronx on to the Fordham campus to learn financial principles from current finance students. Really these practica could look a variety of ways, and by no means anything like I just said. The idea is that the Fordham Social Innovation Collaboratory(FSIC) would incentivize departments or schools to create social innovation co-curricular opportunities, and the departments would use the FSIC to connect to whatever resources they desire, whether it be money, people, or groups in the general Bronx community. I most likely am not being very clear, because I see the practica being spontaneous, serendipitous, organic disruption of the current curricular system. The practica as of now have no set structure. We will see what happens! Other projects that I will go into less detail about include a social innovation exchange program between schools(Northampton/Fordham to start), a retired Jesuit residence enhancement, and a Changemaker conference at Fordham in 2 years time.
My last question to myself is, how have I preserved momentum from the Summit so far? Preserving momentum is important to me because I don’t want to lose any of the amazing knowledge or skills that I have acquired from the Changemaker Student Summit. I am committed to completing Changemaker projects in the future, which is why I have completed this blog project now. This blog project for me was a way to stay motivated, retain information, and prove to myself that I will actually be the change that I want to make. These blogs might not be very good, fun to read, or well written, but I don’t care all that much. This small project took a decent amount of time, all the while juggling 50 hour work weeks. The completion of this blog series is personally setting the tone for what is to come in the future. I hope and pray to God that what is to come will be great things. To those who have stuck with these blogs and actually read, good job. I am sure it wasn’t easy. I encourage you to join me on my social innovation journey and would appreciate your presence. Thank you.
Student Summit, click here.