Social innovation can be defined and executed in many different ways. For today’s guest, Associate Director for Social Innovation at the University of Kentucky, the concept refers to innovations with a focus on sustained social impact, and her unit’s approach to creating ecosystems which enable these innovations to flourish is the focus of today’s episode.
Serenity Wright’s deep drive to enhance equity and access to opportunities for underrepresented innovators drew her into the realm of technology transfer. This passion, combined with her diverse educational and career path, and the unique perspective she has gained from working in numerous communities around the world, all contribute to her continued success in the field, despite the challenges she has faced along the way.
In today’s episode, Serenity explains how her unit addresses their three key focal areas, namely, faculty research, experiential learning, and community engagement, and she offers advice to institutions who are interested in enhancing their own social innovation sector.
In This Episode:
- [00:51] Introducing today’s guest, Serenity Wright.
- [03:04] The many different areas within which Serenity has lived and worked, and the unique perspective this has given her.
- [03:57] What Serenity’s career journey has consisted of to date.
- [05:31] How Serenity defines social innovation
- [08:53] Serenity explains the evolution of the Social Innovation unit at the University of Kentucky, and how they are advancing social innovation.
- [13:00] Additional details around the research and community elements of Serenity’s Social Innovation unit.
- [16:08] How Serenity and her team enhance faculty research and experiential learning at the university.
- [18:01] Prerequisites for successful community engagement.
- [19:07] Challenges that Serenity and her team have faced while working in the social innovation space, and advice to anyone seeking social innovation disclosures for their office.
- [22:37] Commitments that universities need to be making in order to enhance social innovation.
- [25:49] What Serenity is feeling most excited about at the moment, why she loves her team so much.
- [31:59] Their greatest strength of Serenity’s unit, which is also their greatest weakness.
- [34:58] Why now is the time to be accelerating social innovation, and how the new AUTM Special Interest Group intends to do that.
- [39:07] The big vision, and three wishes that Serenity has for her unit.