13 September 2010
Adam Bandt launches social enterprise forum
John Cain, Chair, State Library of Victoria Board and former Premier of Victoria; Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, RMIT University; Adam Bandt, Federal member for Melbourne; and Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, CEO and State Librarian, State Library of Victoria.
James Sanders, RMIT Entrepreneurship graduate and co-founder of entrepreneur network, The Hive.
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Adam Bandt, the newly elected Greens member for Melbourne, launched a forum at the State Library of Victoria (SLV) to explore a collaboration between SLV and RMIT University that aims to foster socially driven programs across the state.
“The social enterprise sector is rapidly developing in Australia and forums like these are essential for laying foundations for growth in this area,” Mr Bandt said.
The aim of the Making a Small World Smaller forum was to build on a proposal developed by Associate Professor David Gilbert, Deputy Head (Industry Engagement), College of Business, RMIT, and the SLV for a new centre at the Library that will combine social enterprise, community development and social media to increase Victoria’s intellectual and social capital.
The centre will bring together RMIT students, industry partners and SLV staff to develop innovative programs that focus on the socialisation of international students; facilitating entrepreneurship among young leaders in regional Victoria; and promoting the entrepreneurial and innovative capabilities of local and regional secondary school students.
Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, CEO and State Librarian, SLV, said she hoped the forum would generate ideas and assist with bringing the proposal to fruition.
“Major libraries around the world are using their resources and expertise to help business entrepreneurs. The British Library has its Business and IP Centre and New York Public Library has its Small Business Resource Centre.
“In Victoria, we are exploring a different approach and asking how a social entrepreneurship model and new technologies can be applied to bring young people together to learn, create and make a positive change in their community.”
A range of presenters shared their experience and creative insights. These included Peter Williams, CEO of Deloitte Digital, Dr Mark Elliot, Director Collabforge and James Sanders, RMIT Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship) graduate and co-founder of entrepreneur network, The Hive.
Professor Margaret Gardner AO, Vice-Chancellor and President, RMIT, spoke about RMIT’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation.
“RMIT is about learning through experience. We want to encourage students to develop entrepreneurial ideas and to learn how to build social entrepreneurship into their education.”