Canadian Thinker in Residence challenges the minds of Lincoln

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“Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they revolutionised the fishing industry”

– Bill Drayton, Founder of Ashoka.

Lincoln is no stranger to hosting renowned members of the international and local academic community. Residents were recently spoiled when social entrepreneur Allyson Hewitt stayed at Lincoln, whilst she served as the inaugural Thinker in Residence (TiR) for the re-established TiR program. The Thinker in Residence program, now driven by the South Australian Don Dunstan Foundation, is devoted to social change through policy and system adjustment in areas of social justice projects. Over the next few years, the program is hoping to re-design social innovation systems so that private, public and non-for profit sectors can become more effective in the delivery of important issues ranging from water environmental sustainability to transport to education.

Allyson is an admirable participating thinker of such a positive organisation and her range of experience was inspiring. As a Senior Fellow for Social Innovation at the highly successful MaRS Discovery District in Canada, Allyson has assisted hundreds of social ventures to become economically supportable and maximize their social impact. Allyson also played an active role in the MaRS Solutions Lab, an organisation designed to tackle complex challenges; and Studio Y, an initiative designed to support young people to thrive in the new economy.

It was an amazing opportunity to hear Allyson speak and witness her passion for social innovation. In a room full of university students commencing their journey into the world and wanting to make a change, Allyson was an inspiring figure who remained relatable. She began her journey in courses that people at Lincoln are currently studying, Bachelor of Criminology before advancing to Law and Management. She broadened our understanding of the limits of what students can accomplish and achieve with their degrees. Her enthusiasm was urgent in every action and word and it was clear that her passion for social innovation was the driving force behind where she is today- a successful woman in the field of social justice and international collaboration, making a sustainable and positive mark on the world and in the lives of others.

Written by Meredith Dowling
Lincoln Resident 2017

Photo credit: MaRS Minds & The Don Dunstan Foundation

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