Verhoeven has just moved to South Australia from Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology to help establish a new suite of Innovation and Enterprise studies available for all students at Flinders University this year.
An estimated 70% of Australian graduates are starting careers in roles that will change or become obsolete within 10 to 15 years, according to The New World Order report (Foundation for Young Australians, 2015).
“Jobs for the future require students to develop an innovative, pro-active mindset and not be afraid to take initiative and create new solutions to difficult problems,” says senior lecturer Verhoeven, who has built a career assisting new business startups to meet a market niche with an innovative idea.
Students also need to experiment boldly, think outside the square and not be afraid to fail.
“Playing it safe may be the riskiest attitude for South Australia,” he says, pointing to turbulent times of industrial transformation in 2017 and beyond and new trends in science, technology and automation.
Entrepreneurship and creativity will be key factors in new industries and job creation, he says.
“Innovation is not about following rules. It is about change and breaking rules – the rules of the current status quo.
“In order to change and create true progress, we need to push the boundaries and understand that if our experiments do not fail, we have played it safe and have not tried hard enough.
“Bold new startup ventures embrace failure, do not fail with their head in the sand, but learn faster from failure without breaking the bank.”
Developed and driven by leaders in entrepreneurial education, the new Flinders courses are being informed by one of the top 10 American business schools for entrepreneurial studies, The Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Under the alliance, Fox lecturers will come to Flinders next month and throughout 2017 to conduct lectures in the new courses. Industry leaders will also play an integral part in teaching the subjects.
Flinders School of Business Innovation and Enterprise Program Director, Associate Professor Margaret Ledwith, says the new coursework is “hands-on, practical and fun”.
“By incorporating global best-practice in experiential and innovative education, we completely change students’ learning experience, engagement and outcomes for the better,” she says.
Associate Professor Ledwith says the courses and electives, based on ‘real-world’ case studies and applications, support students to “build transferrable skills that will enable you to be adaptable no matter what your career path”.
“We all know that the idea of a traditional career, working in the one job for the majority of your working life, is dramatically changing,” says Ledwith who comes to Flinders with similar entrepreneurship experience built overseas in Ireland and Europe.
“My vision is of a world where every individual is empowered to create their own future and to have the knowledge, skills and confidence to positively influence how we live, work and learn in the 21st century.
“To do this we need to embrace creative thinking, innovation, personal enterprise and entrepreneurship in our personal and professional lives – both in the education sector in South Australia and in the community,” she says.
The new courses will also be available to the wider business community through the Flinders New Venture Institute, which supports students, local startups and established businesses.
Based at the high-tech Tonsley innovation precinct, Flinders NVI Director Matthew Salier says the new electives and courses will enhance the study and collaboration opportunities at Tonsley.
“Along with the many NVI programs, including our incubation and co-working spaces, and Venture Dorm and other accelerator services for emerging entrepreneurs, the Tonsley precinct is a large-scale business incubator for the whole of South Australia,” Salier says.
Salier says the University’s core Innovation and Enterprise courses incorporate extensive consultation with industry.
“Being more entrepreneurial and creative in your thinking, through studying Innovation and Enterprise electives, will prepare you for your future career no matter what degree you choose to study.”
For more information go to: http://study.flinders.edu.au/ie/
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