Innovation & Entrepreneurship

La Trobe University defines the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Essential as follows:

Innovation relates to the introduction of the new; renewal, and change. Entrepreneurship at La Trobe refers to seizing opportunities and managing them effectively to realise their potential. La Trobe students will develop skills and knowledge in innovation and entrepreneurship, to include:

  • understanding and experiencing the dynamics of change;
  • the generation and effective management of new ideas
  • the ability to network, forge partnerships, collaborate and effectively communicate;
  • flexibility and creativity in developing ideas, and in resolving complex problems;
  • the capacity to apply theory, locate and synthesise knowledge resources, prioritise action and manage associated risks.”

Your Quick Guide to Innovation & Entrepreneurship

What is the Essence of Innovation & Entrepreneurship?

– Three key ideas: Dynamic Change, New Ideas and How to Develop & Manage These

Dynamic Change: Students need to be actively involved in some type of change process during their learning, and reflecting on this so that they more clearly understand what change has happened, how, and at least partly why.

Generating New Ideas: Students need to have opportunities to generate their own new ideas as part of learning. They need to have opportunities to identify these new ideas and to reflect on how they came about.

Developing and Managing New Ideas: Students need to have opportunities to manage the new ideas they generate, so that they develop and get clarified – so that outcomes of having and idea become more tangible/practical. They also need to have the experience of working together, or with others outside the subject, to experience collaborate as part of their processes of change, generating new ideas and managing these. This will include having opportunities to effectively communicate with other students/outside collaborators in the development of ideas. Some of these ideas and their implementation will not be easy, and may well involve understanding the complexity of the issues they are grappling with.

Part of the purpose of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship is to ensure that students understand the wider perspectives of creativity and flexibility in their discipline/topic. For the subject coordinator/developer, this means understanding the complexity of interactions, and intersections between different disciplines, that are often involved when new ideas are developed and brought to fruition.

So it is important that students have some exposure to the wider, creative contexts of their study, and how to think about, and gain experience, in having an early try at developing and pursuing the implementation of a new idea.

Can I&E Cover Just One Dimension Of The Essential e.g. Exposure to Change?

No – the definition of I&E requires that all elements of innovation and entrepreneurship be considered together, or at least in a complete sequence. Students need to gain an understanding of what is required for change, and at then experience the process of creation and management of new ideas themselves. Students also need to gain some experience of collaborating with others on the process of generating and managing ideas, how to be flexible and how to address the opportunities and risks associated with bring ideas to practical fruition.

What Are Some Ways to Get Started?

You might want to consider which parts of the project give the most opportunity for students to develop their own ideas, having looked at existing knowledge, resources, circumstances and opportunities for change. You also need to consider how students are going to get opportunities to collaborate on development and management of new ideas, either with one another or with outside people/groups.

It is likely that your subject is going to accommodate these requirements through some type of collaborative project, so you need to consider where and how this occurs in your subject, and also how the various elements of the I & E Essential and going to be incorporated, and how they are going to be assessed.

How Overtly Do I Need to Cover Innovation & Entrepreneurship?

Innovation & Entrepreneurship needs to be an overt part of the subject, but preferably in ways that integrate or link with some issue or activity that is located in the discipline (see examples above, and in the Examples and Resources for Innovation & Entrepreneurship). Remember that I&E does not need to be in every part of the subject, but it needs to be sufficiently present to meet the requirements of the Essential – see Description above, and “What Formal Requirements Need to Be Met?” on the Getting Started page. The purpose of the Essential is to give students some practical experience of generating new ideas, and managing these, including collaborating with others so that they have a chance to come to fruition. It is intended that the I&E Essential expands the student view of their discipline, in ways that address issues of creativity and collaborative invention in the discipline – this will inevitably mean looking at the complexity of issues that these brings up for the discipline, including issues for which there are currently no clear directions of development. To some extent this places the staff member in a collaborative relationship with their students – looking together at the complexity and uncertainty of making change and generating new ideas, and trying to bring these into practical being, as this relates to the discipline/topic that is being explored, rather than the staff member being a source of pre-digested ideas or information. I&E encourages active, exploratory learning in students, and is highly amenable to team processes and projects.



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