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IUPUI Students Reflect on How They Would Change the World


December 12, 2011

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Drawing on their passions and work and family experiences, senior students at IUPUI told how they would “Change the World.”

They made brief presentations in the semester-ending Tourism, Conventions and Event Management class taught by Dr. Amanda Cecil that focused on the theme of IUPUI’s Common Theme Project of how to change the world through social entrepreneurship. The students’ last assignment was to identify a social issue that they are most passionate about and to talk about how they could influence and advocate for change.

As David Bornstein, author of the book “How to Change the World” noted: Social entrepreneurs are driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities, refuse to give-up and remake the world for better.

To make life better, several students had to look no further than what they saw while working in the food service industry and hotels.

One student outlined her plans for a restaurant that would not only serve food promoting a sustainable, healthy life-style, but nourish the needs of the community by also serving as a community center and soup kitchen, all the while encouraging idealism. Her vision: Grow food, community and youth.

Two other students who work in the food service industry were passionate about what they see regularly at work: large quantities of untouched food being thrown away. Each had developed plans to salvage food that would otherwise be thrown away for use by food pantries, shelters, and other organizations.

One way to change the world for the better would be to ban Reality TV, said another student. The current crop of Reality TV shows breed obsessions with winning and greed and leads to bad morals and disrespect among impressionable youngsters who are often attracted as viewers, he contended.

Other world changing ideas proposed by students:

•Educating students, in contrast to training them to pass standardized tests.
•Eliminating the word retarded, because no one deserves to be labeled or made fun of, through initiatives such a “best buddies” program in every K-12 school in Indiana.
•Assist with adoptions by providing a resource center that will help with counseling for parents and children, mentoring, camps and scholarship programs.
•Random acts of kindness, because it is the little things that count.
•Provide soccer and golfing gear to needy children in U.S. and abroad.
•Inspire hotels to assist families who must travel to obtain medical treatment for a family member.
•Helping primary caregivers taking care of an elderly person with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
•Donating blood.