Meet Malvika Nair, a third-year Innis student and an OSL Social Innovation Ambassador.
I am an International Student from India, currently in third year. I am double majoring in Psychology and English.
The Innis Community for sure. We’re a small college, and the best thing about it is the immediate close knit community you have access right from the get-go. I lived on Residence for the first two years of university and it is where I made my closest friends in university. In fact, my roommate currently are people I have been friends with since my Frosh Week! Moving away from home and the chaos of university can be terrifying, but when you have this feeling of community and support it makes the transition so much easier.
Somewhere tropical for sure! I was in India over winter break, and am itching to be back. I am still not sure I am built for Canadian winters.
It has to be a tie between the ENG220: Shakespeare course, and PSY270: Introduction to Cognitive Psych.
Well I am working with the U of T Student Life, Communication Team as part of my work study, and of course with the Innis Office of Student Life. I am also currently part of a U of T Dance team based in UTSC. I have also written for the Innis Herald over the last three years, and tend to Facebook stalk cool events from all sorts of clubs and organizations around campus.
I am one of two Social Innovation Ambassadors with the Innis Office of Student Life. This is a pilot program conducted by Innis College in collaboration with The Agency, an organization dedicated to facilitating the exploration of social innovation and entrepreneurship at U of T. The program is designed to introduces students to the field of social innovation. As Social Innovation Ambassadors, we are tasked with programming the content and events that will appeal to and help students the most. This has been a great learning experience so far, I have had the opportunity to interact with some incredible people in the fields of social innovation and entrepreneurship and am also learning so many skills on the job – such as marketing and event management. It’s really cool.
Defining social innovation can be a tricky process as it covers a very wide range of ideas. Simply put, for me personally, social innovation is problem solving. That is any model, strategy, idea, organization or concepts that works to address social needs and resolve social issues is a form of social innovation. The result of these endeavors is social change. So, social entrepreneurship is an example of social innovation. A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem, and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to make social change
Social innovation is incredibly relevant to us as students. At University, one of the core skills we are taught is problem solving – while the nature of the problem, and the techniques we use to resolve it can vary considerable depending on one’s program of study, at the very root of our education is the aim and desire to find answers to questions that have previously remained either unanswered or unasked. Furthermore, we are going to have to live in the world we help create. By addressing social issues in the world, and trying to find solutions for them, we can create wide scale impact, that can re-shape our future into one much brighter.
I believe so many students are already social innovators and don’t know it. Whether it is by starting an environment club on campus that tries to find sustainable strategies to reduce waste, or by volunteering their time with a charity or non-profit organization, students can and ARE contributing to social change in so many different ways. What we are offering at Innis right now, is the chance to figure out how to transform this desire for change into a potential future career!
Well we have this great career oriented event coming up on January 17th where students will have the opportunity to interact with leading innovators, entrepreneurs and experts who have dedicated their careers to creating social change. This is a great opportunity for students who want to make a change in the world, but are not sure how exactly to go about it or who aren’t sure they can combine pay cheque and a social enterprise. We are here to show students that not only is it possible, but also how to go about it. The event is at Innis Café, from 4-6 on the 17th.
Beyond that we also have a Road Trip coming up later in this semester, which is incredibly exciting. Last semester we had taken a group of students to the Centre for Social Innovation to interact with incredible people like Luke Anderson, the founder of StopGap – a foundation working tirelessly to make Toronto a more accessible city overall. So a lot of cool things coming up this semester.
Well as they say, hindsight is truly the best teacher. First of all I would want first year me to know that its OK drop Life Science! It is not your area of interest and it’s only keeping you from studying what you want. Secondly, get involved in some extra-curricular activities beyond academics, don’t wait till second year! But we as students learn through our experiences and the mistakes we make, so I wouldn’t change all that much.