What I learned from the effort of seeking novel solutions

28 07 2009

By: Arita Liu

First of all, this Social Innovation course opens up a door for me to see a different world, which otherwise could never come across my life. While I have been aware there are all kinds of social problems, it never occurred to me that I could have a chance to deal with some of them in depth and try to come up with solutions to help. The guest speakers, who are the experts dedicated to solving various social problems, brought me much insights into those issues. It is a valuable chance to be able to share their knowledge and experiences. They are admirable in their brilliance and persistent efforts in trying to making this world a better place.

Working on the issue of homelessness has been an especially valuable experience. I get to understand better the causes of homelessness and how groups of people have been working hard against difficulties to help the homeless persons. The more I know about this issue, the more problems as well as opportunities reveal themselves: lack of funding, federal and provincial policies on tax credit, economic incentives, social stigma, physical and psychological drawbacks all came to board at different levels of the process. The width and depth of the issues  that we need to research into and tackle with make the experience a bit frustrating and stressful, as we were trying to explore into the fields where we have little knowledge of. However, it was also a perfect learning process. I think my research ability is much better, and I learned to critically think about the issue by addressing its different facets and seeking information from various sources. What makes the experience more enjoyable is the fact that people do care about what we are doing and are more than willing to provide help.

I also learned from my teammates, who are intelligent, enthusiastic and supportive. The model is the result of our collective efforts and the combination of the skills from each of us. Our professor has always been there for us, which makes the entire process a lot more easier. Sincere thanks to everyone who have been involved and kindly offered help.

Coming up with a novel solution turned out to be hard, but not impossible. This course is precious in that it initiates us into a journey of seeking novel solutions and learning in the process, not only learning knowledge, but also the society and people.

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