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Deakin University's WOFIE (Workshop for Innovation and Entrepreneurship) offers organisations the opportunity to present a significant and topical challenge or issue to teams of elite postgraduate multi-discipline students.
Through the WOFIE initiative, Deakin University seeks to develop entrepreneurial skills and innovative thinking in our postgraduate student population, producing work-ready graduates who understand the new operational and competitive dynamics. Deakin also shares the value of University learning with participating organisations, fulfilling its core mission to bring about positive change in the individuals and communities which it serves.
Deakin's WOFIE program is closely aligned with the WOFIE program run by Denmark's Aalborg University and has been developed in collaboration with leading academics from Aalborg. This program has seen many organisations benefit from the creative, structured and supported approach to sustainable problem solving, delivered in partnership with industry.
In a competitive, results-focused 5 day workshop, cross-discipline postgraduate student teams will be mentored by innovation and entrepreneurship experts, University staff and alumni as they respond to the challenges presented by participating NFP organisations. The event culminates with the teams presenting their ideas to a panel of judges and sector experts who decide on the three best responses and select an overall winner. The winners share in a $10,000 prize pool!
The focus for this year's WOFIE event is once again Driving innovation and entrepreneurship in the NFP sector. The invaluable work of NFP organisations demands commitment, dedication and a focus on providing help and support where it is needed most. Many organisations in this sector - whether large or small, established or newly formed - face the significant challenges common to all organisations in competitive, evolving, complex stakeholder environments. Just like private sector or government organisations, these challenges may involve corporate governance, IT, marketing and promotion, fundraising, resource optimisation, efficiency, product or service design, stakeholder engagement or social media strategies. NFPs may, however, lack the resources, time or expertise to step back and consider creative and innovative approaches to these pressing issues.
Deakin believes that innovation and entrepreneurship are just as important for the future of NFPs as they are for private sector organisations in 2013. This initiative aims to foster the growth of these specific skills in the NFP sector by providing a dynamic forum in which talented Deakin students are empowered to explore new directions and propose creative solutions.