Deakin sets business challenge - bring us your sustainability-related problems, WOFIE will supply the brains to solve them

21 July 2011

Deakin University is calling on the Donald Trumps and Alan Sugars of industry to challenge its post graduate students with their best business, but sustainability- related problems.

Head of the Deakin Graduate School of Business, Professor Ross Chapman said the problems would be used as part of an Apprentice-style Workshop for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WOFIE).

"It won't be for the faint-hearted," he said.

"The workshop, which is being run by the university for the first time, will take place over five consecutive days (Oct 31 to Nov 4 inclusive) and involve interdisciplinary teams of postgraduate students working on the real problems set by business.

"Over the five days the students will attend presentations given by futurists, business leaders and other speakers who all specialise in one way or another in innovation or entrepreneurship."

Professor Chapman said the Deakin venture, which would to start in the University's third Trimester, had been modelled on workshops run at Aalborg University in Denmark.

"Ultimately the workshops will give the students the experience of working in an interdisciplinary environment to find smart solutions to real problems and then prepare a business plan to develop their ideas into a feasible business," he said.

Challenge co-ordinator and Industry Fellow, Steven Ogden-Barnes said the program was currently looking for business sponsors as well as business problem setters.

"We have decided that the theme this year will be Sustainability in Action," he said.

"Sustainability is increasingly underpinning business decision making and has been brought into sharp focus by recent events both nationally and internationally.

"Many businesses have faced reinvention and recovery in the face of natural crises.

"But crisis leads to innovative thinking.

"The creativity process often happens when our knowledge thresholds are reached and there is a failure in systems to cope. "

Mr Barnes said the WOFIE program in Denmark had seen many organisations benefit from the creative, structured and supported approach to sustainable problem solving, delivered in partnership with industry.

Further information:
Deakin WOFIE website

News facts
  • Apprentice-style Workshop for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (WOFIE) to be run at Deakin
  • WOFIE looking for business sponsors as well as business problem setters
  • Theme this year will be Sustainability in Action

Media contact

Sandra Kingston
Deakin Media Relations
0422 005 485

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21st July 2011