Over 500 attendees packed an overflowing auditorium at sunny Arizona State University’s Galvin Playhouse to hear a dozen leading thinkers speak about “Disruptive Innovation in Higher Education.” Among the speakers to the “by invitation only” TEDxAshokaU event on February 10, 2012 was Deshpande Foundation founder Desh Deshpande.
Speaking to the audience about “Getting Thinkers to Do and Doers to Think”, Desh highlighted how connecting innovators to mentors and entrepreneurs can help accelerate ideas to market. Conversely, he said, for social innovation the most important part is a deep understanding of the social issue. Here connecting these social innovators to professionals with business and process expertise helps build scalable, sustainable solutions.
He exhorted universities to view the society and the world as an extension of their laboratories and to encourage and facilitate students to identify and solve real life problems. This was an opportunity for today’s universities to create global citizens that can solve the challenges of the 21st century.
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. TEDxAshokaU was organized by AshokaU, the university division of Ashoka. Since co-founding the University Network for Social Entrepreneurship in 2005, Ashoka U has been at the forefront of the academic field of social entrepreneurship.