A Simple Idea

By Jessamyn Lau 


A group of BYU student leaders involved in building social innovation on campus have come up with a fabulously simple tool: Changemaker Maps.

They realised that every new student who came through the Ballard Centre’s doors (centre for social innovation on BYU’s campus), had to sit down and have the same conversation with a student leader or a staff member to get them oriented. They were essentially communicating the same information to many students again and again as new students tried to figure out where they could do to be involved, what social innovation classes they could take that would fit with their major, and what the possibilities were for them at the intersection of their field of learning and social innovation. So the student leaders created Changemaker Maps, which now sit in hard copy form at the entrance of the Ballard Centre, as well as online.

Each map is designed for students from a different discipline or college on campus (business, engineering, sociology, etc), includes a field overview, model in the field, listings of on-campus clubs and orgs to get involved with, as well as internships, resources and classes to explore.

Simple in design and content. Effective in helping orient many new students to come.

It’s not necessarily the most novel or groundbreaking idea, but absolutely useful in this and probably many other situations. We all know that the information most people need for any given task is already out there, but it’s breaking down the barrier to access, or creating more intuitive organisation of that information that makes all the difference to people actually getting that information they need.