SEASIN Interview Series: Dr. Marzlin Marzuki

SEASIN Interview Series: Dr. Marzlin Marzuki

I believe that students can become better problem solvers of future challenges if they can understand the real situation.

What’s your name? Tell us about yourself.

I am Dr Marzlin Marzuki, Head of Study Centre, Faculty of Accountancy at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Kedah Branch, Malaysia. I am passionate about helping the community. I would like to see the community gain knowledge and generate income to increase their economy. I am willing to extend my professional services as well as other possible assistance to help the community. In my opinion, helping the community would increase the sense of social responsibility.

What do you think the most important social challenges are at the moment? 

The most important social challenge is to educate the community to increase their economy. Currently, my group members transfer our professional knowledge in designing branding and packaging, marketing and maintaining account records low income communities that produce traditional cookies. The sharing of knowledge provides the community with a chance to learn from experts in a non-formal context and improve their level of income.

How do you think students or young people can play a role in helping solve these challenges?

Students and young people can play a role in helping these challenges by providing an avenue for the students to contribute to the society. They should be exposed to activities or programs that would engage them to work with the community or society. In fact, there are various potential ideas that can be drawn from the students to assist the community.

What did you learn at the SEASIN studio?

I have learnt a systematic way to implement the social innovation project during the SEASIN studio workshop. In fact, there are many ideas that can be converted into the social innovation project. Indeed, SEASIN studio has changed my perspective on social innovation initiatives. For me social innovation are initiatives that would benefit the community at large.

Do you think it is important that university play a role in the community that is more than as academia? How?

In my opinion, universities can play an important role to help the community. Universities can provide human resources in terms of academia as well as students to initiate project that can benefit the society/community. Academics can apply their knowledge to assist the community. The academics can guide the students to assist the community within their ability. This win win situation between the university and the community would increase the rapport between these two entities. Subsequently, it promotes the life-long learning process between the academia, students and community. I believe that students can become better problem solvers of future challenges if they can understand the real situation.

SEASIN Interview Series: Shwe Yee Mya

SEASIN Interview Series: Shwe Yee Mya

As the future of communities and the country lies in our hands, students can play a role in helping solve these challenges.

What’s your name? Tell us about yourself.

I am Shwe Yee Mya. Now, I am a fourth year student at Cooperative University, Thanlyin. My specialized major is Social Enterprise Management. I am passionate about thinking and solving social problems and I would like to provide facilities to social excluded vulnerable and marginalized groups. So, I decided that I must become a professional person in solving the social problems of the community. It is very difficult to become one, but I never give up. If I have a chance, I want to learn further study about Social Innovation. I will serve in reducing poverty alleviation for my country’s benefits. Now, I am a member and user of TCU SISU as well as participating in Waste Recycling project.

What do you think the most important social challenges are at the moment? 

I think there are many social challenges that we are facing in our country. As my opinion, Environmental pollution is the first thing to be solved because this may alter the ecosystem and cause hazards to organisms. In environmental pollution, there are many facts which may cause pollution. But, I think people use plastic every day. Plastic is a dangerous thing for organisms because it is a persistent pollutant. Moreover, it may cause many diseases and may make the environment dirty. The social issues for orphans and vulnerable children who may be the future pillars of our country are the second thing to be solved.

What are you doing to address this challenge or what do you hope to do?

Now, I am participating in the Waste Recycling small project of TCU SISU to address these challenges. We collect the recyclable things in recycle bins and sell them. After we get money, we donate it to philanthropic associations and some becomes loans for low-income people. Our main objectives are to reduce the waste problem in our community and provide knowledge to people that plastic can be used as a recyclable product. Later, I would like to provide and support proper vocational training for vulnerable people. I hope that people who participate in this project may have a teamwork spirit, social entrepreneurial intentions, environmental awareness, knowledge and understanding in students to prevent future damage.

How do you think students or young people can play a role in helping solve these challenges?

I think students or young people are the backbone of society and hence they determine the future of society. As the future of communities and the country lies in our hands, students can play a role in helping solve these challenges. Young people have a role in renewing and refreshing the current status of our society including leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship skills, etc. For example, we can find a lot of young university students interested in philanthropy who works as a part-time volunteer looking after orphans and older people. In social organizations such as NGOs, INGOs, and social enterprises, they participate as apprentices.

 

What did you learn at the SEASIN studio?

At the SEASIN studio, I got a lot of knowledge, such as how to set the objective, how to plan a project, how to address barriers and how to implement the project and so on. I learned the functional analysis to solve the most important social problems in the community. At the studio, we considered many basic facts of the problem and we classified the most possible facts to solve it. Finally, we were able to accommodate the problem solving methods.

Has the SEASIN studio introduced you to new ways of thinking or working? Has it changed your perspective or your behaviour?

This studio makes me understand the importance of teamwork, and how to communicate with other people to achieve our goals. Moreover, it also gave me more self confidence when I speak to my teacher, my friends and other people. I am proud of attending this workshop which had a tremendous effect on my personal skills such as presentation skills, communication skills and creative thinking ideas. After attending this workshop, I have not only been generating ideas but also getting new ways to solve the social problems systematically.

What does ‘social innovation’ mean to you?

For me, ‘social innovation’ means ideas that bring value to society. In other words, social innovation is the application of new ideas to solve the social problems.

Do you think it is important that university play a role in the community that is more than as academia? How?

Yes, I think it is important that university play a role in the community. The universities mostly provide higher education degree. However, there are a lot of social needs and problems in the community. Therefore, universities should link together with the stakeholders to address for these challenges. So, the universities should provide not only academia for students but also provide vocational training, career and skill development programs for the community.

What can universities do to help students become better problem solvers of future challenges?

In my opinion, universities can help students by providing a higher degree of social innovation, linking the external experts in order to get knowledge and advice, listening to their voice about how they want to implement their dreams, and they can also allow students to participate in small projects of the university which can benefit society.

SEASIN Interview Series: Nyein Nyein Thaw

SEASIN Interview Series: Nyein Nyein Thaw

If the universities nurture young people not only academically but also practically, it can have positive effects for the community.

What’s your name? Tell us about yourself.

My name is Nyein Nyein Thaw. I’m studying a masters course of accounting and finance at the Co-operative University, Thanlyin. I’m a volunteer of ESC (Myanmar). I propose to be a member of innovation and creative paper art and crafts project. I want to remind people to have awareness about the environment, to share knowledge, ideas and ways how to conserve resources sand how to improve our society. I also would like to console depressed people and help to reduce their sadness.

What do you think the most important social challenges are at the moment? 

There are social challenges in many areas of our society. However, I think the most important social challenges at the moment in our country are unemployment and pollution.

What are you doing to address this challenge or what to do you hope to do?

Addressing social challenges should be seen as the main aims of the community. To solve the unemployment problem, we need to create more job opportunities. It needs to involve more entrepreneurship firms and the ability to produce goods domestically. Currently, people want to get good jobs and jobs want skilful and experienced people. So, the problem needs the educational sector to be improved and many part time jobs to be created for students. By means of our country, it should produce more agricultural food and to raise national productivity.

To solve the pollution problem, the government should adopt rules and regulations about the waste and protect this through the law. The law also needs to be enforced and the citizens need to abide the law. Bins should be put at many places and many recycle processes should be done. We should try to substitute things that can easily decay instead of plastic.

How do you think students or young people can play a role in helping solve these challenges?

Young people can play a role in helping solve these challenges. They’re very important because they’re active, fresh, energized, curious, and keep in touch with modern technology. They’re enthusiastic to fight against the challenges. They also understand the current situation.

What did you learn at the SEASIN studio?

At the SEASIN studio, I learned new ideas, creative thinking, and campaigns. I learnt that coordination and negotiation are important to solve a problem. 

Has the SEASIN studio introduced you to new ways of thinking or working?

The SEASIN studio has introduced me to new ways of expressing my opinion and ideas to combine with the ideas of others. I realized that when a project is implemented to solve the social problem, it also needs to investigate society’s perception about this impact. And I’m getting more interested in how to participate in social activities.

 

What does social innovation mean to you?

Social innovation means to me the improving of existing things and developing new things by using resources efficiently and effectively. It must have social impact and be beneficial for the society.

Do you think it is important that universities play a role in the community that is more than as academia?

Yes, I think. Because universities have many young and knowledgeable people. If the universities nurture these young people not only academically but also practically, it can have positive effects for the community. The universities create teamwork. For an instance, at our university, some teachers are performing some projects such as recycle processes, teaching handicraft. Our university also gives information to participate as a volunteer in some enterprises and knowledge by outside experts and business owners.

What can universities do to help students become better problem solvers of future challenges?

Universities can hold debates and group competitions. They can get students to study cases, to evaluate cause and effect, to find ways to solve problems and to think how to plan different ways to work towards sustainability.

SEASIN Interview Series: Shoon Lae Sandar Oo

SEASIN Interview Series: Shoon Lae Sandar Oo

Social innovation is the ideas that are more efficient, more effective, fairer, and sustainable to solve social needs and issues.

What’s your name? Tell us about yourself

My name is Shoon Lae Sandar Oo. I am a second year specializing in Social Enterprise Management at Co-operative University, Thanlyin, Myanmar. I have a strong desire to achieve a social entrepreneurship business venture as a career path after graduation. Then, I would like to solve the social issues in the community through my business profits. So I decided to become a social entrepreneur to create jobs and the conditions for a prosperous society. As I haven’t graduated yet, I want to obtain extensive knowledge in the field of social innovation as part of my further studies. Therefore, I wish to study social entrepreneurship, community development and social innovation in overseas universities.   

What do you think the most important social challenges are at the moment? 

I think that there are many social challenges in our city, our country and globally. In my opinion, for my country firstly, not having a job is one of the social issues. Unemployment always challenges people. Constant unemployment affects people’s future ability to find a job, their psychological well-being and more. Even the employed people are affected by unemployment because of the ripple effects. Secondly, disability barriers is a big social problem because it means disabled people don’t have the same chance as normal people. They don’t have the job opportunities. Thirdly, social problems of street children who are experiencing poverty, homelessness, abuse and lack of parenthood, low education… is another important social challenges I think.

What are you doing to address this challenge or what do you hope to do?

The first point is that many citizens across our country agree to solve unemployment is a priority for both government and citizens as our country is developing as well as in its transition. Mostly, women and men who have a lack of education are facing difficulties because they don’t have so many job opportunities. So, I will give the job by providing vocational training to them. In my point of view, I have many ideas to train them in how to sew clothes, how to make arts and crafts and so on. Also, I would like to generate learning opportunities for disabled people by providing a vocational training with proper guidance and genuine care to achieve a status of being a sensational person. In addition, I would like to provide adequate health, education and social services for street children by creating and supporting outreach education and training to them.

How do you think students and young people can play a role in helping solve these challenges? 

We can participate and support in solving the social problems of our community as members, alumni, stakeholders, vocational trainers, SISU users and volunteers, etc. I am now participating in the waste recycling and social innovation project under the TCU SISU activities. I can help in solving these challenges by providing a proper vocational training of making handicraft products and sewing patterns designer clothing for unemployed people, disables and street children.

What did you learn at the SEASIN studio?

I learned a lot of lessons from the SEASIN studio workshop in regard to which problem is the most important in the society, how to solve the social problem, how to design the project plan, how to create a project with the mode of project management and how to implement the project. Moreover, I gained communication and presentation skills, team work spirit, creative and innovative ideas and more extensive knowledge than I had before.

Has the SEASIN studio introduced you to new ways of thinking and working?

Yes, I had a lot of new ways of thinking and working in my personal skills, thanks to the SEASIN studio. After attending this studio, I could speak and discuss with my friends about the project implementation process and how to identify and solve the social problems. It has a tremendous effect on my education by providing me with the opportunities and enhancing my personal skills such as creative thinking, innovative ideas, communication, presentation and team work skills related to my SEASIN studio experiences.

What does ‘social innovation’ mean to you?

Social innovation is the ideas that are more efficient, more effective, fairer, and sustainable to solve social needs and issues.

Do you think it is important that university play a role in the community that is more than as academia? How?

From my point of view, every university should provide higher education to the students to achieve academic qualification as well as the professional and skill development training to marginalized people to achieve a unique status in the community. It is also important that universities play a role in the community because there are many social needs in the society such as risk and vulnerability, jobless, mental health problems and so on. Therefore, we should work together with the stakeholders to help and support in solving the social challenges and reducing the poverty for the local areas surrounding our university.

What can universities do to help students become better problem solvers of future challenges?

Universities can help students by providing and enhancing the knowledge of social innovation: how to create ideas, meet the social needs in the society to become better problems solvers of future challenges. Moreover, universities can support technical and service trainings such as computer skills, arts and crafts, sewing designing skills, customer service skills in turn, we can share these knowledge and experiences with those who are socially excluded – the marginalized, and disadvantaged people.

SEASIN Interview Series: Chit Aein Thu

SEASIN Interview Series: Chit Aein Thu

“Universities should play a main role to teach students to become more socially responsible and to also become more innovative.”

What’s your name? Tell us about yourself 

My name is Chit Aein Thu, I am the Founder of CCEducare Myanmar, a social enterprise organization in Myanmar. I am an advocate for quality education and youth empowerment.

What do you think the most important social challenges are at the moment? 

In our country, I believe that the education system is outdated and does not fit into the modern society anymore. The curriculums are no longer relevant and do not enable students in the real working life. At the same time, the access to quality education is very low, especially in Myanmar.

What are you doing to address this challenge or what do you hope to do?

I am currently introducing online learning to reduce the limitation of quality education access using information technology. We envision Myanmar to become a country where all the students can have access to equal education.

How do you think students and young people can play a role in helping solve these challenges?

Students should be encouraged to become innovative and to solve challenges outside of normal means.

What did you learn at the SEASIN studio? 

During the SEASIN Studio, I learned how social challenges involve the consideration of related parties and their efforts and also how actions can be planned well in advance through the design workshop.

Has the SEASIN studio introduced you to new ways of thinking/working? Has it changed your perspective or your behaviour?

Yes, SEASIN Studio taught me new ways of thinking and more effective designing in creating solutions.

 

What does ‘social innovation’ mean to you?

To me, ‘social innovation’ is being creative and discovering new ways of solving social issues to improve better communities.

Do you think it is important that universities play a role in the community that is more than as academia?

Definitely yes. Universities should play a main role to teach students to become more socially responsible and to also become more innovative.

What can universities do to help students become better problem solvers of future challenges?

There will always be new challenges that we will face in the future. Universities can teach students the innovation process steps such as identifying the problem, generating an idea, and then implementing and monitoring those ideas.