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.

SEASIN Interview Series: Waranya Chaiyapoomsakun

SEASIN Interview Series: Waranya Chaiyapoomsakun

What’s your name? Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name is Waranya Chaiyapoomsakun and I’m a third year student studying at Faculty of Social Science. My major is Political Science. I have a passion to work with kids.

What do you think the most important social challenges are at the moment? (In your city? Or in your country? Or globally?)

The most important social challenge in my opinion is education. I used to study at the Opportunity Expansion School and the quality of teaching and academic resources were not as good as other schools at the same level. One teacher taught various subjects but he or she was not qualified to teach due to lack of proper knowledge in subjects they taught. As a result, students’ knowledge was limited and not good enough to be improved.

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

I joined the English club and there were some foreign volunteers to teach English to us who lived up-country. Both teachers and students were satisfied with studying with foreign teachers so O-Net scores of our school were higher and kids were not afraid of talking to foreigners.

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

Yes. Doing volunteer work up-country, sharing knowledge to kids, creating children’s books, helping build a library or doing whatever you are good at to help kids get more opportunities for learning were great.

What did you learn at the SEASIN studio? 

I’ve learned from taking part in activities such as group discussion on the most important problems we’ve faced today in order to share our idea and try to think out of the box. It’s also a way to find solutions for people who have common problems.

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

Yes, but I thought the workshop length was too short so we were not able to find new thinking process clearly. Joining SEASIN studio made me change a bit anyway. When it comes to joining activities, I used to focus only on myself but after I joined this activity, I tend to listen more to surrounding people and my team to achieve our objectives.

What does ‘social innovation’ mean to you?

It could probably mean cooperation by various factors in society gathering together to solve problems effectively and in the long run. Activities can be conducted such as launching projects to deal with unresolved issues.

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

I think it’s important because universities can guarantee and build up trust. If universities take part in any activities, people or participants are likely to have trust that it will have more chance to be successful as the reputation of university is something they can trust on.

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

Universities can provide spaces for students to share problems they’ve faced through activities or student clubs and they could finally find the best solutions to tackle problems occurred.

SEASIN Interview Series: Farah Syuhada

SEASIN Interview Series: Farah Syuhada

What’s your name? Tell us a bit about yourself. 

My name is Farah Syuhada and I am a masters students in UiTM Shah Alam. I am passionate about creating possible solutions of existing problems and helping others in achieving a better quality life – no matter how small or how big it might be.

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

As of recently, there are worries of how graduates from educational courses, especially, are still unemployed despite graduated since a year ago and have gone through the interview process in order to be an educator.

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

Coming from educational courses myself, it does worries me a little. However, students or graduates (not only graduates from educational faculty) have to take initiative for themselves. What I did in order to overcome it myself is to engage in different skills that could potentially be useful in future employments. What I hope to do is to create awareness on the self-initiative strategy that the graduates can employ in order to get hired. What I also hope to do is to create awareness and platform somewhere along the sayings that goes ‘if they cannot get the jobs, create them’.

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

The most important role the students might have to take on is being the workforce in translating ideas into actual work. Since students are mostly young and healthy, they should take on these challenges head on. With the guidance of lecturers and supervisors, students can also be the generator of possible ideas and creators of innovation that could actually be used in solving certain social problems.

What did you learn at the SEASIN studio?

What I learnt for the SEASIN studio was that in creating solutions, you need different sets of eyes in helping to create a flawless and ideal solutions. Different perspectives brings out different angles that needed to be looked upon which is impossible to do alone. Networking and strategies about executing it are also part of the lessons that I’ve learnt.

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

It definitely introduced me to brilliant ideas and new ways of working/thinking that really gave me different perspectives in social innovation. It does not necessarily change my perspective but it really does add on, on my views of certain things.

What does ‘social innovation’ mean to you?

Social innovations are new strategies, solutions and ideas in meeting the needs of social challenges that could create a better quality in civil community.

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

I think universities have the greatest degree of roles in the community as they have the educators and students that not only act as the workforce but also act as hubs in creating ideas and solutions to the problems at hand. Universities also have one of the largest networking that would help in approaching those problems.

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

In my opinion, universities should create or create hubs/centres where students of different courses background can submit ideas and those ideas will be openly discussed among the students in order to fill in the gaps or loopholes that might be overlooked. This ways, students’ ideas are not totally dismissed but improved upon. Not only that, involving students from different backgrounds of courses will give them a glimpse of what other problems that might exist outside of their own capacity of their own learning. These hopefully will create a better environment to create students with great problem-solving and innovation skills.