The University of Northampton has a significant profile as a leader for social innovation and social impact. In 2013, the University was recognised by AshokaU as a ‘Changemaker Campus’—a designation that reflects the University’s commitment to catalysing positive social change.

As we seek ways to embody Changemaker values as an institution, it is vital that we consider how to embed social innovation and social impact into the curriculum. Ultimately, it is our mission to develop students as agents of positive social change, and we have a tremendous opportunity to support that development through our learning and teaching activities.

Being named a Changemaker Campus has been a source of pride, as well as a source of continued momentum, for the past year. Multiple initiatives have been launched that champion the Changemaker theme. Among these is the EmbedCM project that aims to develop a sustainable model of education for social innovation and social impact. Visit our Changemaker in the Curriculum page to read more about EmbedCM.

We value the range of ways we understand what being a Changemaker Campus means. Research by Alden Rivers, Nie and Armellini (2015) found that academic staff at the University of Northampton held five different conceptions of Changemaker:

  1. Changemaker as institutional strategy
  2. Changemaker as critical thinking, problem solving and perspective shifting
  3. Changemaker as enhancing employability
  4. Changemaker as social betterment
  5. Changemaker as personal transformation

Assessing for Changemaker diagram

Further research by Alden Rivers, Armellini and Nie (2014) outlined 14 attributes for social innovation and social impact, based on the five conceptions of Changemaker. Although still in draft form (and requiring validation through further research), these 14 attributes are a starting point for designing learning outcomes and assessment for Changemaker. Please download the Changemaker attributes for social innovation and social impact table for further information.

Table 1: Alden Rivers, Armellini & Nie (2014)