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Newest ‘thinker’ in residence identifies social innovation model to entice millennials to Adelaide

The next ‘thinker’ for the new Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program has arrived in South Australia on a mission to encourage the state to think creatively to grow purpose-based jobs that appeal to millennials.

Internationally recognised social entrepreneur Suzi Sosa is a specialist ‘thinker’ to the Don Dunstan Foundation’s series of residencies, focusing on growing jobs in the social economy.

Ms Sosa, the co-founder and CEO of Verb, a global social enterprise based in Adelaide’s sister city, Austin, Texas, believes solving difficult social problems is rapidly taking on a new direction. “Governments, universities, not-for-profit organisations and companies are now coming together to address complex social challenges,” Ms Sosa says.

“This is a new wave of thinking, which is proving an effective way to collectively establish solutions that one organisation or sector wouldn’t be able to do on their own,” she says.

“Millennials who represent about 40 per cent of the workforce, are having a major impact, as they are demanding greater social responsibility from prospective employers.”

With the social economy the fastest growing section of the South Australian economy, Ms Sosa believes it’s the key to making the state more appealing to millennials.

“Young entrepreneurs want an attractive place to live, strong leadership, mentors, low-cost living options and access to capital,” Ms Sosa says.

“These are the drivers for a vibrant culture which can attract young innovators to remain in a location or even relocate there.”

Don Dunstan Foundation Executive Director David Pearson says it’s an exciting opportunity to welcome Ms Sosa to South Australia as part of the 18-month program to help build the social economy here.

“The main objective of Social Capital Residencies is to grow jobs in the social economy by doing good better. It’s great to have people like Suzi here to help us do that.”

Ms Sosa’s visit coincides with Entrepreneurs Week in South Australia (3 July – 7 July) where she is guest speaker at local events including:

  • Entrepreneurs Week Opening Event, Monday 3 July at the Adelaide Convention Centre
  • The Institute for Public Administration (IPAA) 2017 Intrapreneurship Forum, Thursday 6 July at Adelaide Oval
  • Social Capital Conference: Scaling up – growing the social economy, Friday 7 July at Light Square House, Adelaide

Ms Sosa’s arrival follows the recent visit by internationally renowned social innovator Allyson Hewitt, from the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, Canada. Ms Hewitt is the primary ‘thinker’ for the Social Capital Residencies and will return to Adelaide in September.

The Don Dunstan Foundation has partnered with universities, businesses, governments and the community organisations to deliver the series of residencies.

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