Let’s Make Our Binational Region a Hub for Social Innovation.

Friday, January 6, 2017TOPICS: Faculty and Staff

Kroc School Featured on San Diego Magazine's
begin quoteWe can do all the policy making and urban planning, we can create more nonprofits, but we’re still using the same logic to approach homelessness, inequity in the educational system, gender differences, and racial tensions.

Kroc School's Dean Márquez and 16 other local innovators were chosen by San Diego Magazine to share their ideas to make our city more prosperous, healthy, and kind. Dean Mearquez's big idea? Let's make our binational region a hub for social innovation! Read below.

By: Erin Meanley, Glenny with Kimberly Cunningham and Ann Wycoff

Let’s Make our Binational Region a Hub for Social Innovation.

Patricia Márquez, Dean, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego

In the same way we might look at a piece of art from several angles, Dean Patricia Márquez wants us to look at social issues from more than one angle and come up with new solutions. “We can do all the policy making and urban planning, we can create more nonprofits, but we’re still using the same logic to approach homelessness, inequity in the educational system, gender differences, and racial tensions,” she says.

As an example of social innovation, she cites a European organization that hosts soccer matches for homeless people. “It’s not just creating awareness of homelessness,” she says. “It’s giving a sense of integration. Does it solve that problem entirely? No, but is it something that is changing a dynamic and social relations and the way the community looks at the homeless? Yes. That’s the kind of thing that I want to nurture in San Diego.” Take our city’s large population of refugees—they’ve moved from a rural community to an urban one. Márquez suggests working with owners of abandoned lots to allow refugees from different areas to connect through urban agriculture.

How do we execute so many ideas? Márquez suggests developing a culture of empathy and problem solving early on. The next generation, she says, “Won’t just learn two plus two, but begin to see at an early age that math can contribute to solving the problems in our own community.”

As an educator, she’s giving students not just from USD, but all the universities here, including Tijuana, access to mentoring and advice for creating an org and getting funding. And this fall, she’s launching the new Master of Arts in Social Innovation (MASI) program. “It’s not just [talking about] how to change the world. We’re saying, ‘If you have those ideas, show us.’ Remember, solving people’s problems is not about being in an office with A/C. If we develop a generation who is hungry to see that they can contribute while making a living, then I think it’s a different story in the 21st century. I want to be part of that story.”

To read the full article visit: http://bit.ly/2iJfyKm

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Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies
krocschool@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-7919

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