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Innovation Institute Showcase

February 28, 2014

Dear Campus Community,

From all the conversations I’ve had with people this year about “The Colorado College Plan: Building on the Block,” it’s evident how excited many are about innovation at CC. I am just as excited to announce the next step to reaching our goal of establishing an Innovation Institute. 

We reached this point when, last October, a group of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members spent an entire Saturday brainstorming what an Innovation Institute should look like at Colorado College. They agreed it should empower students to combine their passions with what they learn in the classroom and the activities they pursue outside of it. 

Of course, innovation is not new to Colorado College. As one of our faculty members recently expressed, the entire place is actually an innovation institute. By its very nature, the liberal arts require navigating uncomfortable territory and taking risks. In addition, many of our co-curricular programs, including the State of the Rockies Project, the Public Interest Fellowship Program, Venture Grants, the Big Idea, the Global Social Internship program, and the I.D.E.A. Space help students extend their creative thinking beyond their coursework and turn awareness into action. As a result, the group recommended the college host an Innovation Institute Showcase this spring that demonstrates the exciting innovations already occurring on campus.   

The Showcase will include provocative events and inspiring speakers. On Monday, April 7, we will hear from Dan Pallotta, who invented the multi-day charitable event industry with the AIDS rides and breast cancer three-day events. These events enabled ordinary individuals to make an extraordinary difference, and raised $582 million in nine years. Pallotta is the author of “Uncharitable: How Restraints on Nonprofits Undermine Their Potential,” the best-selling title in the history of Tufts University Press, and the founder and president of advertising for Humanity and the Charity Defense Council. His TED Talk “The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong,” is one of the top 50 most-viewed presentations. His talk at CC is titled: “The Why of Innovation: Great Innovation Comes from Great Purpose.”

On Tuesday, April 8, we welcome Michael Soulé, founder and former president of the Society for Conservation Biology and The Wildlands Network. He has written and edited nine books and more than 100 articles on biology, conservation biology, and the social and policy context of conservation. In 1998, Audubon magazine named Soulé one of the 100 Champions of Conservation of the 20th century. He speaks and writes on ethics and conservation, serves on the boards of several conservation organizations, and consults internationally on nature protection. He will present under the 2013-14 Rockies Project Focus: “Large Landscape Conservation in the Rockies: Exploring New Conservation Paradigms for the 21st Century.” 

The goal of the Showcase is to celebrate Colorado College innovation and to facilitate further discussion for the vision of the Institute. By highlighting the creative work of our students and faculty, demonstrating the opportunities available at CC, and offering thought-provoking talks from world-renowned speakers, we hope to galvanize our already adventurous community around innovation. 

Mark your calendars — the Showcase is April 7-9.  Watch for details and the schedule of events in the coming weeks.

Warm regards,