30 July 2014

unijam posterUnijam, the University of South Australia’s 38-hour online crowd-sourced collaboration for staff, students, alumni and friends has won the University top marks for innovation.

The online brainstorming conversation supported by IBM technology was a first for any university globally and has earned UniSA the ABA 100 Award for Innovation at The Australian Business AwardsVice Chancellor Professor David Lloyd says he is delighted to see the work leading up to, during, and post unijam, recognised in The Australian Business Awards for 2014.

“This was a bold idea but one that was embraced with such enthusiasm and genuine engagement from the University community that it was bound to be successful,” Prof Lloyd says.

“UniSA is a community that extends beyond campuses and borders and one which is deeply invested in planning a strong future for the University.  Being able to harness their ideas through IBM’s online engagement platform and create the unijam collaboration has been so rewarding.”

UniSA staged the 38-hour online conversation in May last year to allow wide engagement with ideas around planning for the future of the University.  More than 7,600 people across 60 countries took part in the conversation, including hundreds of current students, graduates and invited guests.

Prof Lloyd says the award acknowledges the enormous amount of work that went into staging the event and the contribution people in the UniSA community made by participating.

“Among the remarkable data surrounding unjam across the 38 hours is that participants spent accumulated time of about 130 million seconds in conversation about education, teaching and research,” Prof Lloyd says.

“That’s about equal to 20 years work’s worth of time focussed on improving what we do and how we do it.

“Unijam gave us a comprehensive and instantaneous means to be able to identify and talk about the major issues of our university, then use our insights to co-create our new strategic action plan.”

Prof Lloyd says unijam informed the development of the strategic plan, Crossing the Horizon, which is being rolled out over the next five years and gave the University a list of “quick wins” that staff and students had raised as high priority.

 “Within 12 months of undertaking the consultation we have already confirmed and delivered on a range of developments – initiating the Magill education precinct, advancing construction of a new Great Hall, and delivering new services for students including free shuttle buses, street art, a student campus clothing range, smoke free status for our campuses and importantly, a way to continue to engage through an online suggestion box,” Prof Lloyd says.

 The Australian Business Awards are a national, all-encompassing awards program honouring Australia’s business, innovation and technology leaders through the recognition of their ground-breaking vision, innovative products and exemplary execution of projects, technologies, service, programs, systems and other initiatives.

Media contact: Michèle Nardelli office: 08 8302 0966 mobile: 0418 823 673 email: Michele.nardelli@unisa.edu.au


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