Students think big to solve real world problems

Young people will put their minds to the test to generate crazy “good” ideas that care for the planet and enable more people to live fulfilling and prosperous lives.

La Trobe University is teaming up with the Crazy Ideas College to equip young people with the skills and confidence to invent services, programs and products that enrich the lives of those within their community.

More than 60 students in Year 9, from four local secondary schools, will be taking part in the Social Innovators two-day program hosted by La Trobe’s Bendigo campus on Thursday and Friday.

Caitlin Rogers, Senior Engagement Coordinator at La Trobe University, said the Bendigo campus is honoured to be the host.

“The Social Innovators program will not only equip young minds with essential skills, but it will also serve as a nurturing ground for innovative ideas to flourish,” Caitlin said.

“La Trobe University believes in the power of these young innovators to drive positive change in our communities and beyond.

“We look forward to seeing their ideas come to life and are excited about the possibilities they will present for the Bendigo community.”

The students will work through a series of workshops using the design thinking process connecting empathy, social awareness and applying entrepreneurial skills to enact changes in their communities.

Cerasela Tanasescu, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at La Trobe, said creating awareness and education around social responsibility and creativity is essential for our future.

“This program has a strong alignment with La Trobe University’s mission to support regional initiatives and the future of our next wave of entrepreneurs and innovators,” Cerasela said.

Girton Grammar School, Crusoe College, Marist College and the Bendigo South East College are the four schools participating in the program.

On Friday, the students will present compelling pitches that inspire action to a panel of community partners, including the Bendigo Tech School, City of Greater Bendigo, Sustainability Victoria, Coliban Water and Victoria Police.

Kieran Murrihy, Founding Director at the Crazy Ideas College, said the program boosts engagement and the team are often surprised with the ideas young people come up with.

“We all benefit when we unlock the ingenuity, resourcefulness and optimism of young people,” Kieran said.

“That is why when young people participate in the CIC program they learn the methodologies, tools and mindsets that will enable them to build healthy and prosperous futures for themselves and their communities.”

Crazy Ideas College has engaged with more than 20,000 young people since its inception in 2018.

Media: Jess Whitty –, 0481 383 817