Celebrating Social Innovation at BYU

PROVO, Utah – Oct 12, 2012 – It’s now easier than ever to make a positive impact on the world, thanks to Changemaker Week — an event hosted October 15 – 19 by the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance.

“This week is a chance for BYU students to see how they can make a difference both in their communities and around the world,” says Todd Manwaring, Ballard Center director. “Students will be able to gain ideas and learn the steps that will empower them to become changemakers.”

The weeklong celebration is inspired by BYU’s recent designation as a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka U, a subset of Ashoka, an international nonprofit organization that supports social entrepreneurs. Throughout the week, the Ballard Center will showcase students’ work from the past year and upcoming opportunities for involvement.

Anchoring the week is the Peery Film Festival, a series of student-created documentaries for social organizations as a joint effort between the Ballard Center and the Department of Theatre and Media Arts. The short films will premiere Wednesday, Oct. 17, at 7:15 and 8:15 p.m. in W408 Tanner Building, followed by a question-and-answer period with the films’ creators.

Kristin Farrell, a recent communications graduate from Bloomsburg, Pa., produced a mini-documentary about an agriculture company that teaches Ghanaians to farm and sell rice. She says the experience with social entrepreneurs in Ghana enabled her to become a changemaker.

“Changemakers use their talents to better the world around them,” Farrell says. “Film can be one of the most influential ways to spread ideas. The experience I had can be summed up in one word — empowering.”

While the festival is taking place, students can discover internship and grant prospects at the Ballard Center Fair from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Tanner Building Atrium. Booths from clubs associated with the center will be armed with information for those ready to take action.

More events during the week include the Changemaker 101 Workshop and a chance for students to win up to $200 in the Changemaker Challenge. Additional information about all the events can be found at ballardcenter.byu.edu.

“The Ballard Center’s goal is to give students direction,” Manwaring says. “During the week, everyone will get a chance to be inspired from the great work our students have been doing in the world of social innovation.”

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school’s mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Kelsie Moore, Kristin Farrell and Jessica Cooper traveled to Ghana to produce a film they entered in the Peery Film Festival.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Miriam Shumway