The “OurCampus21st Century (OC21) Engagement Tool & Visual Toolkit” – its use in the development of the University of Melbourne’s Innovation District to ensure world- class success.

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Kate Scott
Streamer Strategy

Jacyl Shaw
Carlton Connect Initiative at The University of Melbourne

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• The main problem addressed and the aims of the project (introduction)

The future 21st century campus experience relies on an inviting and dynamic sequence of spaces and experiences to attract and engage new communities in all that a city based campus can offer – day and night and all year round with world-class teaching and learning and research that has a visible impact.

Carlton Connect (CC) and OurCampus21 (OC21) are transformational initiatives that have a significant role to play in the University’s research and education experience. They both stimulate and generate a dynamic interplay / exchange between the University and industry, with partnerships remaining an increasingly important part of the dynamic.

CC is Australia’s leading innovation precinct anchored at the University of Melbourne(UoM) – bringing startups, research teams, industry and community together to tackle complex problems under one roof.

OC21 is an engagement method and visual toolkit, designed to support diverse university projects and initiatives realise their full potential in a fluid and increasingly challenged funding and operating environment.

Engaged teaching and learning and research excellence must continue to include face-to-face and social interactions as well as integrated, immersive online excursions that surprise and delight.

The aim of CC is to:
• position world-class talent with 21st century technologies in the heart of Melbourne;

• create an innovation precinct for business (startups through to multinational corporations), academia and government partners to co-locate and collaborate;

• drive global economic and social transformations through knowledge, networks and pioneering ventures.

The aim of the OC21 campus engagement tool is to:
• encourage students, academics, staff and suppliers to think about every project and initiative in a more holistic way;

• enhance the quality of every experience on campus – from the bump factor and design of shared spaces through to how science and art interact;

• enable a diversity of experiences around the campus, with neighbourhood character being celebrated in tune with making research strengths more visible and accessible to industry and community.

Both initiatives support the vision to create a truly distinctive UOM experience –with Australia’s #1 University located in the world’s most livable city-designing and engineering new experiences that resonate with different sectors, industries and communities, bringing them together to re-imagine a more prosperous future.

• The process, ie. The methods used and / or approach taken
OC21 is UoM’s communication and engagement tool – bespoke designed to encourage diverse communities to re-imagine how the campus can deliver a world-class experience. It is a visual tool and narrative with a series of messages and case studies about how even the small things can have a large impact on the future of our city and our economy.

OC21 has been used by CCI as a key method to ensure private and public sector partnerships are aligned with the University’s vision. It’s a way to bridge the gap between policies, and strategies so that the process of realizing this large and complex initiative is well supported by industry, government and community and university stakeholders.

Creating high quality experiences between spaces, faculties and across multiple buildings relies on an understanding of how people interact, connect and meet.

CC will provide an innovation ecosystem through a new approach to buildings that will spur the translation of research and lead to the creation of new industries and careers. Its approach is place-based, with curated experiences and programming that drives new heights of collaboration between the sectors.

• The results and impact
CCI is an excellent example of the Univeristy’s 21st century campus – a living laboratory to encourage innovation as a team sport. Over 10K visitors have walked through the front door of CCI since opening and the Melbourne Accelerator Program (#8 best in the world) is poised to grow from eight to fifty alumni each year with hundreds of business professionals co-locating on site. Co-location partners include Australia Post, IBM and Lockheed Martin have recently moved into the precinct.

OC21: A series of interactive workshops were coordinated across all UOM campuses with academics, students and staff from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds. Feedback demonstrated that through the structure of OC21, new ways of thinking about the campus started to emerge from people who are living and working within the pressures of a modern education system. OC21 encouraged and stimulated people to work together to solve the problems around their campus – enhancing how spaces are used, re-thinking how people interact with each other from corridors to café’s.

• The conclusion including learning opportunities and future potential
CC: Carlton Connect is the University’s flagship initiative. It is the perfect example of how the University’s vision is being implemented through OC21. CC has identified seven key factors that will contribute to the University and industry’s future collaboration reaching new heights:
1. An ecosystem based approach to innovation
2. A social, cultural and community consciousness
3. working with partners, co-located and off-site
4. An emphasis on economic impact
5. A robust competitive advantage
6. A vibrant central place
7. Strong national and global networks.

OC21: A campus master plan is no longer adequate to carry the vision of a University campus. A more flexible method to how campus experiences are designed and delivered is essential to empowering every individual with a role to play in the creation of distinctive experiences.

It’s through spaces and places, synergy and innovation, technology and tradition, creating a culture of inclusion and crafting quality experiences in every realm that leads to truly distinctive research and education platforms at UoM.