Jo Barraket appointed as the first Director for the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne

Thursday 6 March 2014

The square Swinburne logo on the west side of the Advanced Manufacturing and Design Centre building in Hawthorn.

One of Australia’s leading social innovation and enterprise researchers, Professor Jo Barraket, has been appointed as the first Director of the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) at Swinburne University of Technology.

Barraket joins CSI (Swinburne) in April 2014 and will present at a Commencement Lecture in Melbourne on 3 April.

“Professor Barraket is well known around the country and internationally for her work with the not-for-profit, social enterprise and local government sectors. Her experience and skills will position the Centre to build new partnerships and promote its research findings in Australia and internationally,” said Professor Michael Gilding, Executive Dean for the Faculty of Business and Enterprise, Swinburne University.

CSI (Swinburne) is part of the national Centre for Social Impact, a partnership of four Universities across Australia.

“I am very excited to welcome Jo to the Centre for Social Impact team,” said Dr Andrew Young, Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Social Impact.  

“Jo is an outstanding researcher and teacher, and is also very strongly engaged with the community.  She will be a great addition to the CSI team, providing leadership for CSI at Swinburne, developing her areas of research focus, and as a key part of the national academic leadership together with CSI’s other partners.”

In addition to its focus on social enterprise and innovation, CSI (Swinburne) will incorporate the Asia-Pacific Centre for Social Investment and Philanthropy (ACSIP), creating a strong integrated focus within Swinburne across philanthropy, social investment, social enterprise and measurement of social impact.

Since 2008, Professor  Barraket has led the social enterprise and innovation research program at The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, Queensland University of Technology. Prior to this, she was an academic in the University of Melbourne's School of Social and Political Sciences.

With a PhD in applied sociology from the University of New South Wales, Professor Barraket is Australia’s foremost expert on social enterprise having led the first national mapping study in this field.

CSI’s Commencement Lecture will see Barraket consider different types of social innovation and their effects under the topic of “Backing the Best of Social Innovation: emergence, hybridity and impact.”

Professor  Barraket will argue that recognising and supporting social innovation requires a shift towards resourcing, leadership and impact measurement approaches that can respond to emergent practice in hybrid systems.

“These systems mix ‘old’ and ‘new’, suggesting that alchemy rather than innovation alone is a pathway to social impact,” Professor Barraket said.

Register to attend the Commencement Lecture