The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Thursday May 19th

College leaders meet at summit in Raleigh

Nearly 100 individuals — hailing from universities across the country and around the world — gathered in Raleigh last weekend for the Summit for Transformative Education, a three-day event that sought to foster skills in entrepreneurship, leadership and community building.

The summit, led by the Transformative Action Institute, a national group that promotes social innovation, used a series of lectures and workshops to give participants professional development that they could take back to their respective campuses and communities.

The group’s summits are held throughout the year at universities nationwide, including Johns Hopkins University and Stanford University. Kevin Miller, the East Coast summit organizer for the institute and a 2013 N.C. State University graduate, said he feels the summits teach attendees how to explore their passions in social innovation and use these passions to help others.

Of the participants at the Raleigh summit, about half were students, faculty and staff from UNC, Duke University, N.C. State University or Elon University. This summit was endorsed by a variety of groups, including the UNC system and the Center for Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship at Duke.

“UNC was one of the largest schools represented, which is an indicator of how entrepreneurial and innovative UNC students are,” said Allie Treske Ahearn, assistant communications director for UNC’s Campus Y.

Ahearn, also a fellow at social innovation group StartingBloc, helped out at the summit and said the event empowered individuals to take over their education, future jobs and lives in general.

She said the summit’s focus on social innovation — the idea that work should be done not only for personal benefits, but for a greater good in society — was one reason she decided to get involved.

The program is special to her, she said, because of her passion for teaching people how to use social innovation to better North Carolina through their lives and jobs.

“When the people in social innovation think about N.C., they just think about the tech things,” Ahearn said. “We can help people develop their passions, and show the world all the other reasons — in addition to technology — to love N.C.”

Participants at the summit were given materials to help them identify their passions and apply them to a job that is personally fulfilling and benefits their community. Regular single tickets cost $350 for students and $850 for professors, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations.

UNC senior Hetali Lodaya, a participant at a previous summit and an active leader on campus, said in an email that the summit gave her the skills she needed to lead her campus organizations.

“We see and hear about so many great leaders on a day to day basis, but it can be hard to imagine yourself doing those same things,” she said. “Because of this summit, I saw myself as that kind of leader.”

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