“Social impact is present in almost every project at the Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul.”
COVER STORY: SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND INNOVATION
İpek Cem Taha is an RC Trustee and the director of the Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul. With her unique position to observe how both high school and higher education are evolving, RCQ asked her how social entrepreneurship factors at the Istanbul Center.
“Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul, in collaboration with the Columbia Organization of Rising Entrepreneurs (CORE) offers an annual five-day social entrepreneurship workshop for high school students. The workshop provides high school students with an introduction to social entrepreneurship and empowers them to create innovative solutions for their communities. It also enables them to examine themes of gender equality, entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, design thinking, and sustainable development.
“During the workshop, students engage with successful entrepreneurs who share their lessons. Working in teams, they design ventures and present them. Over the past three years, 62 high school students from 22 different high schools such as Robert College, Darüşşafaka, ENKA Schools, SEV American College, and Hisar Schools have taken their first steps towards becoming the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Ayseli Karabekmez, an RC student who attended the workshop in 2020, stated: ‘The Social Entrepreneurship Workshop has been an incredible journey for me. I feel like I am one step closer to becoming a changemaker.’
“Social impact is present in almost every project at the Istanbul Center. For example, we have been working with the Earth Institute at Columbia’s Climate School, on the Refugees Act and Communicate Health (REACH) Project, which aims to bridge the gap between health literacy and health care access among refugee, migrant and local youth communities living in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. One of the main leads of this project is Dr. Özge Karadağ RC 97, a senior research scholar at the Earth Institute.”
Published February 2022