My name’s Khoi Cao-Lam. I’m from Melbourne, Australia. I’m a lawyer by background. And at the moment, I’m working in justice sector, social innovation, so in particular, how to reconfigure and improve the justice sector so that it’s able to help disadvantaged Victorians better.
I’m also involved in a community health organisations, so looking at how primary health care can best meet the needs of disadvantaged Melburnians. I’m just interested in using technology. I’m interested in multi-sector collaboration, or what we call social extrapreneurship. And I’m also interested in using ideas like design thinking.
I was at a particular point in my career where I’ve been working in social innovation, or what we describe as social innovation for a little while, but I’ve never really had the theoretical grounding or the opportunity to be able to understand the latest thinking, and a world sort of approach to some of the issues that I’m confronted in my work. And so particularly at the moment, I work in the public sector. And a lot of social innovation materials around focus on social entrepreneurs, social adventures, which have its place. But in terms of my personal experience, I was really looking for something that looked at how social innovation occurs in the public sector and to a lesser extent, but also equally important, the corporate sector. And so the master studies in social innovation really did have a more expansive view of social innovation.
So I was looking at programmes in Australia, in the UK, and in the US. And this one stood out for me just because of the breadth of the programme, and also because of the part-time nature of the course just suited my personal circumstances. I mean, it lets me work. It let’s make it my base in Melbourne. My family’s in Melbourne. But it also gives me an opportunity to experience a bit of Cambridge life. So it sort of ticked all the boxes.
At the most basic level, it’s given me a lot more confidence in being able to do my work. But it’s also given me a different perspective on how things occur. So we talk about in the course in a module 1 about how interactions shape the capacity to do social change. And I look at that in terms of my day-to-day work interactions with colleagues, how we manage meaning, how we influence, and how we shape problems. So on that level, I feel much more able to do my work in Melbourne. But secondly, I think it’s given me ideas for new projects, for new initiatives.
I think I have a very inspiring group. I mean, there’s such diversity of people from teachers to people in finance, social entrepreneurs, people in the corporate sector, really experienced business people. And so it’s just learning from those individuals, talking to them about their work and how the course relates to their work and their ideas for the future.