CAMP is a world-first bilateral innovation incubator that unites emerging young leaders from Australia and China and equips them to with the skills to become future change-makers. We bring together diverse leaders to build cross-cultural competence, apply design-thinking to the world’s big problems and to inspire collaboration that transcends borders.
We believe that greater innovation arises when diverse groups of people can connect, collaborate and ideate. CAMP brings together emerging young leaders for an experiential learning program that gives delegates real-world skills in design-thinking and cross-cultural leadership. Delegates work in ThinkTanks to innovative human-centred solutions to real world problems that span across borders. Several of our ThinkTank innovations are proceeding to start-up, and one has recently been accepted into the CSIRO ON Accelerator Program. CAMP maintains an active alumni network and the majority of our delegates plan to collaborate with the network to design future social change projects and entrepreneurial ventures.
CAMP has been developed out of a co-design process that has ensured that our end users have shaped the development of the program. CAMP held a series of co-design workshops with our target user groups to shape the design of the program. This co-design process is continuing to shape how the program develops. Feedback from our social impact evaluation is guiding improvements to the program in our second and third years. CAMP users are passionate about the program and several are now on staff or are volunteers. They are using their insights as users to shape the development of CAMP. The CAMP alumni network is being developed in close consultation with our alumni to ensure that it meets users ongoing needs.
Our users have described CAMP as transformative. Our social impact evaluation has captured the transformative social impacts that our users have experienced as a result of the program. For example, 73% of our user group have expanded their ideas about their career pathways, and 22% of users have newly obtained work in the Australia-China bilateral relationship as a result of CAMP. As a new project, there are aspects of the user experience that can be improved. We are incorporating the feedback from our first group of users to ensure that the experience can even more positive in subsequent years and to ensure that we can extend the transformative impact of the experience to a greater proportion of our users.
The CAMP business model uses partnerships for corporate sponsorship, in-kind support of subject matter and sector experts, and user fees to sustainably fund our program. One of our co-founders is currently exploring how we could scale this model to build Australia’s bilateral engagement with other countries in our region, such as Indonesia and India.
Many of our users feel empowered in their leadership as a result of CAMP. 58% of users said that have a sense that they can create their own opportunities after attending CAMP. One told us “[The benefit was] getting that confidence, feeling like I’m a leader, knowing that when you set your mind to something you can do it.” Many describe the program as life-changing. It has inspired users to be more involved in social impact. 33% have taken on new volunteering roles since attending CAMP. Another told us “through CAMP I got to know that there are a lot of people working full time as social entrepreneurs and making a huge impact. It gave me the confidence to know that I could work in social impact”
The CAMP model is unique, and we offer a value proposition to users that is world-first. There are no other bilateral engagement programs that allow users to develop cross-cultural competence in this way. We provide users with the opportunity to develop authentic relationships that transcend borders and build a professional network that is based upon genuine friendships and a community connected by a common experience and passion. Our approach is also unique compared with other innovation programs because we build cross-cultural approaches into the process of innovation. We believe that greater innovation will occur when collaboration transcends cultural divides and national borders.