Western Sydney University students lead the way in the creation of smart cities

More than 100 students from Western Sydney University have gained unprecedented insights and leadership development with the inaugural Global Leader Experience program, getting the chance to put their creative ideas into practice to tackle the challenge of making smart cities inclusive.

Designed and delivered through a partnership with global leadership organisation Common Purpose, this is the first time the innovative leadership program has come to Western Sydney, being held at the University’s Liverpool campus.

The four-day program brought together leading experts, organisations and businesses from across the Western Sydney region, including Western Sydney University, Greater Sydney Commission, Liverpool City Council, Mission Australia, Western Sydney Airport, Built Environment Firm ARUP, Infrastructure Asset Firm AECOM, the Community Migrant Resource Centre and Western Sydney Parkland Trust.

According to Western Sydney University’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Scott Holmes, the Global Leader Experience allows students to develop their cultural intelligence while creating innovative ways to deal with the smart cities challenge from a Western Sydney context.

“Our students are connected with their local communities and businesses and are powerful agents for change. Innovative experiences like these transform the principles students learn in the classroom into the building blocks of our future cities,” said Professor Holmes.

The Global Leader Experience is part of the University’s ground-breaking work to transform its curriculum through the 21C Curriculum Project, which reimagines the approach to teaching to meet the opportunities and challenges of the current century.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning Futures, Professor Simon Barrie, explains that today’s students need multifaceted skills to succeed in the workforce, and education pathways are changing as a result of the intersection of social and economic movements around work.

“The Global Leader Experience is one of our new 21C Curiosity Pods which allow students to quickly upskill in emerging areas of learning and leadership. As future leaders of their communities, our first group of participants have shown great curiosity and strong understanding of both local and global smart city issues,” said Professor Barrie.

Liverpool Mayor Wendy Waller said she was proud to be involved in the project, which offers participants insights from leading experts, organisations and businesses from across Western Sydney.

“Students from Harvard and Oxford have undertaken this program. It’s great to see Western Sydney University bring this opportunity to South West Sydney,” Mayor Waller said.

“Liverpool is the perfect city to explore ideas around cultural intelligence – our residents come from 150 different backgrounds and speak 140 different languages.”

The unique opportunities presented by diversity and inclusivity are crucial to Western Sydney University’s commitment and partnership with community, government and industry. This has been recognised internationally as Western Sydney University has recently been ranked first in the world for its work to address gender equality, and second for reducing inequalities by promoting inclusive and equitable quality education, according to the inaugural Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings.

For more information about the Global Leader Experience, please visit westernsydney.edu.au/leaderexperience


9 May 2019

Media Unit