Resource:How to utilize your UIF network from neighboring universities
It’s important to make connections and utilize the network created by the University Innovation Fellows. When change is happening or planned to happen under a new fellow’s own volition they should reach out to other campuses that have similar undertakings. Ideas can be shared both ways and both endeavors will benefit. The University Innovation Fellows program is about collaboration to create innovative change among college campuses. The need for a network varies from person to person. Someone creating a makerspace might need help coming up with a plan or ideas of what to include. People might be planning innovation and entrepreneur workshops that might be their first and want advice.
First, you need to define who you need to get in touch with. You can use Student Contributorspage in UIF network. That page will allow you to see every wiki bio of the fellows. After you checked the bios you can decide who you think can guide you on the topic you were struggling through. You can also use the Random Page tab to see random fellow’s bios to get inspired. If you want to reach out to an actual campus for an in person meet up, it’s important to find where they are. To start, look at the map provided by UIF to see who is around and where they are. It can be found here http://universityinnovationfellows.org/about-us/schools/.
When you finally found the one that would help you, you can send an email to that person if their email address is written on their bio. Unless you find any contact information, you can simply click on the Discussiontab. That tab will lead you to a page titled “Talk: Fellow’s Name and Surname”, you can write there and ask for help. If that fellow didn’t see what you wrote, you can ask former and more experienced Innovation Fellows to introduce you to the fellow you would like to speak with. Again you could use the map to see other people on campus who may know the fellow of interest.
Lessons Learned & Follow-up
To keep the connections (and grow them) stay in contact. Add them on social media. It’s formal enough to not invade on the person’s life and casual enough to be friends. Social media is a big help when connecting to other campuses. Social media campaigns generate notoriety for projects and people. The fellows running the platforms can market to other fellows and campuses. Using social media platforms to build portfolios, forums, and ultimately a community can provide insight and “at-a-glance” information. Fellows can read this and easily reach out. If a community forum is utilized a user base of members can be built for fellows and ideas and collaboration can spread in all directions. This is not a one way street like a facebook page that is always promoting outwards. The community forum is more intimate and keeps the focus on what is popular on all ends.