Nov. 22, 2022Print | PDF
Laura Allan, an assistant professor at Wilfrid Laurier University’s Lazaridis School of Business and Economics, has been appointed the university’s inaugural director of innovation and entrepreneurship. Allan will serve as the operational lead in the development of Laurier’s first Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy.
The Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy aspires to cover innovation and entrepreneurship programming; research; and purpose-driven university, industry and community collaborations. As Laurier’s faculty, staff and students engage in work that addresses pressing social, economic and environmental challenges, Allan will contribute to a cohesive vision of how this work can span disciplines and connect with sectors outside the university.
“Laurier’s strategic plan is centred on creating a thriving community and developing future-ready people,” says Allan. “Entrepreneurial skills are well-documented as critical for the future of work, and with the challenges facing the planet right now, entrepreneurs who can develop innovative solutions to build a better world are needed more than ever. By making this a strategic focus, our vision is for Laurier to be recognized as a leader in this critically important area.”
Allan is a Laurier alumna and has been teaching at the university since 1984. As change leader for Laurier’s AshokaU Changemaker Campus designation and former executive director of Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation, she is familiar with the innovation and entrepreneurship landscape within Laurier and its campus communities. Allan has also served as the Lazaridis School’s academic director for entrepreneurship and is the faculty advisor for Laurier's award-winning Enactus team.
"I'm very excited to be working with Professor Allan to advance our innovation and entrepreneurship goals,” says Jonathan Newman, Laurier’s vice-president: research and executive sponsor of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Strategy. “She has tremendous experience, vision and passion for the entire depth and breadth of our activities in this area. She is a changemaker in the most important sense of that term and I am confident that she will provide the strategic leadership we need in this inaugural role."
Allan is eager to consult with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders in order to find synergies and promote Laurier’s strengths to potential partners.
“We plan to engage with the Laurier community on all campuses and at all levels to gain further knowledge of our current and past purpose-driven activities, as well as the community’s ideas for how we can best harness and scale these efforts,” she says. “The Laurier community has a rich history of impact-focused innovation, and we need to celebrate it loudly and clearly.”
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