USP Launches Initiative to Encourage Innovation Talanoa within the University


The University of the South Pacific (USP) has launched an internal communication initiative, “Innovation @USP Wide Talanoa,” to encourage the USP community to participate in meaningful Talanoa about innovation at USP.

An inspiration theme guides this initiative, ‘Innovation Begins with Us: Creating an Institutional Culture of Trust, Safety and Good Relationships for USP People.’

The idea is to value the voice of employees in shaping innovative thinking, services, and communication at the workplace in support of the University’s strategic priorities on innovation in research and education.

The University believes that a sound and well-controlled internal system and framework will encourage more significant innovation leading to the successful implementation of its strategic priority and ensuring that it is beneficial to its Member Countries and the Pacific region.

Under Priority Area 2 of the 2019 – 2021 Strategic Plan, the University is committed under Objective 1 to strengthen USP as the Pacific Hub for Research and Innovation.

USP’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Pal Ahluwalia, said the Innovation@USP Wide Talanoa initiative is a fitting response to creating an underlying institutional solid foundation for a vibrant innovation culture that will sustain research and education excellence within the University.

“It is vital that we are supporting staff whose insight and ingenuity are the engine of knowledge creation. Also, that our innovation attracts outstandingly talented students to whom we bear an honourable responsibility to educate as they are our leaders of innovation for tomorrow.”

Professor Ahluwalia is encouraging all USP staff to participate and assist the Research Office in providing meaningful outcomes that will enhance the conducive environment for more significant innovation at the University.

“I am indeed confident that together, our collaborations will serve and shape the Pacific future for our region and future generations.  Innovation begins with us: Creating an institutional culture of trust, safety and good relationships for USP people,” he added.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Education, Professor Jito Vanualailai said the University had formalised innovation in its current strategic plan, 2019 – 2021, as an important cross-cutting theme to guide the application of research and education (teaching and learning) into innovative sustainable outcomes and not only to accomplish the University’s core functions but also its external priorities in the region and abroad.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Regional Campuses and Estates & Infrastructure Dr. Giulio Masasso Tu’ikolongahau Pāunga added that this initiative “presents an opportunity for all staff of USP to refocus on prioritising innovation at USP and the Pacific. A focus that will enable us to think and link innovation to why we do it and who we do it for”.

“The theme signifies that we all have a role to play in accomplishing innovation for USP and the region. Part of that role is to create an environment that is supportive of innovation at all levels and to engage people into that space where they are happy and have the freedom to be involved,” he said.

The Research Office of the University is initiating the project based on the findings of its first consultation on Innovation@USP from 2017 – 2018. A team comprising staff from the Research Office and other departments from the University was established to implement the project from July – December 2021. The initiative’s outcome will be submitted to the University’s Senior Management Team to approve for implementation purposes.

At this stage, the initiative is being piloted by USP staff before it is introduced more widely to students and external stakeholders.

You can learn more about “Innovation @USP Wide Talanoa” here




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