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Transformative Service Collaborative

 at Texas State University


Transformative Service Research focuses on improving human well-being through service (Anderson et al. 2013). It follows the triple bottom line logic of people, planet, and profits. Most importantly, it puts serving people before making profits. The Transformative Service Collaborative puts people first – in research, in teaching, and in service. The purpose of the Transformative Service Collaborative is to transform lives by improving human service systems.

The Transformative Service Collaborative at Texas State is an innovative transdisciplinary collaborative for improving human well-being for individuals, families, cities, and society. We know improving human well-being is much too big a problem for any one discipline to solve alone. To bring people together to solve these problems, the Transformative Service Collaborative serves as an innovative, inclusive, human-centered research and teaching platform. The Transformative Service Project is our general name for the many human-centered projects we hope to inspire. On behalf of Texas State, we applied for the MacArthur 100&Change Grant, which could provide $100 Million in funding for Texas State.

In our research initiatives, we seek collaborative research projects with other departments and colleges at Texas State. We also seek to collaborate with our San Marcos community and our region to facilitate local improvements in well-being. We also seek national and global collaborations with like-minded scholars and like-minded organizations. We dream that our Collaborative will be a catalyst to unify the energies of scholars and students worldwide in pursuit of improving well-being for the people of our planet.

In our teaching initiatives, we seek to transform our undergraduate students and graduate students into transformative service innovators and service designers. We hope to inspire future transformative service and social entrepreneurs. We will accomplish this by building transformative service perspectives into our curriculum and coursework.

Transformative service projects are a major focus of the Collaborative. These include service learning projects, which are already practiced all across campus, but we are developing an innovative approach that we call service thinking. Many service learning projects are charitable work on behalf of disadvantaged people. Service thinking is a human-centered, inclusive perspective rooted firmly in the belief that all people deserve just service systems. Just service systems not only provide access, they are also equitable. As such, we focus on transforming broken service systems and designing new healthy service systems that collaboratively engage in mutually beneficial human relationships. In short, we seek the difficult task of creating service thinking projects that fix service systems so that fewer and fewer people need help. We will accomplish this by working side-by-side with the participants of broken service systems to design and implement service solutions that are innovative, honorable, and just.

We seek to improve access, reduce inequality, and prevent inequity in service systems through Transformative Service Innovation, Design, and Redesign projects in focal areas such as:

  1. Poverty and Hunger
  2. Education
  3. Physical and Mental Health
  4. Underserved: girls, women, minorities, refugees, etc.