Innovating for Social Impact Program

Learn the basics of social innovation – and fulfill the LEARN requirement – through the SLS Buzz Course, “Social Innovation for Sustainable Communities,” being offered this October/November. Read about it here.

OVERVIEW

This experiential program, offered in partnership with The Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship in the Scheller College of Business, introduces students to social innovation as a tool for social impact, with an emphasis on social entrepreneurship, grassroots innovation, and systems change. It is unique at Georgia Tech in its flexibility: it is open to undergraduate and graduate students in any major, has no prerequisites, and allows students to combine courses and co-curricular experiences - and can even be completed through co-curricular experiences alone, for students who have no extra room in their course schedules.

This program addresses SLS Student Learning Outcome #2: “Students will be able to demonstrate skills needed to work effectively in different types of communities.” Specifically, students will demonstrate skills needed to: 1) recognize diverse types of expertise; 2) research a problem in depth, using a variety of methods, exploring multiple perspectives, and connecting community assets and problems to broader trends; and 3) collaborate with partners to jointly develop local, sustainable solutions.

The program is also open to a limited number of SLS partners from the nonprofit, community, government, and business sectors. We make a special effort to have a few partners in the program at all times to create a collaborative learning environment in which students and partners teach and educate each other and nurture student engagement in partners’ ongoing work.

Please note that this program is not an official GT minor or certificate. Progress is tracked through SLS, and students and partners who complete the program receive a Certificate of Completion. Participants are also invited to special workshops conducted by C2D2 (Center for Career Discovery and Development) to learn how to tell their SLS stories to potential employers through resumes, cover letters, and interviews.

REQUIREMENTS

The program has three immersive requirements: Engage, Learn, and Dive. They can be completed in any order - though we recommend completing Dive last. The program concludes with a fourth requirement: a final deliverable. Read more about the requirements below.

PROGRAM QUESTIONS?  Contact SLS Director Jennifer Hirsch

INTERESTED IN ENROLLING?  Complete the REGISTRATION FORM.  Questions about registering? Contact Kris Chatfield

 
 

ENGAGE

Work closely for one or two semesters with a partner organization.

LEARN

Take one course to learn some of the basics of social innovation and systems thinking as a tool for social impact.

DIVE

Deep dive into a sustainable communities challenge that interests you.

FINAL DELIVERABLE

Once you have completed all of EngageLearn, and Dive, you will finish the program by completing one deliverable: pitching your analysis of the problem-and-solution space that you researched during the Dive phase. 

ACTIVATE (OPTIONAL)

Students and partners who wish to build on their work to date to develop a new or improved social enterprise may choose to continue with the program by participating in our “Activate” Support Circle, facilitated by SLS and ILE.

Affiliated Faculty and Staff

The program’s Affiliated Faculty & Staff are social innovators who work collaboratively with different types of real-world partners to apply research (theirs or others) to solve sustainable communities challenges in novel ways, on campus, in the Atlanta region, and beyond. They advise the program and are interested in advising program students and partners interested in their work