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The Leaders in Social Innovation Program

The Leaders in Social Innovation Program will prepare you to take your place as an innovative leader for social and ethical change who will contribute to local and global impact.

Through a rigorous social innovation and entrepreneurship curriculum offered through the Griffiths Center for Collaboration and Innovation (GCCI), the Leaders in Social Innovation (LSI) program will connect the expertise of Hartwick’s faculty and students to the needs of the community, both local and global. The “learn-by-doing” approach will allow students to tackle real-world challenges such as sustainable agriculture, food insecurity and carbon emissions.

An Education Built for You

Study entrepreneurial leadership, strategy, and culture through the social impact lens by participating in a 4-credit hour practicum and 12-16 credit hours of rigorous instruction in social entrepreneurship.

Courses offered in the area of innovation and entrepreneurship tap Hartwick’s existing curriculum and include:

  • Introduction to Social Innovation
  • Social Innovation in the Age of AI
  • Design Thinking & Creativity
  • Social Innovation and Systems Change
  • Social Impact Assessment and Management
  • Design for Social Innovation

Extraordinary Opportunities

Thought Leadership

The program is built on a framework based on the widely recognized scholarship and thought leadership of Ashoka, an organization that believes that all individuals can create positive social change in their own unique ways, regardless of job, income, or social position, to play an active role in making the world a better place.  You will harness this approach as you complete course work and an internship.

Summer Internships

You will participate in a summer internship and immerse yourself in an organizational ecosystem focusing on social impact, entrepreneurship and innovation. Build skills and obtain deep experiences with exposure to passionate changemakers.

Make Connections

You will connect with successful founders, investors, executives, entrepreneurs and other innovators in classes, on global experiences and other on-campus events, such as entrepreneur hours (e-hours).

The program provides plenty of opportunities to engage with leading social entrepreneurs and innovators through a structured mentor/match program; that pairs you with a social impact leader that supports your goals and interests.

Full Course Descriptions

This course is an introduction to the concept of social innovation and its growing importance in addressing social challenges facing individuals, organizations, and communities. Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and interactive activities, students will develop a strong understanding of the theoretical foundations and prevailing models of social entrepreneurship. The course will explore the different ways in which social innovators create social value, and how they leverage business models to achieve their social missions.

This course explores the intersection of social innovation, entrepreneurship, and artificial intelligence (AI) in the modern age. As technology advances at an unprecedented pace, it is important to understand how AI can be used to solve complex social problems and drive sustainable change. Students will learn about the potential of AI to improve social impact, identify and evaluate emerging trends, and develop innovative solutions that can create meaningful change. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to real-world case studies and examples of successful social innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives that have leveraged AI. They will also develop skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and effective communication that are essential for navigating this rapidly-evolving landscape. By the end of the course, students will be equipped with the knowledge and tools needed to create and launch their own socially-focused entrepreneurial ventures that leverage AI to create positive change.

Design Thinking and Creativity is a dynamic, project-based introduction to design, structured as a hands-on studio course. Students will learn key methods of design innovation and will work in teams to apply those methods, learning how to uncover opportunities, explore ideas, prototype solutions, and interact with users. Students are given the freedom to develop specific design skills which suit their interests and contribute to their team projects over the course of the class. At the end of the quarter, student teams present their design concepts, showcasing prototypes in engaging and thoughtful ways.

This course provides an in-depth exploration of the concepts and practices of social innovation and systems change, with a focus on social change movements, advocacy, and activism. Students will learn how to apply systems thinking to address complex social challenges, design transformative solutions, and collaborate with stakeholders to create social impact. Through a combination of lectures, case studies, and group projects, students will gain an understanding of social innovation and transformation as a driving force for social change, and develop the knowledge and skills to engage in advocacy and activism that advances social justice and equity.

This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of measuring social impact and assessment in the context of social entrepreneurship. Students will learn how to design, implement, and evaluate social impact assessments, as well as examine the different models and frameworks used to measure social impact. Students will also explore the importance of social impact measurement and assessment for social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and other stakeholders. Throughout the course, students will be exposed to various case studies and practical examples to understand the real-world applications of measuring social impact and assessment. Students will also develop critical thinking and analytical skills to evaluate the effectiveness of different social impact assessment approaches.

DFSI is a two-semester based practicum where Hartwick students and faculty support social enterprises, not-for-profit organizations, and the public sector to complex, ambiguous global issues through human centered design. This course is open to all Hartwick College students via an application process.

*This is a practicum course and spans the length of one or two semesters depending on how involved students become.
4 credits

For more information, contact
Dr. Michael Walsh, walshm@hartwick.edu or call 607-431-4009.

GRIFFITH CENTER FOR COLLABORATION & INNOVATION
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