Discovering social innovation through scholarship

March 28, 2014 8:45 AM

New Wave staff

The Tulane University Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program will present a day-long symposium organized by graduate students to explore social innovation through scholarship. The goal of the symposium on Friday (April 4) is to learn how scholars from different disciplines are investigating social innovation. 

Philip Auerswald

Social entrepreneur Philip Auerswald will kick off a symposium presented by the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Program.

The event’s organizers hope to clarify the field of social innovation and social entrepreneurship, while identifying a network of students, faculty and researchers from Tulane and elsewhere who are exploring socially innovative ideas from around the world.

Philip Auerswald will give a keynote address to kick off the symposium on Thursday (April 3) at 6 p.m. in John Giffen Weinmann Hall, room 110, on the Tulane uptown campus. Auerswald is the 2013-14 presidential fellow and an associate professor of public policy at George Mason University. His most recent book is The Coming Prosperity: How Entrepreneurs Are Transforming the Global Economy. Auerswald is the founder of Innovations, a quarterly journal about entrepreneurial solutions to global challenges. 

Last June, Auerswald led the launch of the National Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, an organization dedicated to using the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as a platform to celebrate and support entrepreneurship and innovation. He is involved in start-up initiatives for mobile health service delivery and the integration of apprenticeships into collegiate education. 

The symposium, which is free and open to the public, begins on April 4 at 9 a.m. in the Marian Mayer Berkett Multipurpose Room of Weinmann Hall.

Social innovations are defined as novel solutions to social problems that more effectively, efficiently and equitably address social and environmental challenges than existing approaches, says Stephanie Barksdale, special assistant to Tulane University President Scott Cowen for social innovation engagement. The value from social innovations accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than to an individual or firm, Barksdale says.

“Within the definition, many questions remain about what social innovations look like, and how scholars are exploring them through research,” Barksdale says. 

Register online for the symposium. 

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Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000