Social innovators are creating ethical, sustainable, scalable solutions to solve our most pressing social challenges, and Tulane aims to lead the way in aligning institutional resources to encourage, support and advance their pioneering and transformative ideas. The university’s social innovation and social entrepreneurship programs seek to provide all students with dynamic, engaged learning opportunities that equip students with the knowledge, tools, and experiences to change the world they live in. The university-wide, interdisciplinary programs are grounded in teaching, research, and the practice of social entrepreneurship.
Tulane University is a nationally recognized leader in collaborating with the community to create a culture of public service and civic engagement. And we are now empowering students from all disciplines to utilize their education and innovation to solve pressing social challenges. Over the past 3 years, the social innovation and social entrepreneurship programs have grown from different pockets of creative, solution oriented activities across the entire campus, into a powerful intertwined strategy that includes a wide range of academic and research opportunities, student led activities, and community partnerships. These new initiatives are ensuring that Tulane can realize its vision of becoming an institution that represents the best of the modern research university, anticipating and meeting national and societal needs at the dawn of the 21st century and beyond.
Through a variety of initiatives, SEI nurtures and inspires social innovation across campus and beyond. Currently, Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives is working primarily by:
We engaged students outside the classroom through programs at the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT). CELT helps the university community realize the goal of engaged learning at Tulane. CELT is here to facilitate the transformation of our students into creative, inquisitive, ethical, and responsible scholars and citizens of the world. The following programs are hosted through social innovation engagement at CELT:
The NewDay Social Entrepreneurship Distinguished Speakers Series presents prominent leaders from across the field of social entrepreneurship to share their own experiences, challenges, insights, thoughts, and recommendations to students and the community.
TUchangemakers is a student group that acts as a platform for social innovation and entrepreneurship at Tulane, in New Orleans, and around the world. The team consists of graduate and undergraduate leaders from across academic disciplines that explore social innovation on campus and beyond, engage in creating positive social change, and empower a network of student entrepreneurs focused on community solutions and sustainability.
The Changemaker Institute is a student-led and student-driven program that supports students working on their own social ventures. Through workshops, mentoring, and funding opportunities, the Changemaker Institute supports students to develop, test, and launch their own social venture.
The NewDay Social Entrepreneurship Challenge will award up to $20,000 in seed funding to Tulane undergraduate and graduate innovators dedicated to finding innovative, sustainable solutions to social challenges.
Tulane University recently hired its first Assistant Provost for Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship, Rick Aubry. Along with developing research and curriculum focused on social entrepreneurship, Aubry would like to see the university function as a kind of “community hub” to facilitate such networks.
We are proud to introduce the first class of Social Entrepreneurship Professors at Tulane University. These five endowed professorships provide a critical mass of faculty support for university-wide, interdisciplinary endeavors in social entrepreneurship and social innovation. These professors will teach, develop a research or practice agenda, and inform programming and initiatives in the civic engagement and social innovation arenas.
Beginning in Fall 2012, Tulane will offer and undergraduate minor in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. In addition, we can recommend other classes that incorporate social innovation and social entrepreneurship into the curriculum.
Tulane University invites nominations and applications for The Sacks Endowed Distinguished Chair in Civic Engagement and Social Entrepreneurship. We seek a renowned scholar and/or a uniquely accomplished practitioner who aspires to be a senior academic leader – an individual with a demonstrated interest in civic engagement, public service, and/or social entrepreneurship.
Through Tulane Empowers, Tulane University intends to be the first major research university to mobilize its expertise and resources to build a better world. We will accomplish this goal by employing a comprehensive strategy that empowers our brilliant students, faculty and staff to collaborate with our neighbors here and around the globe. Tulane Empowers will support existing and future initiatives in civic engagement and social innovation.
The Urban Innovation Challenge provides four $45,000 stipends and a year fellowship to innovators working on system level change ideas in New Orleans. We hope to identify and support the next generation of urban social innovators who have ideas to solve systemic social challenges in the areas of sustainable urban development, public education, health, and economic development.
PitchNOLA, held in partnership with SENO and LRI, is an "elevator pitch" competition open to individuals and teams with an idea for a financially sustainable venture to solve a specific social problem in New Orleans. Its purpose is to:
Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. (Report on Civic Responsibility and Higher Education)
Community engagement is the collaboration between Tulane University and the larger communities we serve for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership. (Tulane)
Engaged learning is a type of learning in which students experience themselves not as passive recipients of information delivered by experts, but as active participants both in the classroom and in the world. Engaged learning aims to help students realize their potential as intellectual, social, and ethical architects capable of designing their own futures, as well as helping to shape those of their communities, cultures, nations, and natural environment. (CELT)
Service learning, one form of engaged learning, is an educational experience based upon a collaborative partnership between the university and the community that enables students to apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills to meet genuine community needs. Through reflection and assessment, students gain deeper understanding of course content and the importance of civic engagement. (CPS)
Social innovation is defined as a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than private individuals. (SSIR)
Social entrepreneurship is about innovative, market-oriented approaches underpinned by a passion for social equity and environmental sustainability. Ultimately, social entrepreneurship is aimed at transformational systems change that tackles the root causes of poverty, marginalization, environmental deterioration and accompanying loss of human dignity. The key concepts of social entrepreneurship are innovation, market orientation and systems change. (Skoll)
Changemakers are individuals who seize and act on a social entrepreneur's idea to make it a reality. Changemakers believe they have the power and responsibility to improve society, practice empathy, live according to their values, take initiative to bring about change, and work with others to maximize impact. (Ashoka)
A social enterprise is an organization or venture that achieves its primary social or environmental mission using business method. The social needs addressed by social enterprises and the business models they use are as divers as human ingenuity. (SEA)
Conscious capitalism is the alignment of all stakeholders' interests in order to create a truly sustainable business model. (TEA)
Corporate social responsibility encompasses not only what companies do with their profits, but also how they make them. It goes beyond philanthropy and compliance and addresses how companies manage their economic, social, and environmental impacts, as well as their relationships in all key spheres of influence: the workplace, the marketplace, the supply chain, the community, and the public policy realm. (Harvard)
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