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Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship
(504) 247-1963

Center for Engaged Learning & Teaching (CELT)
310 Richardson Building
6823 St Charles Ave
New Orleans, LA 70118
Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship at Tulane University

Discovering Social Innovation through Engaged Scholarship

Tulane’s Second Annual Graduate Student-led Symposium on Social Innovation

Featuring New Day Speaker Jane Wei-Skillern, PhD, UCB Haas School of Business

Keynote Address on Thursday, March 19 at 6:30-7:30 PM in Room 201 of Richardson Memorial Hall
Research Symposium on Friday, March 20 8:30 AM to 5 PM in Flower Hall
Tulane University Uptown Campus

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Discovering Social Innovation through Engaged Scholarship is a one-day research symposium, Friday March 20, 2015. It is led by graduate students from Tulane University, in collaboration with Tulane University’s Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (SISE) program and Tulane’s new Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking. Our spring 2015 New Day Speaker, Jane Wei-Skillern, PhD, will provide the keynote address on Thursday evening, March 19, 2015.

We invite graduate students, post-graduate researchers, faculty, and independent researchers from any academic discipline and epistemological standpoint, to join in a co-learning journey*. Through this symposium we aim to network across disciplines, enhance skills, and shape the priorities in the field. Our aim is to discover the field of social innovation: novel solutions to social problems that are “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” (Phills, Deiglmeier and Miller, 2008).

The Theme of Engaged Scholarship
This year’s symposium seeks out grounded, collaborative, place-based, and action research that tackles the many complex problems facing 21st century global communities like New Orleans. We are looking for research addressing:

  • Problems that persist across sectors such as health, environment, education, economics, governance and accountability;
  • Opportunities for pro-poor and inclusive innovation, democratic engagement, digital literacy, resilience, well-being, etc.;
  • Social innovation ecosystems: innovation engines, design thinking, scaling efforts, incubators and accelerators, business models, legal structures, leadership, financing; and
  • Cross-cutting, methodological and theoretical advances including complexity thinking, mixed methods research, social laboratories, and community-based collaborative research.

The Friday Symposium
We envision several formats for advancing your scholarly efforts:

  • Advanced Research: Present your dissertations, post-doctoral and faculty research from any discipline in formal, facilitated, curated panel presentations organized by theme. Teams of scholars are welcome to apply together.
  • Early Stage Research Round-tables: Present your research proposals, concept notes, and preliminary findings in an informal session to get constructive feedback and develop a scholarly community of practice.
  • Skills Workshops: Attend practical workshops in research methods (positivist, social constructivist, evaluation) to advance your toolkit. Join in a hands-on design-thinking activity to bring innovation into your scholarship and research practice.
  • Networking (The Wall, Open-mike, and Pecha-Kucha): Flexible, faster-paced, participatory, and asynchronous platforms to share ideas and stimulate scholarly matchmaking.

Conference Organizers
Joshua Schoop, Ph.D. Candidate, Payson Center for International Development
Benjamin Alexander, Ph.D. Candidate, Management, A.B. Freeman School of Business
Maille Faughnan, Ph.D. Student, Payson Center for International Development
Jordan Stewart, Ph.D. Student, City, Culture, and Community
Victoria Menchaca, M. Arch. Student, School of Architecture
Laura Murphy, Ph.D., Carnegie Corporation of New York Professor of Social Entrepreneurship (Faculty Advisor)


Have an idea? Not sure how your work fits in here? Email us at

*Undergraduate Student?
Although the Social Innovation Symposium is not currently open to undergraduate students, there are numerous other opportunities for undergraduates to share their scholarship.  Please visit CELT's Research Engagement Core Area, led by Assistant Director, Dr. Gary Talarchek. 

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