Social Innovation Initiative

Social innovation (SI) is the creation of new ideas that address social problems by reconceiving the status quo to create more sustainable and just systems that benefit marginalized groups and society. Social innovations should be able to demonstrate their impact and consider pathways to financial sustainability and scale.

The Social Innovation Initiative (SII) is a set of campus and community activities, events, speakers, classes, trainings and other opportunities that connect students, faculty, community partners and alumni to social impact through the lenses of innovation and entrepreneurship.

The SII expands opportunities for students, alumni and community partners to explore social innovation and sparks new relationships and ideas for social change. We host several open events on campus every semester to grow, connect and serve our community. In addition to the SII, the Swearer Center also offers focused fellowships and internships programs to explore social innovation in the context of the Swearer Center community partner ecosystem beyond Brown. Our work is supported by a strong network of community partners, professionals and alumni changemakers who are building or contributing to innovative social change efforts around the world.

We also partner with national social innovation organizations (like Ashoka) and the field to continue to play a leadership role in the development of social innovation education at the university level.

For more information, contact Jenn Steinfeld, jennifer_steinfeld@brown.edu or Alan Harlam, alan_harlam@brown.edu