Social innovation (SI) is the application of innovation and design thinking methodology to address community and social problems. Social innovation is grounded in a commitment to sustainable, just, and democratic systems that benefit marginalized groups and society. Successful social innovations are guided by input from communities directly impacted by the injustice, demonstrate their impact, are financial sustainable and appropriately scalable. Social innovation is a core perspective of the Swearer Center and as such contributes to all our programs and partnerships.
The Swearer Center provides opportunities for students and community partners to explore social innovation, sparks new relationships and inspires new ideas for social change. Social innovation can be done in and through new social ventures, social movements, community organizing, social policy change, organizational change and intrapreneurship and other modes of social change. Our work is supported by a strong network of community partners, professionals and alumni who are building or contributing to innovative social change efforts around the world. We partner with national social innovation organizations, such as AshokaU and the Talliores Network, and the field, to continue to play a leadership role in the development of social innovation education at the university level.