Study how to develop creative solutions to complex social or environmental challenges. Study how to develop creative solutions to complex social or environmental challenges. Study how to develop creative solutions to complex social or environmental challenges. Study how to develop creative solutions to complex social or environmental challenges. Study how to develop creative solutions to complex social or environmental challenges.

Interdisciplinary Programs

Social Innovation

Questions?

Thomas Cavenagh

+1 630 637 5157

tdcavenagh@noctrl.edu

Why pursue a social innovation minor at North Central College?

Social innovation is the process of developing creative solutions to complex social or environmental challenges which are more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than current solutions. Using the design thinking methodology, a social innovation minor will equip students in any field of study with the skillset to create meaningful, lasting social impact.

Social Innovation Minor

Social Innovation is the process of developing creative solutions to complex social or environmental challenges which are more effective, efficient, sustainable or just than current solutions. Using the design thinking methodology, a social innovation minor will equip students in any field of study with the skillset to create meaningful, lasting social impact.

For additional information and courses in this program, see Leadership, Ethics and Values.

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 20 credit hours, including:

  • LEAD 100 - Design Thinking for Social Impact

    LEAD 100 - Design Thinking for Social Impact

    4.00 credit hours

    As members of a diverse and global community, we face a variety of complex social issues. Students will learn the theory and practice of human-centered design, a creative approach to problem-solving that leads students through a process to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test their ideas. Through readings, case studies, hands-on activities, field experiences, and interaction with community leaders and residents, students will develop the mindset and toolkit needed to create innovative solutions for change, regardless of the discipline or field of study they pursue. Students will identify local social or environmental challenges and work collaboratively to address them through the design thinking process.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Innovating the World.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 200 - Social Innovation

    LEAD 200 - Social Innovation

    4.00 credit hours

    Students learn to utilize design thinking and systems thinking methodology in approaching social and environmental problems. Students will develop an innovative skillset and apply it directly to complex issues of their choosing, while building their efficacy as changemakers. Social innovation is derived from the practice of solution-oriented thinking, that seeks to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.

    Prerequisite(s)

    LEAD 100.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    U.S. Power Structures.
    iCon(s)
    Innovating the World.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 300 - Social Entrepreneurship

    LEAD 300 - Social Entrepreneurship

    4.00 credit hours

    An immersion into the rapidly-growing field of social entrepreneurship, teaching students how to address complex social or environmental challenges through the creation of market-based solutions that are innovative, measurable, sustainable and scalable. Through readings, interactive workshops, guest speakers, and field experiences, students will identify systemic social challenges and corresponding opportunities, pinpoint root causes, ideate and test possible solutions, explore funding sources, consider legal structures, and prepare an impact measurement plan. The course will culminate in a written social venture plan and pitch that communicates a viable solution to a social challenge.

    Prerequisite(s)

    One of the following: LEAD 100, LEAD 180 or Junior standing.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Community Engaged Learning.
    iCon(s)
    Challenging Inequity.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 494 - Capstone: Applied Leadership

    LEAD 494 - Capstone: Applied Leadership

    4.00 credit hours

    A structured seminar reflection upon experience of leadership relations gained in an approved experiential setting. Students spend approximately 10 to 12 hours per week in their experiential setting. One two-hour class meeting per week.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Junior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

One of the following:

  • LEAD 370 - Marketing for Social Impact

    LEAD 370 - Marketing for Social Impact

    4.00 credit hours

    Effective marketing can be alever for the creation of both economic and social value. Startups and existing organizations, whether focused on marketing goods, services, ideas or values, need a complete strategy for maximizing social impact. Social entrepreneurs face a unique challenge in not just identifying a market opportunity, but tackling a neglected market gap. In addition to understanding product, place, price, and promotion in the creation of a marketing plan, students will learn the theory and practice of branding and identity, storytelling and communication, and the use of available technological tools that contribute to positive social impact.

    Prerequisite(s)

    Junior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 380 - Finance & Law for Social Impact Business

    LEAD 380 - Finance & Law for Social Impact Business

    4.00 credit hours

    Two early, but significant, challenges facing social entrepreneurs are financing the enterprise and determining what type of business entity the enterprise will be. This course explores a range of financing models and approaches, all of which present the social entrepreneur with the opportunity to both start and scale up a successful social enterprise. The course also considers the range of business entity options, both traditional and social enterprise specific, available to the social entrepreneur. Students will develop finance plans and business formation documents as major projects in the course.

    Prerequisite(s)

    LEAD 180 and LEAD 300.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • LEAD 400 - Social Impact Measurement

    LEAD 400 - Social Impact Measurement

    4.00 credit hours

    Address the growing necessity of social impact measurement in a broad spectrum of industries, including non-profit organizations, for-profit corporations, and social enterprises. Social impact may be defined as any non-financial benefit that a venture will create for the good of society, and can include issues like human rights, poverty, the environment, health & wellness, education and more. Traditional businesses track their performance based on specific economic and accounting metrics. This course engages students in the practice of social impact measurement from identifying an organization's mission and vision, to mapping data collection and identifying long-term impact. Students identify, secure, and partner with non-profits, for profit social enterprises, or their own entity to complete a course-long, engaged learning project.

    Prerequisite(s)

    LEAD 300.

    Cardinal Directions Designation(s)
    Community Engaged Learning.

    Schedule Of Classes

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