This course takes a community-centric approach to social innovation. It is not a public economics course that takes the viewpoint of a powerful policy maker, or a CSR course that takes the viewpoint of a corporate leader. The course maps a rigorous process that starts with a deep understanding of the intended beneficiaries of social innovations and a community's social eco-system. It then describes three alternative intervention and development approaches (community development, design thinking and systems-based); and evaluates the full range of enterprise models to best deliver and scale resulting social innovation in a sustainable way.
The term "enterprise model" stands for any entrepreneurial way of organizing for social returns. Enterprise models can range from traditional for-profits and non-profits to hybrids, informal community organizing, impact investing and complex cross-sector partnerships. The course is suited for students who want to drive social innovation in corporations, start-ups, governments and civil society organizations, as well as for consultants, analysts and investors who need to understand community dynamics or evaluate the quality of enterprise models.
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