The Levitt Center's support for social innovation programming arises naturally out of our focus on transformative leadership. Transformational leaders aim to implement change. They are creative and innovative; they establish direction, motivate and inspire; they follow ethical principles. This perspective intersects nicely with the innovative, principled, and change-making ethos of the social innovator or social entrepreneur.
The Levitt Social Innovation Fellows Program is a new Levitt Center program designed to prepare and support students who aim to use innovative and entrepreneurial approaches to address persistent social problems. These innovations can be implemented in a variety of ways: through a for-profit business, a non-profit or student-run organization, an improvement to an existing institutional process, a new network of existing organizations, or some other method. Whatever the approach, these innovations aim to bring a creative, entrepreneurial, and disruptive approach to solving social problems.
This program will include a weeklong workshop over the second week of spring break (March 23-28, 2014) with Anke Wessels, who teaches an award-winning course on social innovation at Cornell University. Selected student projects will receive project funding, as well as guidance about developing mentoring support from among alumni and community members.
Applications for the 2014 Levitt Social Innovation Fellows Program have now closed. Information on the 2015 program will be announced next fall.