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SRS553: Social Innovation

Social innovation is often defined as the creative pursuit of solutions to social or environmental problems.

Social innovation is often defined as the creative pursuit of solutions to social or environmental problems. In this course, students will spend the first half of the term exploring and discussing case studies of social innovation projects. These case studies, along with texts like Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and InsightOut: Get Ideas Out of Your Head and Into the World by Tina Seelig, will provide us with a working vocabulary for creative problem-solving methodologies and a historical understanding of successful endeavors from the past. The second half of the course will be devoted to student-designed group projects that tackle real-world problems. Groups will share their progress and elicit feedback from the full group through periodic presentations and reports. The class will operate at this stage as a laboratory for collaborative problem solving and will explore the range of strategies that can be used to tackle what social planners refer to as "wicked problems." Some student groups may decide to enter their project in the University of New Hampshire's Social Venture Innovation Challenge at the end of the term.