Social Innovation is designed to help you understand and develop viable solutions to pressing social and environmental problems. There are many approaches to addressing societal concerns including governmental policy and social activism. Social Innovators engage these sectors but also utilize entrepreneurial practices of the business sector to build solutions that are self-sustaining and scalable and are not dependent on charitable contributions or government funding.
Many approaches to addressing social and environmental issues start from a single professional perspective. Engineers, for example, will pursue a technical solution whereas a businessperson might employ an entrepreneurial approach. While professional avenues like these are powerful, a novel method is emerging known as social innovation. Social innovators develop solutions by integrating across the professional sectors of government, business and nonprofit in ways that open new opportunities for addressing social and environmental challenges. This interdisciplinary concentration in Social Innovation is designed to introduce students to the foundations of social innovation and the practical techniques social innovators employ to create solutions that balance people, profit and the planet (i.e. the triple-bottom line). Through an emphasis on experiential learning in team-based innovation projects, students will integrate theory and practice as they develop the knowledge and skills of social innovators.
With advanced planning, students may be eligible for accelerated master's programs at Mason in the following areas: