• About the Social Innovation Initiative

    The New School has long been a center for social innovation. Social innovation as a field of theory and practice is designed to enhance the capacity of individuals, communities, and organizations to devise effective, just, and sustainable solutions to social and environmental problems.

    Examples of social innovation are all around us. Microfinance ventures, hospices, fair trade organizations, passive houses, and rooftop gardens are just a few of the social innovations developed by nonprofits, public institutions, and businesses.

    The Social Innovation Initiative was established in 2011 with support from the Provost's Office and the deans of the New School for Public Engagement, Parsons The New School for Design, and Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts. The Social Innovation Initiative offers opportunities for students and faculty from different colleges of The New School to participate in interdisciplinary learning, research, and practice that contributes to real-world problem solving. Through courses, workshops, conferences, and an innovation competition, we equip students to address contemporary environmental and social challenges in innovative ways, whatever their career paths may be.

    Our partnerships with global organizations such as Ashoka U and Dell Social Innovation Challenge as well as with many local and national community, cultural, and civic partners strengthen our work and offer our students numerous opportunities beyond the walls of The New School.

    The New School’s unique approach to social innovation education relies on collaboration between several schools:

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