Social and Public Innovations

Course Number: 
GAFL 547

“In the past three decades, the global citizen sector, led by social entrepreneurs, has grown exponentially. Just as the business sector experienced a tremendous spurt in productivity over the last century, the citizen sector is experiencing a similar revolution, with the number and sophistication of citizen organizations increasing dramatically. Rather than leaving societal needs for the government or business sectors to address, social entrepreneurs are creating innovative solutions, delivering extraordinary results, and improving the lives of millions of people.” Ashoka 

This course provides students with concepts and tools that can help them both build a sustainable and profitable business and create social impact. Students will learn how to assess the feasibility of a social enterprise through the application of impact, blending mission with profits, potential for large scale impact, and organizational strength and capacity criteria. Students will learn how to identify and measure social impact, design and create social sector business plans, calculate social return on investments (SROI) and unit costs, identify and development markets (includes social media and networks), assess risks, leverage start-up capital and influence policy toward leveraging public resources.

Students will use these applications in business engagements, networking in the social sector, and field assignments during the semester. Students will be paired with a social sector organization and leader in the Philadelphia region to apply concepts and tools learned in the course to the organization. Students will present the organization with a social enterprise analysis and article that presents an opportunity to be published in the nationally recognized and respected Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal.

This course fulfills an elective requirement for the Master of Public Administration and Nonprofit Certificate programs.