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SIS Social Innovation Fellows: Description

Are you interested in innovation and entrepreneurship, and how these can have a positive impact on society? Would you like to create a new venture at some point in your career? Or would you like to sharpen your skills in leading change efforts and applying techniques from business to NGOs and other organizations concerned with development, human rights, peace, and sustainability?

If so, consider becoming an SIS Social Innovation Fellow.

This is a newly launched co-curricular effort to create a community of like-minded, action-oriented doers from across our school’s Masters degree programs. It is open to all Masters students, full and part-time, and has no fees or course requirements associated with it.

The Social Innovation Fellows builds on the experiences of the Social Enterprise Masters Program about developing change-focused practitioners. It will be highly customized around your personal interests and passions. The Fellows are co-led by Joseph Eldridge and Robert Tomasko.

For Students in any SIS Masters Program

  • Interested in being more entrepreneurial, creating new social purpose organizations.
  • Interested in sharpening skills managing an organization, or leading change from within one (you don’t have to create an enterprise to be enterprising).
  • Interested in better understanding how the private sector works, especially with regard to its role in global society.
  • Interested in applying techniques from business and innovation to address global social challenges.

Social Innovation Fellows

  • Participate in a self-assessment process to help identify their personal strengths, weaknesses, and interests, and develop a plan to make the most of them in relation to opportunities available to SI Fellows.
  • Receive information and advice about relevant, practitioner-oriented courses at SIS, other schools at AU, independent study options, and free online courses, as well as the new Kogod entrepreneurship incubator. There are no specific courses required for SI Fellows.
  • Obtain coaching about launching a new venture or starting an NGO.
  • Participate in experiential learning, design thinking workshops, internships, non-credit courses, conferences, networking events, and consulting opportunities related to their personal plan.
  • Have access to the facilities of 1776, the downtown DC start-up incubator along with Social Enterprise Masters students.
  • Are eligible, with relevant course preparation, to undertake the 2-semester Social Enterprise individual project practicum as their capstone requirement, if approved by their degree program.
  • Actively contribute energy, time, and ideas to the SI Fellows community and its activities, including serving as a coach or mentor to others interested in social innovation.

Mechanics

  • Very simple application process: email indicating interest and resume to Bob Tomasko (tomasko@american.edu) followed by an interview to participate in this co-curricular activity.
  • All applicants will be required to complete a self-assessment and planning process to become an SI Fellow. Fellows’ total time commitments will be driven by what they choose to put in their plan.
  • Term is one calendar year, which may be renewed.
  • When Fellows graduate from SIS they will be invited to remain involved with SI Fellows activities, including mentoring new Fellows.