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Center for Innovation and Leadership

swattank cil in san fran

Department Overview

Welcome to The Center for Innovation and Leadership at Swarthmore College!

Leadership in the 21st century demands vision and a sense of purpose, cross-cultural fluency, creative thinking, innovation, and flexibility. The Center for Innovation and Leadership (CIL) provides opportunities for Swarthmore students to develop the abilities to lead and inspire, to listen and learn in ways that meet the challenges of our time, and to reflect the values of our community. Thus the CIL will not only promote leadership but also ethical leadership and not only creativity but also creativity invested in the public good.

The CIL strives to give all Swarthmore students the individualized support they need to become strong imaginative leaders of tomorrow. We support students by creating opportunities to hone their leadership skills in capacities like team-based collaboration, the development of social and cultural capital, and inventive thinking processes. Students, staff, and faculty are all welcome to bring forth new and interesting ideas under the umbrella of the CIL. 

Mission Statement

The CIL cultivates co-curricular opportunities at the intersection of leadership, entrepreneurship, and management for students to develop into creative, adaptable, ethical individuals.  

Our Values

Embrace Failure
Have Fun
Dream Big
Get Stuff Done
Work Collaboratively 

Connect With Us!

The Center for Innovation and Leadership sends weekly email newsletters with information on upcoming programs, cool things happening in innovation and leadership, and other stuff that makes us laugh. Subscribe to the CIL Newsletter here!

 

Spring 2020 Programs

Leadership fellows

In December, the CIL selected 14 students to participate in our intensive 10-week leadership program. Over the course of the semester, these students will explore a variety of competencies and skillsets around leadership that will culminate in a day-long competition against other colleges and universities to test what they've learned. Learn more about the Collegiate Leadership Competition here!

Cil @ SF | March 8-14th

Since 2015, the CIL has organized a trip for 10 students to meet Swarthmore alums and tour tech-related companies in the San Francisco and Silicon Valley areas. Students have had the opportunity to meet with entrepreneurial alumni who live and work in the region, to learn about their work and their workplaces, and engage with start-up, venture capital, and tech communities.

Swat Tank Finals Competition | April 3rd

SwatTank is an idea competition that provides students with the opportunity to take a rough idea, product, or concept and develop it towards its next incarnation, ideation, or realization. Student teams submitted proposals at the end of the first semester, will pitch their ideas in February, and then top teams are chosen to compete in the SwatTank Finals in April. 

Senior Showcase | April 24th

The Senior Showcase takes place each spring and invites approximately 20 senior students to distill their senior research into three minutes and present it to an audience using one PowerPoint slide. This highly anticipated event is supported in partnership with the Speaking Associates Program.

Rachel Simmons discusses how to fail successfully at her Failure Workshop hosted by the CIL in September. Read more about the workshop here...

Rachel Simmons discusses how to fail successfully at her Failure Workshop hosted by the CIL in September. Read more about the workshop here...

The CIL took 11 students to California for a week of experiential learning on the CIL @SF trip! More here...

 

SwatTank 2017 finalists

The finalists of the 2017 SwatTank Innovation Competition answer questions about their business pitches.

Students

Students have the opportunity to learn, develop, and build skills through LINK workshops throughout the academic year.

The winning team of SwatTank 2016, Sedinam Worlanyo ‘17 (left) and Bolutife Fakoya ‘17, founded a company that produces artisanal backpacks from Africa, each made with a unique design and meaning. More here...

Rachel Simmons discusses how to fail successfully at her Failure Workshop hosted by the CIL in September. Read more about the workshop here...

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