Center for Innovation and Leadership

Welcome to Swarthmore’s
Center for Innovation and Leadership!

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

Engage Innovative Thinking to Foster Student Leadership Practice.

September Programs

Everyday Brave with Rachel Simmons: How to Take Risks, Embrace Failure, and Discover You're Tougher Than You Think. 
Wednesday, September 12th @ 4:30pm | Science Center 101

This won't be a lecture! Rachel will discuss practical tools to use in navigating imposter syndrome, facing failures, and reframing the voice of our inner critic. Come ready to practice an discover why the highest achievers are just as good at embracing failure as they are at seeking excellence. 

She Started It!
Thursday, September 27th @ 6:30pm | Haverford VCAM

Please join us for an evening celebrating women in entrepreneurship. For students from Tri-Co and Villanova, the evening will feature a panel of women entrepreneurs, dinner and networking opportunities, and a private screening of the film She Started It!. This documentary follows five women and their journeys as "they pitch to Venture Capitalists, build teams, bring products to market, fail and start again". 

6:30-7pm Panel | 7-8pm Dinner | 8-9pm Film Screening
To register, please sign up with the following link: 


Work, Life + Social Networks, A Frank 5 Fellows Panel
Friday, September 28th @ 2pm | McCabe Library's Popular Reading Room

Who’s in your social network? How does your social network circulate in the world? How do you build on it? What communication styles do you use in your network? How does your social network impact your academic work? How will your professional life after college depend on it? Meet the new cohort of Frank 5 Fellows as they talk about their social networks and how those networks intersect with their personal lives and their work. How have their networks evolved post-Swat?

Cosponsored with the Aydelotte Foundation


Swift Entrepreneurship Expo
Saturday, September 29th @ 1pm | Kohlberg Hall Courtyard and Scheuer Room

SWIFT, a campus organization dedicated to promoting financial literacy and helping Swarthmore students build the life skills necessary for financial success, hosts the first annual SWIFT Entrepreneurship Summit! On Saturday, September 29th, SWIFT will be celebrating the students who are entrepreneurs and/or innovators. The SWIFT Entrepreneurship Summit will feature students from Swarthmore, Haverford, and Bryn Mawr who have started their own business, are running their own nonprofit, and have developed a new product.

Register by filling out this Google Form: