Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Social Innovation Lab

Social Innovation Lab at the Lang CenterWe live in a time of staggeringly complex social problems that require intentional and multi-stakeholder approaches to identify, explore, unpack and reimagine potential solutions. These problems require us to think, learn, act, and grow.

The new Social Innovation Lab at the Lang Center1—an on-site “makerspace”—provides students, faculty, staff, and community partners with room to grow, literally as well as figuratively.  The Lab unites a fledgling community of Swarthmore Social Innovators and community stakeholders invested in creative collaboration for the wider good.  Founded by Denise Crossan, the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Social Change, the Social Innovation Lab will host courses and programs that teach participants innovation skills such as human-centered design thinking methods, strategic and project planning, and social entrepreneurship skills. The Lab and its programming will also connect directly with faculty across the College to enrich engaged scholarship pursuits utilizing social innovation processes.

Initially, the Social Innovation Lab will house student collaborations for the President’s Sustainability Research Fellowship Program—a joint project of the Lang Center, the Office of Sustainability, the President’s Office, and the Environmental Studies program—as well as student collaborations for Professor Crossan’s social innovation courses.  

Anyone interested in learning more about the Social Innovation Lab should contact Professor Crossan.

Upcoming Events

“Social Impact Investing: What is it, how is it measured and how might we create a ‘Social Impact Investment student movement’ in Swarthmore College?”

Panel:  Pat Colgan, Chuck Lacy, Desmond Doherty, and Shannon Mudd; Moderator: Denise Crossan

Monday, Oct 30th, 6-8pm

Keith Room, Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

Refreshments provided

According to  Sir Ronald Cohen, Chairman of Big Society Capital and Chairman of the UK’s Taskforce on Social Impact Investment, and Matt Bannick, Managing Partner of Omidyar Network and Co-Chair, U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (Forbes 2014), “Impact investing is poised to change the trajectory of poverty, crime, homelessness, for education, green energy and much more. It just needs to be unleashed.”  As a new growth area, it is incredibly difficult to estimate the size of the market, however based on the Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN.org) 2016 Annual Survey from 156 global investors, it was estimated that collectively they managed a fund size of USD 77.4 Billion in impact assets.  In this talk, drawing on the experience of impact investing from both private and public sector perspectives, we will explore what constitutes social impact investing, how is  impact investment measured and how might we create a social impact investment movement for students in Swarthmore College?

To learn more about Social Impact Investing in general, visit GINN.

Pat Colgan is currently a Senior Advisor to the Colombian Government working to building the Colombian peace process, representing the Irish Government. Des Doherty is a Human Rights Lawyer from Northern Ireland and a successful author in Irish crime writing, having published the Valberg trilogy. Shannon Mudd is the Director of Microfinance, Impact Investing, and Social Entrepreneurial Programs and Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at Haverford College.

 

“My life as an International Human Rights Lawyer” Pizza Lunch Talk

Speaker: Desmond Doherty

Wednesday, Nov 1st, 12.30 -1.30pm

Location: Parrish 159

Sponsored by Career Services and The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

Des Doherty is a Human Rights Lawyer from Northern Ireland and a successful author in Irish crime writing, having published the Valberg trilogy.

 

Valberg Reading

Author: Des Doherty

Friday, Nov 3rd, 2.30-3.30pm

Location: McCabe Library Atrium

Sponsored by the English Department  and The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility

“’He’s as white as a ghost,’ Valberg said. ‘Look at the incision to the right of his neck.  Look at the cuts to the palms of his hands, under his armpits, look at the back of his heels.  You would think a deranged physician attacked him. I bet his neck isn’t even broken.  We’ll know later.’”

See more: Teaser Video; Promo and Author Interview; Des Doherty reads from his novel (Irish Interest); Interview at the SILK Literary Festival (Norway)

Des Doherty is a Human Rights Lawyer from Northern Ireland and a successful author in Irish crime writing, having published the Valberg trilogy.

 


1. According to the Open Book on Social Innovation (Young Foundation 2010), Social Innovations are “new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs and create new social relationships or collaborations. In other words, they are innovations that are both good for society and enhance society’s capacity to act.”

Contact

Denise Crosan

Denise Crossan

Lang Visiting Professor
Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility
Lang Center 201