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Denise Crossan

Lang Visiting Professor

Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility

Peace & Conflict Studies


  2. Phone: (610) 957-6165
  3. Lang Center 117

Denise Crossan, a professor of social entrepreneurship, will continue to serve as the Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change in 2018-2019.  Dr. Denise Crossan was appointed as the Eugene Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change in September 2015.  She has worked with the Lang Center to create the new Social Innovation Lab that aims to “create a Swarthmore Community of Social Innovators who apply knowledge to needs.” Previously Dr. Crossan was appointed to Trinity College Dublin’s School of Business as Assistant Professor in Social Entrepreneurship and in 2016 became an Adjunct Visiting Professor for TCD.  As an academic and practitioner, Dr. Crossan’s experience spans working with grassroot community organizations to assist them in creating their own social enterprise solutions through the Peace Process in Northern Ireland, to working with the Republic of Ireland government, the World Bank and being selected to join the European Commission’s Groupe d'experts de la Commission sur l'entrepreneuriat social (GECES), to investigate, develop and advise on practice and policy issues associated with fostering social innovation and social entrepreneurship in numerous context.  

Prof. Crossan's courses include:

PEAC 039: Social Entrepreneurship for Social Change (1 Credit)

By integrating social innovation solutions with revenue-generating practices, social entrepreneurs create compelling, sustainable and impactful pathways to social change. In this course, students will work directly with our partners, CultureWorks Philadelphia, to learn about these pioneering individuals and the novel ways that social entrepreneurship responds to social needs that are not adequately served by the market or by the state through case analysis of social change work (locally, nationally, and globally).  Focusing on the origins of the Social Entrepreneur, the role of the social mission, measuring social impact and mechanisms to scale social enterprise, students work with practitioners in an engaged scholarship pedagogy to apply theory to practice.  1 credit. Mon. 6:00-9:00 p.m. Keith Room 112 Lang Center, Social Innovation Lab Lang Center & CultureWorks office, Walnut Street, Philadelphia.

PEAC 049: Be the Change! Social Entrepreneurship in Principles in Practice (1 Credit)

Be the Change! Social Entrepreneurship Principles in Practice allows students to directly apply their rich Swarthmore academic knowledge to the practice of social entrepreneurship; ‘being the change’ by investigating, exploring, and conceptualizing their own social enterprise solution for the Swarthmore campus and our local community.  Using a Design Thinking approach in the Social Innovation Lab in the Lang Center, students spend time developing a human centered enterprise solution which is framed within the Social Business Model Canvas.  Students are paired with entrepreneurship mentors from our course partners, the Uncommon Individual Foundation, and the culmination of the course is a celebratory Social Enterprise Fair held on campus at the end of the Semester.  Students will learn about the manifestation of social entrepreneurship principles and practice in non-profit, for-profit, and hybrid organizations, and through their own social enterprise model embark on a journey to explore their own potential as social entrepreneurs. 1 credit. Thur. 1.15pm – 4p.m. Keith Room 112 Lang Center and the Social Innovation Lab.