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Social Innovation Lab

Department Overview

"A community of Swarthmore Social Innovators applying knowledge to need."

In a time of staggeringly complex social problems that require intentional and multi-stakeholder approaches to identify, explore, unpack and re-imagine potential solutions, individuals are required to think, learn, act, and grow.

The Social Innovation Lab at the Lang Center provides students, faculty, staff, and community partners with support and room to grow into a community.  The Lab unites Swarthmore Social Innovators and community stakeholders invested in creative collaboration for the greater good. Founded by Denise Crossan, the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues of Social Change, the Social Innovation Lab hosts courses and programs that teach participants innovation skills such as:

  • Human-centered design thinking
  • Strategic and project planning
  • Social entrepreneurship skills 

The Social Innovation Lab also connects directly with faculty across the College to enrich engaged scholarship pursuits utilizing social innovation processes.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Social Innovation Lab should contact Professor Crossan (dcrossa1).

ASHOKA JAPAN Youth Venturers Visit the Social Innovation Lab!

March 24th and March 25th, the Social Innovation Lab is hosting a group of six young Japanese Change Makers.  Ashoka, a membership organization made up of global social entrepreneurs, is sending these students as part of their Young Venturer program. They are working on a fascinating array of projects, focused on sustainability, environmental disaster, education reform, youth engagement and other pertinent topics facing Japanese society.  While on campus, students will participate in a story-trade symposium with Swarthmore social entrepreneurs, engage in a CIL innovation and leadership workshop, and attend a Zumba class and baseball game! We look forward to welcoming them!

Five out of six members of the Ashoka Japan cohort visiting Swarthmore March 25th and 26th.

Members of Ashoka Japan's Youth Venturer cohort. 

Design Thinking drop-in sessions are offered the first Wednesday and Saturday of each month. For more details, please contact Professor Crossan (dcrossa1).

Design Thinking drop-in sessions are offered the first Wednesday and Saturday of each month. For more details, please contact Professor Crossan (dcrossa1).