The Social Innovation Fellows is a new high impact learning experience at the Institute for Nonprofits at NC State University. The Social Innovation Fellows offers participants from any discipline a yearlong team experience to learn the adaptive leadership and technical skills it takes to be successful social entrepreneurs and innovators.
On October 1, a lively event in the Talley Student Union kicked off the Social Innovation Fellows. The inaugural group of Fellows is a diverse mix of thirty students that represent nine out of the ten colleges (still working on bringing the graduate student only College of Veterinary Medicine into the fold) at NC State University. The kickoff event was an opportunity for the Fellows (pictured above) to meet each other and work collectively in teams. The Fellows’ punctuality and energy revealed their excitement for this new initiative. Aly Khalifa, NC State’s Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence, facilitated the event with a rapid, interactive design process that challenged Fellows to create solutions to real world problems.
During the kickoff event, the Social Innovation Fellows worked on six projects that focused on topics of food and water. Organized into six groups of five, the Fellows spent the afternoon taking a deep dive into understanding a problem and the viability of a potential solution. Based on interest, over the next few weeks Fellows will placed into interdisciplinary groups to begin their venture work.
Feedback from the launch made it clear that many of the Social Innovation Fellows thought the process was a valuable experience. One Social Innovation Fellow, Anirudh Akula in a follow up email wrote, “I look forward to having a wonderful learning experience as a SI Fellow and working with you all!