Expanding Empathy

February 28, 2021SICI News, Blog

This month, thanks to encouragement from our SICI colleague Mu-Chieh Yun, I took some time to read about a recent wave of Anti-Asian violence, rolling across the United States, often in connection with xenophobic narratives related to COVID-19. I was surprised by how little I’d heard, given the ballooning numbers Mu described. After discovering this … Read More

Changing Hearts and Minds

January 31, 2021SICI News, Blog

Amanda Gorman at the 2018 Gleitsman Award. Photo credit: Tom Fitzsimmons. Working in the social innovation space from Harvard Kennedy School, an institution steeped in research on human rights, democracy, politics, and power, we at SICI often find ourselves gravitating to examples of leaders who are capable of changing hearts and minds, rather than those … Read More

Closing 2020

December 31, 2020SICI News, Blog

As December comes to a close, we at SICI have turned our attention towards: Nurturing rituals that support reflection and renewal Hopeful conversations about a better future A profound sense of gratitude for the people and organizations in our community 2020 came and it is now almost complete. The year that follows will be shaped … Read More

A Time of Transition

November 30, 2020SICI News, Blog

Wow, November, how different you seem from just 30 days ago. The US elections were called (including the norm shattering election of Vice President-Elect, Kamala Harris), multiple COVID-19 vaccines are on the scene, and the cumulative linguistic impact of 2020 was so profound and expansive that Oxford’s Word of the Year panel declared last week … Read More

Being Apolitical Is an Illusion

October 31, 2020SICI News, Blog

One month ago, Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, a cryptocurrency startup innovating in the finance space, published a blog post, which began: “There have been a lot of difficult events in the world this year: a global pandemic, shelter in place, social unrest, widespread protests and riots, and west coast wildfires. On top of that, … Read More

Change That Lasts

September 30, 2020SICI News, Blog

People gather to mourn the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court in Washington, on Sept. 20. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo As someone who teaches about social innovation and social change, I am always on the lookout for exemplars that reveal both timeless and contemporary lessons. So on September 18th, when Supreme … Read More

Meet the 2020 Cheng Fellows!

September 1, 2020SICI News, Blog

This year, Fellows are building community wealth, creating healthier communities, transforming healthcare systems, and re-imagining education. They include healthcare intrapreneurs, educators, nonprofit leaders, social entrepreneurs, organizers, and community change-makers. And for the first time, the 2020 cohort represents students across five Harvard schools: HBS, HGSE, HKS, HSPH, and Harvard College. This cohort exemplifies the strength and promise of cross-sectoral, cross-community social problem-solving.

“Wait and See” Mode

August 31, 2020SICI News, Blog

Two weeks ago, I emailed a colleague to ask if I could introduce him to someone and he wrote back “Would love the intro. Off this week, but back next week, and raring to go for the fall!” Raring to go for fall?! I had to blink back shock for a full minute before I … Read More

Transparent Gatekeeping

July 31, 2020SICI News, Blog

As many of you know, one of SICI’s most cherished undertakings is the New World Social Innovation Fellows Program, an accelerator for aspiring social changemaker students at Harvard. Applications for our sixth cohort of Fellows closed on July 12th and are currently moving through a rigorous series of selection proceedings. Thousands of institutions in the … Read More

Getting Beyond Incrementalism

June 30, 2020SICI News, Blog

As part of the Social Innovation + Change Initiative, I am frequently asked how I can tell if a social impact effort is “truly innovative” (interestingly, far fewer people ask the same question about “true social change”). My response, though perhaps disappointing for some, is that most of the ideas we study and support at … Read More