New Beginnings

For those who work in higher education, it is almost impossible to be on campus in May without thinking about graduation. Soon the people we’ve come to know, learn from, and care for will move on to other places and roles. While no one was sure how the virtual version would go this year, in many ways, the gatherings and ceremonies that comprised graduation week for the SICI community were surprisingly similar to the in-person experience.

And yet in tone, many of us noted a momentum and energy this month that felt more like the start of a new chapter than the completion of a final one. Perhaps because the transition from in-person to online already occurred in March, the boundaries around this “goodbye moment” felt less stark than years past. The brilliant, moving, and at times very funny, display of tributes celebrating the class of 2020 seemed to represent what we will be for each other, in our new online reality, rather than a reflection on what we once were. So the past few weeks have offered our team great hope and anticipation for what’s to come next. We know the students, faculty, and practitioners who became part of our community this academic year will always remain because we’ve already made it through so much together, despite being separated by physical distance.

Meanwhile, applications for the next group of student social innovators to join the New World Social Innovation Fellowship are already open. This year we are expanding eligibility from HKS, Harvard College, and HBS to include student applicants from Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard School of Education. You will see just a highlight of accomplishments from the current cohort below. Please take a moment to encourage promising students to apply. We know the 2020 cohort will be a special one and cannot wait to get to work alongside them.

Together with you,

Brittany Butler signature

Brittany Butler
Executive Director, SICI
Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy, HKS