Classes

Various departments offer social innovation classes ranging from introductory to graduate-level work.

Ballard Center Courses

Classes covering social innovation topics are offered in a number of different departments across campus. Below are a few examples of classes specifically offered through the Ballard Center to help students learn how to Do Good Better. Many of these classes are broadly applicable to a number of different programs and majors, even if they’re not listed in your major’s Changemaker MAP. Be sure to talk to the Ballard Center and your adviser about incorporating them into your graduation plan.

  • Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship Lecture Series~^+ (BUS M 371R; 1 credit) Come listen as various social innovators discuss their various paths to making the world a better place. This course is offered in the fall and winter.
  • Social Innovation—Do Good Better+ (BUS M 375; 3 credits) The Do Good Better course helps students from all majors discover various ways that they can get involved in social innovation (e.g. starting a social venture, working for a nonprofit, volunteering, etc.); develop skills to critically analyze social ventures; and develop a personalized plan on how to create a life of purpose. This is a three-credit course.
  • Social Innovation Projects^+ (BUS M 491R; 3 credits) SIP is the Ballard Center’s on-campus internship program that allows students to work on semester-long projects from top-tier social innovation organizations. To learn more and to apply, click here. Available only during fall and winter.
  • Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship*+ (MBA 692; 1.5 credits) This class focuses on solving issues that social innovators face; understanding complex systems of for-profit, nonprofit and hybrid social ventures; and outlining involvement in social innovation as part of a lifetime of meaningful service. Available only during the first term of fall semester.
  • Social Innovation Masters Classes* (MBA 693R; 1 credit) Classes will vary by semester/block. Courses may include Corporate Social Responsibility, Impact Measurement, Microfinance, Impact Investing, Microfranchising, Philanthropy, and others. This course is offered only during the second term of fall semester.
  • Impacting Investing (BUS M 491R; 3 credits): Open to students from all backgrounds and majors, impact investing helps students learn how to invest in social businesses that are creating positive social impact. Students will gain a foundation in understanding venture capital and impact investing, hear social ventures pitch their ideas, and learn how to think critically and analyze social impact, business models, and other aspects of a business.
  • The Innovator’s Method: Developing Ideas that Matter+ (BUS M 491R; 2 credits) This class will be part lecture and part application. Our goal is to learn how to build a business, product, or social enterprise that addresses high-impact problems. We will use the Innovator’s Method framework to generate powerful insights, immerse ourselves in our customer’s world and needs, develop prototypes, design experiments to test potential solutions, and craft a business model to support our ideas. This course will be highly experiential, with students applying the Innovator’s Method to a real-world challenge or opportunity. This will include weekly out-of-class assignments such as customer observations, building digital and physical prototypes, and running real-world experiments. The course will culminate in a pitch session of each team’s journey and outcomes.

~ Counts towards management minor
+ Counts towards Ballard Scholar for Social Innovation
^ Counts towards the international development minor
* Counts towards the MBA social innovation minor

Major-Specific Courses

For more major-specific social innovation classes, check out our Changemaker Maps.

"After taking these classes, I had a better understanding of the kind of career I wanted to develop and the life I wanted to live. They helped me realize that social innovation means never settling for what is good enough. In whatever sector you are in, whatever career and lifestyle you choose, there will always be better ways of doing things. The act of doing good better is ongoing, and Ballard Center classes help you get started on that path." —Ailyn Cabezas
“After taking these classes, I had a better understanding of the kind of career I wanted to develop and the life I wanted to live. They helped me realize that social innovation means never settling for what is good enough. In whatever sector you are in, whatever career and lifestyle you choose, there will always be better ways of doing things. The act of doing good better is ongoing, and Ballard Center classes help you get started on that path.”
— Ailyn Cabezas, public health major