Social Innovation Leadership Council

SILC is a student-led think tank that uses innovation principles to enhance the Ballard Center and drive student involvement in social innovation at BYU.

What is SILC?

The Ballard Center promotes student involvement in social innovation through various classes, events, and programs. One of these programs is the Social Innovation Leadership Council (SILC), an internal think tank that applies innovation principles to the Ballard Center itself to enhance existing programs and implement new initiatives. Through gap analysis, human-centered design, and collaboration with Ballard Center leaders, SILC applies social innovation on campus in order to prepare students to become lifelong social innovators off campus.

SILC is comprised of student teams that have high autonomy in identifying opportunities and then researching, ideating, testing, and implementing solutions. As such, SILC offers an exceptional opportunity for students to make a real impact on campus. Successful SILC associates are entrepreneurial, resourceful, and highly motivated to improve the social innovation ecosystem at BYU. They often come from diverse majors with varying skill sets and aspirations, but they are all high-performing leaders.

Joining SILC introduces you to a tight-knit network of capable, passionate individuals who share your desire to realize long-term social impact.

What Does SILC Do?

Each semester, SILC associates are assigned to teams and then select a project to focus on, working directly with a Ballard Center program coordinator as their client. Projects revolve around enhancing existing programs or implementing new solutions to fill gaps in the Ballard Center’s current offering. Associates meet with their team weekly to work on their project through its complete lifecycle: research, iteration, testing, implementation of a solution, and tracking its impact. SILC is a 1.5 credit hour class, so associates are expected to spend 4.5 hours per week working on their project (including all meetings).

How Can SILC Help My Ballard Center Program?

If you are a program leader at the Ballard Center, SILC would like to help you achieve your goals. SILC offers the collective thinking power and executing ability of students who are creative, capable, and passionate about improving the Ballard Center. We are committed to working hand-in-hand with you to tackle projects that further develop Ballard Center initiatives, improve their reach and effectiveness, and promote a social innovation ecosystem at BYU that is rigorous, interdisciplinary, and student-oriented.

Examples of past projects:

  • Establishing the Ballard Scholar program as an official pathway for BYU students to gain a comprehensive experience with social innovation.
  • Researching and developing best practices for the creation of the Ballard Center advisement program, which has since introduced hundreds of students to social innovation.
  • Creating a design thinking course for student leaders to introduce other clubs and organizations across campus to innovation principles.
  • Developing Changemaker Maps and creating the Changemaker Club.

Experiences from SILC Associates

“SILC is such a great way to bring creative and resilient minds together to help students become more engaged with social innovation. Our team was able to take an idea for an innovation leadership course and drive it through the phases of brainstorming, iteration, and implementation. It was awesome to be a part of that and to connect with my team members, whom I now consider great friends!”
– Ailyn Gamboa, former SILC associate

“I learned so much about social innovation and design thinking, and I was given the exposure to implement those things on my own. I was part of an awesome team where we supported each other and sought to have a positive collective experience. We worked hard to make sure we learned and enjoyed as much as we delivered. I am confident and proud of the work that I did with my team and I use those experiences when I discuss my resume with other professionals.”
– Anonymous, former SILC associate

Joining SILC

If you are interested in becoming a SILC Associate, please submit your résumé. Qualified applicants will be contacted in order to set up a time for a thirty-minute, face-to-face interview. Interviews are conducted during the last two weeks of every semester. Be prepared to talk about why you are interested in social innovation, why you want to join SILC, and the value you can add to the organization.

Kelsey Hybarger
“My perspective has been widened as I have realized the impact I can have in the world. I feel it is important to help other students understand what I now understand: that I can use my unique passions and skills to create social change. Seeking out and working with the Ballard Center has helped me find my fit not only on campus but in the world.”
— Kelsey Hybarger, anthropology major