Social Innovation Projects (SIP) is an on-campus internship program that allows students to work on projects for top-tier social innovation organizations.
Below you will find a brief description of the organization, the project(s) available for collaboration, and finally, an ideal skill set. Keep in mind that not everyone on a team needs to have the exact same skill set. The beauty of an interdisciplinary team is that you all will draw on each other’s strengths. Feel free to pursue projects even if all you have is a passion for the organization’s mission and a willingness to learn.
*Although the specific projects for these organizations have not been entirely defined, you can find a description of the organization on this page as well as the current status of project possibilities. A project of at least some kind is on the horizon with these organizations and will be determined at a later date.
Click here to apply for an internship
Academy for Creating Enterprise
The Academy for Creating Enterprise (ACE) is a nonprofit organization that teaches returned missionaries from around the world how to start and grow small businesses to provide for themselves and their families. They primarily operate in the Philippines, Mexico, and Peru. Their curriculum was used to help create the Church’s new self-reliance program.
Projects: To be determined.
Current Status: It is likely that there will be four projects with the ACE organization. These projects will most likely involve local implementation of ACE materials, optimizing operations for ACE employees, editing and creating videos for ACE promotion, and creating a fundraising campaign.
Apopo trains rats to save lives by sniffing out landmines and tuberculosis in developing countries. Apopo’s TB detection rats in Mozambique and Tanzania have now identified over ten thousand TB-positive patients that public clinics missed.
Project One: Develop a promotional video that will persuade people to purchase a HeroRAT adoption either for themselves or as a gift. Apopo will provide all needed footage, voice recordings, examples, taglines, etc. Originally, when someone bought a HeroRat, they were following a virtual rat on a prewritten journey. However, they are transitioning to have people follow a real rat. The video would be used to promote this change along with the creation of an outreach plan.
Skills: Marketing, video/film, and communication.
Project Two: Develop a strategic and operational plan to sell Apopo’s HeroRAT adoption program through resellers online and offline in Europe and the US. Apopo is looking to reach beyond the core Apopo community to make it a successful and viable product. They are looking for creative solutions to take the adoption from a virtual experience to a physical adoption where customers buy the adoption in a store, have a physical welcome pack, etc. You will create a strategic and operational plan that will provide a roadmap to Apopo detailing how the organization should increase the reach of its flagship fundraising service to new markets.
Skills: Business, supply chain, marketing, and advertising.
Project Three: Create a holiday season multi-channel marketing campaign to promote Apopo’s range of gifting solutions. The two-month holiday season is a critical fundraising time for Apopo, and they want to generate as much income out of these channels as possible. Your job is to create a complete marketing campaign and the operation plan for the annual holiday marketing strategy. This will include reaching new and existing markets, promoting and selling products, and free reign for creativity.
Skills: Marketing, business, and advertising.
Project Four: Develop an information and marketing pack for Zoos and other wildlife exhibits that will convince them to add a HeroRAT enclosure to their park, in partnership with Apopo. Apopo has a large public interest wherever they go and there is always a big reaction. Currently, there are no HeroRATs in the zoos, but Apopo wants your help launching this program. Zoos could have HeroRAT displays and potentially demonstration activities to show people what these rats do. Create an information pack that contains all of the information Zoos need to make an informed decision about hosting a HeroRAT exhibit.
Skills: Students of all majors with strong writing skills, creativity, and marketing.
Ashoka is a global organization that identifies and supports more than three thousand leading social entrepreneurs. When an organization has proven its ability to provide sustainable and impactful change in the world, the organization is accredited the prestigious title of Ashoka Fellow. Ashoka is always promoting the idea of becoming a “changemaker” in communities.
Project One: The team will create a changemaker card game focused on helping families incorporate religious traditions and changemaking into everyday life. This includes researching phrases from the LDS standard works, researching the main problems LDS communities face, conducting interviews with religious and community leaders, and designing the card game.
Skills: Research, interview, and design (not mandatory).
Project Two: Ashoka would like to map out the journey of a young changemaker. In this project the team will interview inspiring young changemakers and analyze their journeys to determine what patterns there are in changemakers’ lives. This information will be organized in a way that can be used to inspire future changemakers.
Skills: Interview, design skills, and survey/data analysis.
Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams.
Project: Asset map of organizations and initiatives in Greater Boston that serve and support students during high school who would be interested in partnering with Citizen Schools to develop a connection for continuity. A proposal for how best to track alumni after they leave Citizen Schools to know where they are going to high school and college, as well as what careers they are pursuing, how to maintain updated contact records, etc. Proposal should be based on research: best practices of peer organizations who successfully track alumni, industry standards, etc. Recommend how Citizen Schools should launch a pilot Alumni Services program starting in January 2017, including a six-month project plan for January–June, 2017 with clear deliverables and a plan to measure impact.
Skills: Citizen Schools and the Director of 8GA and Alumni Services look forward to working with interns who show 1) a commitment to and passion for closing the opportunity and achievement gaps in public education; 2) a proven ability to think critically to problem solve with creative solutions; 3) a strong team orientation and ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people; 4) an embodiment of the seven Citizen Schools values: pride, joy, respect, courage, perseverance, teamwork, and vision; and 5) an interest in education reform and nonprofits.
Earth Enable builds healthy floors for the 80 percent of people who can only afford to live and sleep on a dirt floor in their home. They are located in Rwanda and other African countries.
Project: Earth Enable has been conducting a survey on health outcomes for the past eighteen months, but has not yet analyzed the data. The data is quite messy and will require significant cleaning first, and then econometric skills to analyze it. This project is to clean and compile the data and to analyze what the health impact has been based on it. Your final deliverables will be an analytical report on their health impacts, a STATA.do file of the analysis and cleaning, and recommendations for improving the survey in the next impact evaluation.
Skills: Economics, experience with STATA, and analytics.
Educate Girls leverages existing community and government resources to bring back to school the most marginalized and underserved girls, aiming to improve access and quality of education for four million children by 2018.
Project: Your job is to create online fundraising campaign strategies to help Educate Girls tap into the US network. This will include creating how-to instructions for setting up campaigns on crowdfunding platforms such as Causes, Crowdrise, etc; developing a database of potential partners/donors for Educate Girls; and providing potential funding referrals of Fortune 500 companies, corporations, foundations, trusts, HNIs, and Philanthropic organizations that invest in education in India.
Skills: Online networking, strong communication skills, and internet/social media savvy.
Engage Now Africa
Engage Now Africa is a 501(c)(3) working to end poverty and strengthen families in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Namibia, and Ghana, Africa. Their programs include various methods that seek to address poverty alleviation in a multi-disciplinary way. Programs include: education, healthcare, clean water, microcredit, and microlending for individuals to build entrepreneurial skills, increase income, and stop all forms of modern slavery including human trafficking.
Project: In the works. Students will be studying the outcomes of Engage Now Africa’s work in Africa. More information to come shortly.
Skills: First and foremost, a passion for helping those living in impoverished conditions gain the necessary skills to become self-reliant and move out of poverty.
Additional skills include: Familiarity/interest in social media platforms, data analysis, and design.
Google Community Leaders Program
The Google Community Leaders Program is a yearlong on-campus internship that focuses on using human-centered design principles to find innovative approaches to bridge the digital divide. This program is a partnership between the Ballard Center of Economic Self-Reliance and Google.
Project: Projects will be determined through the Human Centered Design process as taught by IDEO.org. This will be a highly creative process involving students, vetted community partners, and Ballard Center instructors and staff.
Skills: This interdisciplinary program is seeking students from all majors who are sensitive enough to empathize, humble enough to listen, passionate enough research, and brave enough to fail.
Additional skills include: Comfortable talking with community members and reaching out to and interviewing local stakeholders, quantitative/qualitative data analysis, graphic design, fluency in Spanish, and videography/photography.
Maharishi Institute (MI) is a South African nonprofit trust founded in 2007 working toward making quality college education accessible to underserved youth.
Project: Your job is to develop a fundraising strategy for MI to open new doors. This will include creating proposal examples for potential funding sources and creating a list of potential donors, companies, foundations, wealthy individuals, etc.
Safe Mothers, Safe Babies
Safe Mothers, Safe Babies (SAFE) reduces maternal and infant mortality in the first one thousand days of life by targeting the Three Delays, improving health decision-making, access to health care, and the quality of care provided in health facilities.
Project One: The Iganga District Hospital is one of the primary facilities in Iganga District, Uganda, that provides comprehensive obstetric and neonatal care, and is one of the only facilities that provides surgical intervention such as cesarean section. It is the only hospital in a region of over 650,000 people, and provides services to more than 1.2 million people (although it was designed to serve only 200,000). As part of SAFE’s ongoing partnership with them, the administrators have asked SAFE to help them develop a website that presents the hospital’s achievements and tactfully presents their needs in order to facilitate larger partnerships with international organizations and student medical programs. The social innovation team will work with SAFE staff and hospital administrators to develop this website and related social media platforms, with emphasis on translating data from the hospital into compelling visual narratives.
Skills: PR, advertising, communications, video, film, and web development.
Project Two: More than 40 percent of women in Uganda deliver their babies in a place other than a health facility. Although home birth is a safe birth alternative for women in many areas of the world, conditions such as poverty, poor preconception healthcare, distance to health facilities, poor road conditions, and limited access to surgical care makes it so that the safest place to deliver is in a health facility. Yet sociocultural, economic, and structural barriers often prevent women from doing so. The “Three Delays” explains that these barriers can be delineated into three categories: delays in decision-making, delays in physical access, and delays in the provision of quality care.
“We sold our goat” is a quote from an interview SAFE did with the family member of a woman who died during labor, which emphasizes how urgent and devastating a pregnancy-related emergency can be for a woman and her family. Your job is to make this message and the Three Delays model more tangible so that it is easily understood. The student team will work with SAFE leadership to develop visual ways to convey this message, either through short or long documentaries using SAFE video footage, computer-animated videos, or a combination of both.
Skills: PR, advertising, communications, video, and film.
Project Three: By the end of this summer, SAFE will have completed more than six thousand surveys assessing maternal and child health and survival, along with the Three Delays. SAFE also used Google Earth and QGIS to generate maps of the regions where the surveys were conducted along with points of geographic interest: schools, wells, health facilities, swamps, road washouts, trading centers, etc. SAFE would like a student team to help connect the data to the map and teach us to conduct analysis, particularly assessing the relationship between certain maternal/child health outcomes and geographic barriers related to the Three Delays.
Additionally, SAFE places high emphasis on creating replicable processes and accessible data. Their method of data collection and map generation was intentionally conducted in a low-cost way using free or very low-cost software/equipment. SAFE has also developed several manuals for these software (as existing resources were inaccessible or written for a technical audience). (1) Publish a process paper so that other small nonprofits can be empowered to replicate the process, and (2) Create an online space where people could look at and play with their data on a map, and juxtapose certain indicators with geospatial items of interest. SAFE desires a team of students who have an interest and skills in maternal and child health, epidemiology/survey research methods, GIS (bonus points for putting it online), and evidence-based applied public health practice.
Skills: Sociology, psychology, STEM, GIS, and website development.
Project Four: SAFE would like to help change the narrative, at least within their own field. SAFE is collecting stories from women, men, families, and healthcare providers about what maternal and child health means to them, the challenges that they face, and the solutions they are employing in their communities, all within the context of the Three Delays. SAFE wants to utilize a website (or some other super creative visual storytelling) to create a narrative that engages the user on a journey through these people’s lives so they can understand the Three Delays and the complex nature of public health problems and solutions. The focus of this project is amplifying the voices of people who are often marginalized and doing so in a way that really compels the user to listen. SAFE wants to disrupt conventional forms of thinking and motivate people to act on different principles.
Skills: Copy writing, editing, PR, advertising, communications, video/film, and web development. Many mediums involved: photos and written narrative, audio narrative, and raw video footage that needs to be edited. Will require creative storytellers, editors, communications students, and website developers.
Solutions Journalism Network
The Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) is an independent, nonprofit organization working to legitimize and spread the practice of solutions journalism: rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems.
Project One: SJN is building SolutionsU, a new technology platform and community to help students and educators find and learn from responses to social problems around the globe.
The team will map out the ecosystem at the BYU campus and identify the key stakeholders on their campus, demo the revamped Solutions Story Tracker, and ask questions to better understand the possible use cases, value add, and what is missing for each stakeholder.
The team will prepare and present a stakeholder map. For each stakeholder they will identify the top use cases, value add, and resources/support that would make this resource more useful for a stakeholder. These students would also surface the main points of confusion or any challenges that they faced when interacting with these stakeholders. This presentation would include recommendations on how to best engage each of these unique university-based ‘personas’.
Skills: Strong communication skills both written and oral, familiarity with University administration and departments, previous experience with research and interviews is preferred.
Project Two: SJN is currently in the process of becoming a source of solutions journalism from news outlets all over the world. There are a number of strategic questions to address in order to determine the best way to move forward: (1) How might we systematize the way that we actively search for solutions journalism? and (2) How might we work with others to help us search for and identify solutions journalism?
SJN would like to work with a group of students around these two questions. To start, these students will work off our existing list of partner newsrooms and go-to sources to create a robust list of who is producing solutions journalism. While mapping out this news landscape, these students will brainstorm a variety of ways which we might address these two problems. Out of these ideas, we will choose a few ideas that are feasible to experiment. The final presentation would include this extensive list of who is producing solutions journalism, what they learned from experiments, and their recommendations moving forward.
Skills: Marketing strategy (including social media), hands-on research and reporting, survey/data analysis, familiarity with programming and possible tech solutions to identifying solutions journalism, and strong communication skills.
Suyo is a public benefit corporation that unlocks the transformational impact of secure property rights by making it easier and more affordable for low-income families to formalize their property. Suyo currently operates in Cali and Medellin, Colombia. Empowered with formal recognition of their property rights, low-income families have access to numerous benefits that help lift them out of poverty, such as credit, home ownership security, and the ability to transfer rights. Suyo combines modern technology with their expert team of lawyers, architects, and other property professionals to solve property formalization needs in a simple process for approximately half the price of other providers. Their services include land titling, building registration, successions, and property purchase studies, among many others.
Project One: The S&M will focus on: (1) helping systematize and improve Suyo’s customer tracking system (to organize customer payment status, service status, payment plan chosen, etc.); (2) increasing Suyo’s social media presence (expose company history, track milestones, create profiles of current clients); (3) helping the Suyo team explore different sales/promotional avenues and strategic alliances, such as payment collection systems, means to enhance field agent safety, and financing avenues for customers; and (4) improve the firm’s website (possibility of setting a question-answer online system and providing geo referencing of where local clients are located).
Skills: They are looking for students who are proficient in Spanish and have a background in supply chain, marketing, sales, or a related field.
Project Two: The operations side will focus on: (1) systematizing Suyo’s information collection systems (to track ongoing judicial processes, customer notifications on status updates, etc.); (2) analyzing Suyo data and helping calculate margins (conversion of prospect to assessment, assessment to client, among others), narrowing down the identification of Suyo’s target customer and helping analyze customer acquisition costs and costs of services; and (3) helping Suyo research demographic characteristics of possible target populations for expansion.
Skills: They are looking for students who are proficient in Spanish and have a background in supply chain, marketing, sales, or a related field.
Teach For America*
Teach for America (TFA) has been influencing the education of America’s underprivileged children for twenty-five years. The organization exists to dismantle the reality that what you look like and where you grow up dictate the quality of education which you receive. They recruit recent college graduates of all academic backgrounds to teach in low-income communities throughout the United States for two years. After two years, many stay in the classroom, while others help form a broad coalition of educators, politicians, doctors, businessmen and women, and social justice advocates to create educational equality for all.
Project: To be determined.
Current Status: TFA is preparing a project for Fall 2016. Check back soon for more details.
West Africa Vocational Education (WAVE)
West Africa Vocational Education (WAVE) is a social enterprise with a mission to increase income for unemployed youth by identifying, training, and placing talented, underserved youth in entry-level jobs in high-growth industries, such as retail and the hospitality sector. Like its natural resources of oil and minerals, Africa’s youth are a paradox of (untapped) potential dividends merely existing, yet constantly being exploited as demographic liabilities.
Project: There are lots of people who appreciate the work that they do and would like to be a part of it, but do not know how. WAVE would like to create opportunities for that to happen, through which WAVE can actively engage with members of their communities, leveraging them to further their mission. Your job is to develop an end-to-end volunteer program that details: (1) The most effective parts of their business to utilize volunteers; (2) The best way to create awareness for the program and engage with potential volunteers; (3) Whether WAVE should screen volunteers to determine best fit, and if yes, by what criteria? (4) When volunteers are selected, what is the best way to embed them into the processes? What structures should/must WAVE have to ensure the most effective and efficient volunteer program?
Skills: Students of all majors can apply. Especially students with experience in volunteer management and organizational behavior.