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Friday, June 16, 2023

What is a Social Innovator and How Can I Become One?

Written by Kroc School

In today's world, social innovation is an increasingly important concept. Social innovators are individuals who strive to create solutions to social and environmental challenges using entrepreneurial approaches. They are changemakers who identify problems in their communities and design creative and sustainable solutions to address them. 

If you are interested in becoming a social innovator, read on to learn more about what it takes to become one and how the Master’s in Social Innovation program at the Kroc School of Peace Studies can help.

What is Social Innovation?

Social innovation involves the creation of new ideas, products, and services that address social and environmental challenges. Social innovators work in a variety of fields, from healthcare to education to sustainability. They are driven by a desire to create positive social change and make the world a better place.

Some examples of social innovation in action include microfinance institutions that provide loans to small businesses in developing countries, social enterprises that employ marginalized populations, and renewable energy companies that help combat climate change.

Benefits of social innovation include increased social equity, improved environmental sustainability, and economic growth. Social innovation can also lead to more efficient and effective solutions to social problems, as well as greater collaboration and engagement across different sectors.

How to Become a Social Innovator

There are certain skills and qualities that are essential to become a social innovator. These include creativity, problem-solving abilities, empathy, and the ability to think critically and work collaboratively. In addition, social innovators must be comfortable taking risks, as social innovation often involves trying out new and untested ideas.

To develop these skills and qualities, you can engage in interdisciplinary coursework, pursue internships or volunteer opportunities in the field, participate in networking events and conferences, or pursue a degree in social innovation.

Create Social Change Through Experiential Learning

The Master of Arts in Social Innovation (MASI) program at the Kroc School of Peace Studies is a great way to gain the skills and knowledge needed to become a social innovator. The program is designed to provide you with a foundation in social innovation theory and practice, as well as hands-on experience working on real-world social innovation projects.

The MASI curriculum includes courses in design thinking, social entrepreneurship, and impact measurement, as well as field-based learning opportunities such as internships, fellowships and research projects. You will be able to experience and work with real-life social innovation organizations to utilize and hone in on your skills learned at Kroc that focus on sustained engagement, human-centered methods and applied research. 

Kigali, Rwanda’s capital, was an ideal location for MASI (and other) graduate students from Kroc to learn about social innovation and utilize the skills they had been taught hands-on throughout the practicum. Learn more about the fun and knowledgeable experiential learning practicum students experienced in Rwanda.

In recent years, MASI students have participated in field-based and experiential learning locally in San Diego and around the world, in countries such as Northern Ireland and Rwanda. Kroc’s proximity to the border and long-term relationships with cross-border communities also provide students with unique opportunities to reformulate and transform pressing peace and justice issues in real time. Through these experiences, you will be able to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to create social change.

Once receiving your degree in social innovation, the opportunities are endless, as there are a variety of career paths for social innovators. Many social innovators work for non-profit organizations, social enterprises, or government agencies. Others start their own responsible business or consult for organizations seeking to create positive social change.

Start Your Path to Social Impact at Kroc School

Becoming a social innovator is a rewarding and challenging journey that requires hard work, dedication, and a passion for social change. The MASI program at the Kroc School can help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in the field. 

Interested in learning more about the program? Access our guide, Reimagining Capitalism: Meet MASI, The MBA for Social Entrepreneurs.

Questions about MASI?

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About the Author

Kroc School

Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies' mission is to equip and empower innovative changemakers to shape more peaceful and just societies.

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