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Social Innovations

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Social Innovations at the Wond’ry trains students to discover, understand, engage in, and lead social impact and innovation in communities, workplaces, organizations, and institutions.

We challenge students to discover personal commitments to specific areas of impact; understand how their ideas and capabilities fit within broader landscapes of social innovation; and, learn how to engage in and lead social impact initiatives in diverse contexts. At its core, the Social Innovations Pillar builds on Vanderbilt’s culture of service and exploration, championing student-led innovations and research that drive positive social, economic, and environmental change.

Social Innovations at the Wond'ry is currently accepting applications for the Social Ventures Think Tank Spring 2020 cohort. Applications are due by Friday, November 22 at 11:59pm Central Time.

Programs

Social Innovations at the Wond’ry currently offers two core programs during the academic year, the Social Venture Think Tank and the Map the System Competition. We also partner with the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures on the annual HULT@Vanderbilt Competition, and offer a number of other events and workshops.

Social Venture Think Tank

The Social Venture Think Tank (SVTT) is a highly selective experiential learning program in which interdisciplinary teams of students are paired with a local organization or business working to address a social, economic, or environmental issue in the broader Nashville community. Student teams provide consulting support to their community partner, designing and implementing a project that will help the organization advance their  work to address a particular challenge. Students gain skills in project design and management, consulting, team-building, and leadership development, among many others.

Applications are accepted in the Fall and Spring for the following semester and are posted on this webpage in October and March of each year. Applications for the Spring 2020 cohort can be submitted here until November 22, 2019.

Map the System Competition

Map the System is a global competition that challenges students to take a research-first approach to identifying solutions to complex human-environment challenges. The program is affiliated with the University of Oxford's Global Map the System Competition. Students choose a specific social or environmental issue and then conduct research to learn about efforts already underway to address their chosen challenge. They also research the issue’s underlying social, economic, political, and/or environmental components. Students then give a presentation at a formal competition, articulating their findings in a way that inspires audiences; fosters understanding and engagement around the issue; and, offers insight into how the issue may be better addressed through new initiatives, collaborations, or alternative solutions. The winning team from Vanderbilt's competition represents the University at the Global Finals, held in June of each year in Oxford, United Kingdom.

Registration for Map the System is open to all Vanderbilt University undergraduate and graduate students, December through January. The competition takes place in April. Check back here for more information on how to register!

HULT@Vanderbilt Competition

The Wond'ry supports the Turner Family Center for Social Venture's annual facilitation and coordination of the HULT@Vanderbilt Competition. The HULT Prize is a global case competition hosted by the Hult Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs. The competition challenges students to develop innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing human-environment challenges. The Hult Prize Competition at Vanderbilt is a preliminary competition, with the Vanderbilt winner advancing to the regional competition. The ultimate national prize is $1M in seed funding to implement the proposed solution.

Undergraduate and graduate students are invited to register for participation each Fall for the annual competition. The registration period is now closed for the 2019-2020 academic year. On-campus finals will occur on November 15, 2019.

Partners

We build partnerships with non-profits, social enterprises, businesses, public offices, student organizations, faculty and staff, and other individuals and organizations who are committed to affecting positive change. We want to thank all of our partners; we couldn't do this work without you!

Social venture think tank

Social Venture Think Tank
Fall 2019

Social Venture Think Tank
Spring 2020

Social Venture Think Tank
Fall 2019

Social Venture Think Tank
Spring 2020

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Social Venture Think Tank
Fall 2019 / Spring 2020

On-Campus Partners