Social Innovation Studio

The Social Innovation Studio is a working and learning community for students seeking to advance progress against a specific problem through social innovation. The Studio is also a dedicated space at HKS for student social innovators to meet, work, organize, ideate, get feedback, and be in community.

The Studio is located in Belfer 102. Students can drop-in any time during Open Studio to work on their social innovation activities and be in community with fellow student social innovators.

Sign-up for the Social Innovation Studio mailing list

Happening at the Studio

  • Open Studio. Individuals and groups use the Studio space (B-102) to work on social innovation projects, discuss ideas, collaborate, and be in community. It is an open space for students to be in action and conversation, learn from each other, and push their own thinking.
  • Workshops. Studio workshops focus on skills that are critical for social innovators and introduce theories and frameworks to support innovators in being strategic and effective in bringing about the change they seek.
  • Roundtables. The Studio occasionally hosts speakers – academics and practitioners – for interactive, around the table conversations. These events are kept intentionally small to promote interactive, candid discussion with a focus on how to get things done, rather than storytelling or lectures.
  • Mixers. Social mixers create opportunities for social innovators and the “innovation-curious” across Harvard to connect. These mixers may include a featured topic or guest, but are mostly open format. Mixers draw students from different schools, disciplines, and sectors to engage in robust discussion about their perspectives on social innovation and public problem-solving.

2016-17 Studio Student Leadership Council

Student Leadership Council Members are the ambassadors of the student voice on social innovation. They represent cross-sector and multi-disciplinary experiences, share a demonstrable commitment to social change, and are fully dedicated to delivering on the Studio’s mission. The Studio is managed by staff in partnership with the Council.

  • Muradiye Ates
  • Chelsea Banks
  • Shikha Dubey
  • Carolina Ferreira Oliveira
  • Lavan Gopaul
  • Dinah Hanson
  • Mimi Liu
  • Emily Middleton
  • Marta Milkowska
  • Dana Myrtenbaum
  • Vinay Nagaraju
  • Henning Ringholz
  • Ricky Sharma
  • Matthew Spector
  • Maroof A. Syed

Experiential Learning

The Social Innovation and Change Initiative (SICI) provides limited funding for students to learn about the practice of social innovation through hands-on experience. Students are expected to complete a report at the end of the funding period that discusses the lessons and experience of initiating and implementing social change.

Applications are selected on the basis of: the extent to which a project offers an innovative approach to an urgent social issue, the articulation of a clear and compelling theory of change, the potential for significant learning within a short timeframe (the school year), the strength of student leadership, evidence of support from others, possible unintended consequences of the project, the potential for lessons and data to be used to advance the learning of others, and commitment to spending at least 10 hours per week on the project for the duration of the funding period. Students are also asked to provide a detailed budget with other sources they will tap for funding (including the percentage of the overall budget that would be supported by SICI). Funded students will agree to acknowledge SICI’s contribution and involvement according to guidelines supplied by SICI.

Applications are reviewed and selections made on a rolling basis each semester by SICI staff. Please submit inquires to: