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Boston College Graduate School of Social Work
Center for Social Innovation


BC at Ashoka U Exchange

FEBRUARY 26-28, 2015


Dr. Stephanie Berzin will represent BC at the annual Ashoka U Exchange at the University of Maryland, joining the other 29 Ashoka U Changemaker universities. Dr. Berzin will be joining academic and nonprofit leaders in a discussion on university partnerships. For more information, visit The Exchange website.

Lunch with Leader: Chrismaldi Vasques

JANUARY 23, 2015
11:50 am–1:00 pm


Chrismaldi Vasques is Associate Director of Family Independence Initiative, Boston, which leverages the power of information to support economic and social mobility. FII is proving that documenting and investing in the initiative and ingenuity of low-income families and communities is the most effective way forward. The event seating is limited to 10 seats, and sign-up will be on a first come, first-served basis until the 10 seats are filled. Please email to reserve a seat.


Berzin Presents on Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Society for Social Work and Research Conference

JANUARY 14-18, 2015


The annual SSWR conference will focus on 'The Social and Behavioral Importance of Increased Longevity,' and will feature over 500 symposia, workshop, roundtable, paper and poster presentations. Held in New Orleans, the conference will feature the latest in quantitative and qualitative research on issues including social innovation and entrepreneurship, child welfare, aging, mental health, welfare reform, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS.


For more information visit the SSWR Conference Webpage

CSI Partners with City Awake Boston

DECEMBER 4- 13, 2014

A 10 day social impact festival is coming to Boston! City Awake will bring together more than 170 partner organizations to connect and celebrate Boston's dynamic social impact community. Featuring over 50 planned events including panels, presentations, and hands-on workshops, City Awake aims to showcase and strengthen the diverse and impactful work being done by Boston's impact sector. Learn more at»

Macro Social Work Student Group Meeting

Thursday, November 20 at 6:30 pm in McGuinn 437

The MSWSG meets on a monthly basis to provide students with an opportunity to engage in practical macro social work skills and build networks to foster further professional development and success. November’s meeting will focus on the following topics: Defining macro social work, Negotiation 101, and the upcoming Innovation Symposium

For more information, visit the MSWSG website.

Provider's Council Panel on Social Innovation

NOVEMBER 17, 2014   

The BC Center for Social Innovation will be presenting findings from the Leading the Way report as well as moderating a panel discussion on social innovation at the Providers’ Council 39th Annual Convention and Expo on Monday, November 17 in Boston, MA. Each year there is an offering of 32 workshops designed for a wide range of staff in human service organizations, from direct care staff to executives - the Convention attracts about 1000 attendees from the Massachusetts human services sector.

For more information and registration, click here.


Lunch with Leader Mike Durkin

Thursday, December 5th

12:20-2pm McGuinn 526

Mike Durkin, President and Chief Executive Officer of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay And Merrimack Valley. The event seating is limited to 10 seats, and sign-up will be on a first come, first-served basis until the 10 seats are filled. Please email to reserve a seat.

Leadership: A Diasporan Diplomat's Reflections from Nigeria

October 10th, 2013

12:30pm to 1:50pm

McGuinn 334

A Social Innovation and Leadership & Global Practice Event. Presenter Atim Eneida George, a Foreign Service Officer for 30 years in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa will be sharing her experiences in leveraging public policy to eradicate poverty,promote social justice and gender equity.

How Are We Leading The Way?

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Boston College: Brighton Campus

2101 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill, MA

How are we Leading The Way? will be an opportunity for social sector leaders and partners to discuss social innovation among social sector organizations in Massachusetts. The event will bring together participants of the Leading the Way report, organizations that are seeking to learn from master social innovators, and public sector participants interested in social innovation. More about the social innovation roundtable »


Camarena Presents on Innovation in Education in Nicaragua

OCTOBER 15-19, 2014

Joining leaders from over 20 countries, Assistant Director of the Center for Social Innovation, Humberto Camarena, led the discussion on innovation in higher education to explore strategies for engaging students and educators through innovation. Continue Reading»

New Innovation Collaborative with Pontifica Universidad Catόlica in Chile

AUGUST 1, 2014

A new collaboration is recently underway between the BC Center for Social Innovation and Pontifica Universidad Catόlica in Chile. The two universities are partnering to advance the field of Social Innovation by engaging in a one-year collaborative project involving faculty, students, and local NGOs in Santiago, Chile. This unique opportunity for international academic and student exchange will serve as a stepping stone for further collaborations in the future between the two schools of social work. Continue reading»

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Center Leads Conversation on Social Innovation at Management Conference

JUNE 30, 2014

This June, leaders in the field of social work across academia, research, and practice convened at the 25th annual Network for Social Management Conference to discuss "Management in the Age of Innovation" at Simmons College in Boston. Throughout the course of two days, deans and directors of schools of social work engaged with executive directors and CEOs of leading organizations, while workers on the front lines shared their perspectives on how social workers can make a difference through innovation toward building organizations for change. Faculty and students studying tomorrow's best practices in management discussed the emerging skill sets needed for tomorrow's leaders. Attendees represented organizations from across the United States.  Continue reading »

Stephanie Berzin Wins Award for 'Outstanding Use of Technology in Teaching'

MAY 27, 2014

This spring, Stephanie Berzin Co-Director of the BC Center for Social Innovation was awarded a Teaching with New Media (TWIN) award by Boston College Instructional Design and eTeaching Services. The award, which recognizes faculty members for outstanding uses of technology in teaching, is just one proof point as to how BC Social Work is innovating to build leaders for the future.

"Every day teaching at the school of social work, I'm truly inspired by the possibility that my students are going to change the world," says Berzin. "By integrating the latest in technology into our classrooms, we are best preparing them for success once they leave campus and enter the workforce."  More about Stephanie Berzin's award »

First International Social Innovation Lab Concludes

APRIL 28, 2014

The CSI has concluded its first international Social Innovation Lab in Medellín, Colombia. Partnering with Ruta N Medellín, one of the leading science and technology innovation companies in Colombia, the CSI worked with teams comprised of NGOs, local government, corporations and universities to launch four innovative initiatives in Medellín, addressing issues of transportation, entrepreneurship, overcoming the urban conflict, and housing. Continue Reading»

Social Innovation Day 2014

APRIL 8, 2014

The 2014 Social Innovation Day brought together students in the Social Innovation + Leadership Program at Boston College School of Social Work to create innovative solutions to some of the world’s most challenging social problems. Over the course of the day, students participated in an idea fair, team scenario building and rapid prototyping in order to determine the best solution for their team’s social problem. The end of the day consisted of teams presenting their solutions to an expert panel that provided feedback to enhance their solutions. Continue Reading»

Empower Lunch

January 27,2014

Professors Tiziana Dearing and Stephanie Berzin, co-chairs of the Social Innovation & Leadership Program, hosted a luncheon with Bill Drayton, Ashoka Founder; Fernande Raine, Ashoka; Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, Parker Montgomery Professor of Religion and Public Life at Harvard University and Secretary for Health and Social Services at the Archdiocese of Boston; Monalisa Smith, President, Mothers for Justice and Equality; and Michael Gilligan, Chair, LIFT USA.Continue Reading»

"Social Business: A New Path for Capitalism?"

OCTOBER 17, 2013

Independent film producer and author Stephanie Failloux screened "Social Business", a new 50 minute film giving a fresh perspective on the potential for entrepreneurs to tackle social problems, seen through the example of a for-profit start-up in Cambodia. Stephanie Failloux shared with students and faculty her experience with using film as a medium to open minds and mobilize entrepreneurs into action. This event was sponsored by The Center for Social Innovation, GSSW Social Innovation and Leadership, and BC Venture Competition.

Leadership: A Diasporan Diplomat's Reflections from Nigeria

OCTOBER 10, 2013

On October 10th, the Center for Social Innovation welcomed Atim Eneida George, who spoke with students and faculty on her experiences in leveraging public policy to eradicate poverty, promote social justice and gender equity. The event was co-sponsored by Global Practice Concentration and Social Innovation and Leadership (SIL). Continue Reading»

How Are We Leading The Way?

JUNE 17, 2013

On June 17, leaders and partners from the public service sector, private sector, and academia engaged in a discussion around innovation and its practice in human service agencies. The event was cosponsored by the Providers’ Council, Massachussetts Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance and the Center for Social Innovation at Boston College. Continue Reading»

Social Impact Bonds: "Paying for Success"

APRIL 18, 2013

Social Impact Bonds: "Paying For Success", a discussion on how funding innovation in social services leads to paying for RESULTS. The day featured a panel of social innovators: Edward Dolan, Commissioner of the Department of Youth Services; Caroline Whistler, partner at Third Sector Capital Partners; and Tom McKenna, the Executive Director of Roca. The event was hosted by the Center for Social Innovation and Boston College Graduate School of Social Work.

Leading the Way: Social Innovation in Massachusetts

CSI Co– Director Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes along with faculty members at the Center for Social Innovation have worked together to complete this detailed report on social innovation and its practice occurring in Massachusetts. Twenty three socially innovative organizational leaders across the state were interviewed for this report. Read more from the Boston College Chronicle »

Social Innovation Day 2013

April 8,2013

Students in the Social Innovation & Leadership Program at the Graduate School of Social Work participated in a day long series of guided activities to develop innovative responses to social problems. Continue Reading »

Boston College Designated 'Changemaker Campus'

March 14, 2013

Boston College has been named a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka, a global association of leading social entrepreneurs. Ashoka cited BC’s use of social innovation as "a pathway to social justice," noting the establishment of a social innovation program in the Graduate School of Social Work. Continue Reading »

GSSW Social Innovation Leaders Looking Ahead

FEBRUARY 19, 2013

With an important major milestone completed, organizers of the Graduate School of Social Work’s social innovation initiative are now planning for its next phase, including an effort to involve other Boston College schools, departments, and programs.

Nearly three years ago, GSSW Associate Professors Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes and Stephanie Berzin launched the initiative, establishing a center to coordinate activities that promote social innovation — a growing field that blends entrepreneurship and practices from business/management and other disciplines to address social needs. Read more from the Boston College Chronicle »