The Center for Social Innovation (CSI) is a schoolwide project incubator and research-to-practice accelerator to encourage new curricula, novel approaches, and cutting-edge research methods that advance social interventions and confront systemic challenges in the U.S. and across the globe. A core tenet of the CSI is that it is a school-wide hub for collaboration and experimentation and not associated with an individual faculty member.
Systemic challenges that affect the well-being of children, families, and communities—poverty, mental health, racial inequities, crisis migration, environmental risk, climate change, economic disparities—are myriad, complex, and interrelated. The CSI approach is human centered, transdisciplinary, and grounded in implementation science and participatory approaches that engage affected communities to amplify their voices both in defining problems and designing solutions.
Areas of Focus
These include ambitious curricular innovations and research-practice partnerships that actively engage practitioners in reciprocal learning and knowledge generation.
These are small, time-limited research projects that receive seed funding and lead to development of large-scale, investigator-driven grant proposals. Funded activities include community and stakeholder engagement activities, development of pilot interventions, and adaptation of interventions for new populations.
These human-centered, data-driven projects are transdisciplinary, combine curricular and methodological innovation, and may engage expert consultation. CSI invests in course development focused on how to address complex social problems using design thinking, system science tools, data science, and implementation science frameworks.
The CSI supports research and curricula that allow students to gain applied research experience in situ working on projects in low- and middle-income countries across the globe. Engagement of CSI Fellows is a core component of all CSI-funded projects.