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Boston College School of Social Work
Center for Social Innovation
GSSW 75th Anniversary Celebration Features Social Innovation


September 2011: Seventy-five years after its founding to train social workers to respond to the critical issues facing a nation mired in the Great Depression, the Graduate School of Social Work celebrated its 75th anniversary with a day-long series of events on September 14.

GSSW Offers Field a New Approach


In an effort to transform the traditional yet outdated model of social work, Boston College has launched the nation’s first program to train social workers in the entrepreneurial practices of social innovation. Read more in the Boston College Chronicle.

Social Innovation Day

March 20, 2012

Eight teams of Social Innovation and Leadership students at the Graduate School of Social Work gathered for a daylong series of guided activities to develop innovative responses to social problems.  Using strategies of scenario building, open innovation, and rapid prototyping, each team developed and presented their innovative solution to a panel of experts.

Social Innovation Symposium


The Social Innovation Symposium, hosted at Boston College by the Graduate School of Social Work and Capstone Program (an undergraduate seminar series in which students reflect on their college experience and preview life beyond the University), was sponsored by the Institute for Liberal Arts. It brought together more than 250 students and faculty at Boston College to stimulate thinking about social innovation and social change. The symposium and follow-up classroom discussions encourage students to consider opportunities in the social sector and help build a sense of community among the next generation of social innovators. The event featured a panel of social innovators: Earl Phalen, CEO of Reach Out and Read; Jim Laughlin, director of communications of Life is Good; and Eric Scharwz, co-founder and CEO of Citizen Schools.

2012 Social Innovation Lab Launch


The Boston College Social Innovation Center launched the 2012 Social Innovation Lab.  In its second year of operation, the Lab will be working with four social service agencies from Massachusetts.   Innovation Teams from each agency will engage in a series of face-paced activities, beginning with identifying a social problem, working to develop a prototype, and ending with the pilot testing of at least one of the prototype components.  

New Students for the Social Innovation and Leadership Program


The Boston College Graduate School of Social Work welcomed the first cohort of students to the Social Innovation and Leadership Program. Co-chaired by Professor Stephanie Berzin and Center on Aging and Work Director Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, this new program engages macro social work students in training and experiential learning about social innovation and paradigms of sustainable social change.
Read more in GSSW Magazine

"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.



November 9th, 2015