Thinking, Learning and Doing
This post was contributed by guest writer Gina Condon, President and Founder of Construct Foundation.
In 2013 I was in the process of launching the Construct Foundation. I was looking for the right professional development opportunity to help me form the building blocks of a new kind of education foundation. I researched everything from MBA programs with a social mission to weekend workshops for non-profit leaders. Throughout my search I kept returning to Portland State University’s Business of Social Innovation, a new online certificate delivered by Impact Entrepreneurs in the School of Business Administration. The new program prepares changemakers to tackle the world’s most challenging social and environmental problems.
An Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, PSU is recognized for their leadership in social innovation education and the PSU School of Business is ranked among the top 15 MBA programs by Aspen Institute Center for Business Education. The social innovation certificate is open to professionals as well as graduate and undergraduate students, creating a unique intergenerational community, and the faculty is made up of accomplished practitioners.
I’m honored this fall to join an inspiring group of peers in the first cohort to finish The Business of Social Innovation certificate. Among the many highlights of the yearlong program, we were treated to visits or webinars by Tim Clark of Business Model You; Kristi Yuthas, coauthor of Measuring and Improving Social Impacts; and designers from IDEO.org.
Now, with the courses all complete, we are on to the important work of identifying, designing, and supporting sustainable solutions to real-world problems. My work will be in the field of education. The team at Construct recently partnered with the founders of Design Week Portland and piloted the expansion of their education track as a way to celebrate the nexus between design, innovation, and K-12 education.
Next we plan to introduce the concept of an industry supported City-Wide Design Challenge for students throughout Portland metro region. This idea has grown from The Construct Foundation’s first initiative with Project Breaker. I was able to develop the idea throughout the Business of Social Innovation coursework. Here’s a micro-documentary about the project we ran last May. Now similar projects are being developed for middle schools and high schools around the city.
Congratulations to Impact Entrepreneurs for launching a powerful new course.
Entry filed under: Design Thinking, Opportunities for social innovators, Social Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship Certificate, Uncategorized. Tags: Construct Foundation, Design Thinking, Design Week Portland, education, Education Funding, Pacific Northwest, Social Innovation Certificate.