"Social Innovation Day” Rounds Out GEW at Carnegie Mellon University
Jan 04, 2011
A week-long program of events for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2010 at Carnegie Mellon University culminated in “Social Innovation Day”, featuring two unique events that were open to all students in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. The following write-up was featured on CMU’s Heinz College website—Heinz College is one of the leading graduate schools for Public Policy and Management as well as Information Systems and Management:
“Building a Socially Innovative Business” workshop featured an interactive discussion with Lois Bruu, an international social entrepreneur based in New York City. In order to provide some perspective into the field of social enterprise, Ms. Bruu began by sharing her experience developing telecommunications projects in Russia. She generously offered her practical advice as well as an honest, insightful, and often humorous take on bridging cultural gaps in the pursuit of business.
After her presentation, she challenged students to think like social entrepreneurs: she randomly assigned students to small groups and gave them a social topic (which had been suggested by the audience) around which a social enterprise could be developed. She provided feedback from an investor’s perspective and recognized the winning team with a gift certificate. In the true spirit of Social Innovation Day, the winning team donated the certificate to a fellow graduate student and young entrepreneur to fund his own budding social enterprise.
The week culminated in a “Social Innovation Showcase,” which highlighted a dozen projects of both local social innovators and graduate students. Attending organizations included EarthSpark International, TechBridge World, Terradime, and BirdBrain technologies. The event gave attendees exposure to cutting edge products and provided social innovators the chance to tell people about their new products.
In addition to the campus sponsors for Global Entrepreneurship week, both events were sponsored by Heinz College’s Institute for Social Innovation, SCS’s Project Olympus, and Idea Lab, a student organization committed to helping graduate students foster social innovative businesses. SmartGrowth Club also co-sponsored the Social Innovation Showcase.