Jonathan Lewis
Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Service

Jonathan Lewis is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Service at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the NYU Reynolds Social Entrepreneurship Scholar in Residence. He is also and the Founder and Instructor of Social Entrepreneurship Clinic, an intensive boot camp for mid-career professionals and students taught on campuses and at conferences world-wide. Lewis will teach Making Social Entrepreneurship Happen, a two-week intensive NYU Wagner course for NYU undergraduate students.

Lewis is the Founder/President of the Opportunity Collaboration, a strategic business retreat and economic justice networking summit for 350 senior level anti-poverty leaders that occurs annually on World Poverty Day in Ixtapa, Mexico. Lewis also serves as Founder and Board Chair of MCE Social Capital (formerly MicroCredit Enterprises), a social venture which leverages private capital to finance business loans to deeply impoverished people in developing countries.

Lewis co-founded Copia Global, a pioneering social enterprise that serves Nairobi, Kenya. He is also the Founder and Host of Café Impact, which produces online videos about social entrepreneurship careers.In addition, Lewis is a Senior Advisor/Partner for Dev Equity, a social impact investment fund focused on Latin America and recently served as a Member of the Board of Directors of Everyone Counts, a social enterprise ensuring safe and secure elections world-wide. He is a recipient of the Social Venture Network Innovation Award.

Throughout his entrepreneurial career, Lewis has served as the Founder/CEO of a global business knowledge company, Chief Budget Advisor to the President of the California State Senate, Founder/CEO of an urban real estate investment company and Founder/Owner of a contemporary art gallery. He is a graduate, with honors, of the University of California, Davis, with a B.S. in Applied Behavioral Sciences.

Semester Course
Fall 2014 UPADM-GP.264.001 Understanding Social Entrepreneurship: How to Change the World One Venture at a Time

Understanding Social Entrepreneurship: Making Social Entrepreneurship Happen is about the process of social entrepreneurial problem-solving and empowering yourself with some of the practical, nitty-gritty skills required for a value-centered career as a change agent in the cause of social, environmental and economic justice.

Here is the basic idea: Lofty ideals are not enough. Wanting to do good is one thing. Actually doing good is another. When we hold ourselves to lesser performance standards, it disrespects the impoverished, the disenfranchised and the people whom we seek to help and empower.

Making Social Entrepreneurship Happen is not about surveying or analyzing theories of social action, social venture business models, particular social innovations or your dream solution to the world’s problems. The curriculum is agnostic about competing methodologies and theories of social change. The Instructor is a proponent of “pragmatic pluralism.” The course is about how you potently advance your social change agenda, mission and career.

This is a dynamic course. Whether you are seeking to shape your impact education or seeking skills and innovations to steer your social ventures, as an active learner, you will bring your own challenges and experiences to the conversation. You bring your passion and the cause. The course curriculum provides the actionable tools to get you started and step up your game. The course is about doing stuff. It’s about the practice of social entrepreneurship.


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