Courses in: Social Innovation

Policy Advocacy Evaluation: Designing Rigorous and Useful Evaluations

This class explores the important evaluation area of policy advocacy evaluation. As development practice shifts to focus on the structural drivers of poverty around the world, and seek long-term social and institutional change, interventions increasingly involve shaping policies, programs and social norms. This class examines the theoretical and practical challenges of measuring influence on policy deliberation and implementation. It explores emerging approaches developed to provide rigor and actionable insights about what works and what doesn’t.

Management Consulting for Public Service Organizations

Management consultants work in all corners of the public and nonprofit sectors on every imaginable topic—from organizational strategy to technology implementation, education to migration. But what is management consulting? Why do so many public service organizations rely on it? What skills and experience do you need to be a management consultant?  And how much good can management consulting really do for the public and nonprofit sectors?

The Practice of Adaptive Leadership

What does it mean to lead? This course is an exploration of the ideas and theories developed at Harvard University by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky over the last 30 years about the work of leaders in mobilizing groups to act to solve complex and seemingly intractable problems. We will contrast Heifetz and Linsky’s notion of leadership with the more traditional theories of leadership.

The Intersection of Operations, Policy, and Leadership (EMPA)

Policy, operations, and leadership are inextricably linked. This course aims to expose students to policy formation in a highly political environment, to operations management of systems shaped by state and local policy, and to the requirements and pressures faced by leaders wrestling with difficult problems. The course aims to build a toolbox of specific skills to assess stakeholder environments; to support analysis and decision making in a wide variety of contexts; and to appreciate the role of leadership, consensus building, and conflict management in driving policy outcomes.

NYU Impact Investment Fund I

The NYU Impact Investment Fund (NIIF) is a unique inter-disciplinary, experiential learning course which is offered in tandem with a student-led and operated Impact Investing Fund of the same name. For students to participate in the Fund they are required to be enrolled in this course.

NYU Impact Investment Fund II

The NYU Impact Investment Fund (NIIF) is a unique inter-disciplinary, experiential learning course which is offered in tandem with a student-led and operated Impact Investing Fund of the same name. For students to participate in the Fund they are required to be enrolled in this course.

Environmental Finance and Social Impact

This course will provide students a thorough understanding of how key environmental challenges can be addressed through innovative financing and investment strategies.  Topics will include an overview of the main financial instruments and the key thematic areas of the growing field of environmental finance.  Students will be introduced to instruments, structures and investment approaches to achieving positive environmental outcomes and impact including, but not limited to private market investments, renewables, climate and green bonds, water investments, and conservation finance.

Advanced Financial and Impact Modeling for Nonprofit and Social Enterprises

Increasingly, as the field of impact investing develops worldwide, leaders in the social field are adopting selected tools from their counterparts in the private sector. One of the most widely used and useful tools is the spreadsheet-based, projection model of an individual enterprise. This course focuses on modeling tools used by nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurs and other practitioners to develop business strategies and funding approaches, including market-based funding, to scale their work.

Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy

New developments in all areas of science and technology have become deeply interwoven into all aspects of daily life and are among the most primary forces shaping the long-term trajectory of our social, economic, and political systems. These not only include the socially oriented technological considerations that we think of and encounter on a regular basis, such as ubiquitous digital connectivity or privacy on the web.

Understanding Social Enterprise

This course is designed to help students learn how to launch and scale social enterprises.  Using business as a force for good, social entrepreneurs implement innovative private sector approaches to solve social, cultural and/or environmental problems. Surviving start-up and scaling to maximize impact is an art, science and emotional journey, especially when attempted without investors. Statistics show that approximately 4% of small businesses surpass $1 million in revenues, while only 0.4% surpass $10 million.

Capstone: Advanced Lab in Social Innovation II

As part of the core curriculum of the NYU Wagner Masters program, Capstone teams spend an academic year addressing challenges and identifying opportunities for a client organization or working on a pre-approved, team-generated project in which they develop a business case or prototype to create social impact or launch a social enterprise.