Social Innovation

Social innovation is not about lucky epiphanies. It’s not about being in the right place at the right time. No, it’s about confronting a challenge head-on. It’s about rolling up your sleeves and exploring the raw data, mapping the problem, understanding the causes and effects. It’s about having the broad knowledge base to employ the right mix of methods and perspectives to see the opportunities and imagine potential solutions others haven’t. It’s about being unafraid to try and try and try until you find the solution that works in a meaningful way. But most of all, social innovation is about being driven by a deep desire to help improve lives—and then channeling that desire into a process that delivers change.

At NYU Wagner, we believe real social impact is achieved with a combination of entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment. Through our academics, especially our social innovation specialization, we provide our students with a vast toolkit of techniques, and teach them how to determine which tools are the right ones for the issue at hand. That means that no matter what challenge our students face, they will be prepared to drive the process from ideation through realization—all the while gaining the public policy support needed to sustain, scale, and measure impact. And this is exactly what it takes to be a social innovator.

From the research coming out of our Social Innovation & Investment Initiative to the impact our students and alumni are making in the field, our community of change makers is innovating policy, products, services, delivery systems, enterprises, and investments—anything necessary to improve lives and solve major domestic and global challenges. As a graduate of our program, you’ll have the “multi-lingual” business and policy acumen to be the kind of cross-sectoral collaborator the world needs to move the needle on key social problems. And that will be true whether you find yourself working as a policy leader, social entrepreneur, impact investor, or manager in any sector.

Alumni in Action: Creating a Nationwide Social Investment Program with the White House

Innovating Public Sector Financing 

Through her role in city government, alumna Kristin Misner created an innovative Social Impact Bond that uses private investments for government projects.

Diversity and Inclusion in Social Finance

NYU Wagner’s Social Innovation and Investment Initiative hosted the symposium on diversity and inclusion in social finance to discuss ways to promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive agenda among social finance practitioners.

Diversity and Inclusion in Social Finance

Diversity and Inclusion in Social Finance

NYU Wagner’s Social Innovation and Investment Initiative hosted the symposium on diversity and inclusion in social finance to discuss ways to promote a diverse, equitable, and inclusive agenda among social finance practitioners.

More to Explore

Alumni

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Jacob Berman

MPA-PNP
Research Analyst
Center for Innovation through Data Intelligence, NYC Office of the Mayor
Jacob Berman
Press

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