Social Innovation & Investment Initiative

As the world’s population continues to grow, so does the need for finding innovative entrepreneurial and financial solutions to address our most pressing social challenges. NYU Wagner’s Social Innovation & Investment Initiative provides the tools, research, training, and thought leadership to address these issues across the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. 

The Social Innovation & Investment Initiative serves as the central hub and incubator in the field of social finance, bringing together policymakers, philanthropists, finance professionals, nonprofits, and foundations to collaboratively strengthen the growing field. The Initiative is working on:

  • Designing social financial instruments and structures to achieve social impact, identify catalytic financing and risk mitigating structures, and innovate financing models;
  • Research, development, and training of new models of financial collaboration across sectors;
  • Monitoring and evaluating financial and social returns generated by social enterprises to improve existing financial instruments and broaden opportunities for private sector financing of government initiatives;
  • Documenting best practices and developing case studies in venture philanthropy, impact investing, social impact bonds, and social enterprise financing; and
  • Developing policies and convening partners across sectors to exchange ideas, information, and practices necessary to develop successes and learn from failures.

With deep faculty knowledge, a core finance curriculum, and a prime location in the heart of New York City—the financial capital of the world—NYU Wagner’s Social Innovation & Investment Initiative serves as the leader in the evolution of investment strategies at the intersection of public good and private benefit.

The Initiative is directed by Scott Taitel, Clinical Professor of Public Service and Director of Social Impact, Innovation & Investment Specialization, who previously served as Chief Operating Officer for the Clinton Foundation’s Enterprise Partnership and was responsible for establishing impact investment funds as well as creating and overseeing a portfolio of effective social enterprises throughout the developing world.



The Social Innovation & Investment Initiative receives support and guidance from a consortium of funders, advisors, and family foundations.


Scott Taitel, Faculty Director