“To inspire, prepare, and support a community of innovative, entrepreneurial, and adaptive leaders who apply a human-centered and interdisciplinary mindset and skillset to systemically address the urgent social & environmental challenges

in our rapidly-changing world.”










Emotional/Social Intelligence

Global Awareness

Cross-Cultural Competence

Social Justice

Community Empowerment



Systems Perspective



Pedagogical Approaches



A learner-centered approach shifts the primary focus from the teacher to the students, engaging them fully in the learning process, with the instructor playing the key role of facilitator. Methods includeactive learning, cooperative learning, and inquiry-based learning. 


Students learn to examine complex problems through an interdisciplinary lens, including their social, political, economic, cultural, environmental, and personal dimensions.


Integrative learning is about making connections across courses; disciplines; diverse ideas and experiences; the curricular spectrum (curriculum, field work, and co-curriculum); theory and practice; classroom and community; and complex, interrelated issues. It reflects a student’s ability to synthesize learning and apply it to new contexts and problems. 


Immersive and experiential learning is contextual (often place-based), hands-on, holistic and composite, and iterative. It includes experiencing deeply, data-gathering, reflection, conceptualization, testing and experimentation, validation, application, and iteration. 


Instructional scaffolding is the process of providing students with appropriate supports, such as mentoring, coaching, templates) to promote effective learning. As the student develops knowledge, skills, and confidence, the supports are gradually removed or become more sophisticated to match the student’s evolving level. 


The guiding ethos is knowledge in service to society. Students work to translate theory to practice in and out of the classroom through developing their own social impact models and social ventures, independent research, social innovation sprints, immersive case studies, and other high-impact approaches


Self-regulated learning motivates and empowers students to take ownership over their education, maximize achievement, and pursue self-directed lifelong learning. Within the context of well-designed and facilitated curricula and educational opportunities, students are given opportunities to make meaningful choices, plan and set intentional goals, practice reflection and self-awareness, and assess their knowledge and skills, their own work, and that of their peers. 

Peer-Based & Collaborative

Students participate as co-teachers in the classroom, become effective at giving and receiving respectful critique, leverage diverse perspectives and ideas, and work in teams on problems in ways that cultivate both positive interdependence and individual accountability.

Defining Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Social innovation & entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary approach to creating systems-level change that applies the best thinking and practices from across the nonprofit/civic, private, and public sectors.  It aims to address a complex problem or “unjust equilibrium” through which the value created is targeted primarily to a segment of society experiencing marginalization or to society as a whole.

This approach includes:


  • Understanding a social/environmental problem through a lens of empathy, including its social, political, economic, cultural, environmental, and personal dimensions.


  • Identifying an opportunity; ideating, testing, and refining an innovative, impactful, and systemic approach to the problem through a human-centered process that is iterative and collaborative; and ensuring that its social value proposition is realized for the key stakeholders.


  • Implementing and scaling that approach or social innovation through a sustainable social impact model—via a mission-driven, triple bottom line-focused organization or partnership such as a social enterprise, high-impact nonprofit, socially-responsible business, or cross-sector/collective impact initiative.


Bruce Manciagli

Director, Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship @ FSU

Social Entrepreneur in Residence

Interdisciplinary Social Science Program

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

Faculty, Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship

Program Leader ~ Bali SIE Immersion, FSU International Programs 

Florida State University

This definition draws upon key concepts from the seminal literature in the field, particularly articles by Dees; Martin & Osberg; and Phills Jr., Deiglmeier, & Miller, as well as Human-Centered Design, Social Innovation Framework, and Design Thinking material from IDEO and others.