Social Innovation Fellows

Grow empowered to find and pursue your passion. Make a difference while cultivating valuable relationships with mentors + content experts. Become an innovative problem solver to tackle the grand challenges in our state and the world!

What is a Social Innovation Fellow?

Creative confidence is the notion that you have big ideas and the ability to act on them.

- IDEO | Insights for Innovation

NC State University Social Innovation Fellows...

  • Have a passion to change the world and want to explore deeply a great social challenge related to the UN Sustainable Development Goals;
  • May have a social impact idea but don’t know where to go to develop this idea;
  • Are currently working on a social venture, product or project solo or with a team; and/or want to join an existing venture team.

Discover. Design. Do Good.

Social innovation is powered by people with passion and motivation to use their talents to design and implement solutions to our most challenging and systemic social problems.

Next year's applications open January 22, 2019

Taking Action

A yearlong team-based learning experience, Social Innovation Fellows will enable NC State’s young social entrepreneurs and innovators who are building the next generation of technologies, inventions and ventures to consider more fully their impact on humanity and our planet.

Fellows will explore issues of ethics and sustainability at the intersection of social sector and responsible business practice. Fellows will grow in understanding of themselves and the positive impact they can make in their communities and the world. Importantly they will grow in confidence, become keen thinkers and problem solvers sensitive to knowledge and cultural differences and be better prepared to leave NC State as engaged and responsible global citizens.

Under the guidance of Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence Aly Khalifa as well as faculty, business and community leaders, learn adaptive leadership skills to become a successful entrepreneur + technical skills to create and launch an enterprise or project that seeks to achieve positive social impact.

Learn more here!

Fellows Expectations

Social Innovation Fellows will combine emphasis on learning both adaptive skills to become successful social entrepreneurs and innovators, and technical skills to ideate and eventually launch a social project, product, policy or enterprise.

Fellows will be required to meet at least once per month with their team and in addition, participate in a skills-based Innovation Lab with other teams and students.

Select readings and resources will accompany the monthly topic. Site visits, focus groups, and tools such as life mapping, appreciative inquiry and case studies will enhance the Fellow experience. Brain Trust members will be on hand to provide ongoing mentoring and team coaching. Fellows’ work will culminate in a celebratory networking and pitch event to win seed funding.

Teams will receive a micro-investment of $1,000 for prototyping and development and a graduation cord upon completion of the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are ideal candidates for the Social Innovation Fellows?
Social Innovation Fellows will include undergraduate and graduate students from all corners of campus interested in becoming change makers – social entrepreneurs, innovators and visionaries who have a dream to change the world –  who want to work on an interdisciplinary venture team to develop new methods to solve society’s greatest challenges. 

As a co-curricular opportunity, does the Social Innovation Fellows meet other University requirements or enhance my academic pursuits in some way?
In some cases, serving as a Fellow will fulfill other scholar requirements.* Social Innovation Fellows aims to build from existing campus assets, complementing coursework for students enrolled in entrepreneurship offerings by providing a cohesive co-curricular learning pathway. The Fellows can serve as an in-depth follow-on to the first year project work of the Goodnight Scholars or a service learning experience for Caldwell Fellows; or offer a supportive framework for students in business, design, engineering and textiles to continue exploration of market-based ventures and prototyping that have positive social impact.
*Social Innovation Fellows is an approved Civic Engagement Initiative for Park Scholars

What incentives and benefits accompany this Fellows opportunity?
Fellows completing all requirements will receive a cord to be worn at graduation. A $1000 per team micro-investment for development and prototyping will be made available, as will site visits to local start up communities and networking with our "Brain Trust" of campus and business entrepreneurs to develop resources and connections that could support future endeavors.

Become part of the Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Eco-system at NC State! Our goal is to apply NC State’s powerful #ThinkAndDo message to impact our community and the world around us.

Contact us with questions!

Elizabeth Benefield, Social Entrepreneurship Program Manager Alisha Brice, Program Coordinator

Jack Ratterree, Program Assistant

Aly Khalifa, Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Sponsored in part by a generous donation from the Kenan Institute

Kenan Institute: Engineering, Technology & Science