SLS Innovating for Social Impact Program: What's It All About?

September 8, 2020

“Maximize every day and opportunity you have to work with the community – listen and learn from them, while also thinking of ways, no matter how small, of how you could contribute and help them in their goals.” (Rey Angeles, M.S. Supply Chain Engineering)

At Georgia Tech, there is an incredible amount of energy to innovate and create the next Big Thing. This energy exists in all majors – Biomedical Engineering, Business Administration, Public Policy, and so on. This is true even for social innovation. The major difference is, well, a lot of students don’t know where to begin or how their skills can apply to the plethora of social issues. The Innovating for Social Impact Program provides students with an experiential pathway to research problems in depth, collaborate with organizations, and apply their background in a unique way. The program is broken up into four components: Engage, Learn, Dive, and the final deliverable. Students are advised to first Engage with partner organizations, Learn more about social impact tools, Dive into a social innovation challenge, and then compile all of their knowledge into a final deliverable. .

Anna Montgomery is an undergraduate student majoring in Business Administration and Rey Angeles is a masters student in Supply Chain Engineering. Anna and Rey have both worked diligently to be the first two students certified by the Innovating for Social Impact Program. For the Engage Requirement, Rey worked with the City Planning Department of Chamblee on their Shared Autonomous Vehicle Project and says he “made a lot of friends and gained first-hand insight.” Rey says he was impressed by the department’s “crucial role in formulating and executing sustainable projects for the city.” Interestingly, Anna completed the first two requirements without even knowing so. She did so by going on the Leadership for Social Good study abroad trip where she worked for a nonprofit in Hungary called No Bad Kid. She recalls on her experience with great pride, “I absolutely loved that program and learned so much…They [No Bad Kid] truly embody what it looks like to treat everyone with dignity, and I think that is so important as we seek social change.” For the Dive requirement, Anna took the MGT 4803 Social Impact course and describes her experience in the class as a “really nice time to do problem discovery…While I didn’t have solutions, I had a great amount of curiosity and eagerness to learn.”

The requirements can be satisfied by a combination of working with partner organizations, taking VIP or other affiliated courses, participating in the Ideas 2 Serve competition (which comes with a cash prize!), or independent research.

“If you’re interested in using your Georgia Tech education and skillset for the good of communities, I think this program is a great way to discover what that could look like.” (Anna Montgomery, B.S., Business Administration)

Learn more about how to get involved here

Interested in Innovating for Social Impact or the Sustainable Cities Minor?  Join us for a virtual Open House on Wednesday, October 7th at 5:30pm.  More information HERE.