Stanford Social Innovation Review Blog Discusses ELI Award for Social Entrepreneurship Course

Stanford Social Innovation Review blog discusses the role of universities in 21st century education and highlights ELI Director Tony Brown’s course “Social Entrepreneurship in Action” and its recent receipt of the Ron Cordes – Ashoka U Innovation Award. Read to learn more about the course and Tulane University’s Urban Innovation Fellowship.


From the blog, 


“Duke fosters innovation among students who already attend the university. The school’s Social Entrepreneurship in Action course is an interactive, experimental class that gets students working in project teams on solutions to problems at Duke or in the Durham, North Carolina, community. Brown said his pedagogical approach is to “make students do real work to make things happen.” In line with this, students develop a compelling, credible proposal for social impact during their first semester, and then actually launch the project the following semester. One example of a successful project that emerged from the class is Crayons to Calculators, a nonprofit that provides free school supplies to Durham teachers who would otherwise have to spend their own money on them. Since 2005, Crayons to Calculators has distributed more than $100,000 in school supplies to local students.


If it were a traditional course, students would work for an 18-week semester on a project couched between the rigors of other classes, would be graded on participation, and would move on. But Brown has shifted the paradigm that dictates how students engage with their learning. He attempts to awaken their curiosity and offer opportunities for real experience in making a difference.”


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