Social Innovation InventureshipsThanks to a gift from the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, The Lewis Institute launched a new program in 2016 called Social Innovation Inventureships. This first-of-its-kind fellowship is unique to Babson as we ask students who apply to use our methodology of Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® to work at a strategic level with social enterprises or companies seeking to have greater social impact. Students will co-create with a sponsoring organization either a semester-long or summer-long Inventureship that addresses a real and current social impact challenge.
To apply for an Inventureship, students must send a one-page letter outlining what they are seeking to change, the organization they intend to work with, and the plan for co-creating lasting impact both for the organization and for Babson. The Lewis Institute can work with students to identify potential placements. Students must have enough background information to articulate the impact they are trying to create in order for The Lewis Institute to help identify the pathway. If you have questions or would like to apply for this Inventureship, please email your proposal to Cheryl Kiser at email@example.com and Emily Weiner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Examples of our Social Innovation Inventureships:
Iroquois Valley Farms: This Inventureship created a whitepaper discussing the advantages of investing in farmland, explaining why an investment in organic land can have a higher financial return compared to conventional land and how an investment in mid-sized organic and ecological farmland can make a substantial financial impact on rural communities. The team researched, analyzed, and discussed topics including triple bottom line, impact investing, economies of size, the local money multiplier, slow money, organic food, local food, mid-sized farming (vs. small "farmers' market" farmers) to complete the final whitepaper: The Investment Advantages of Organic Farmland.
Greyston Bakery: This Inventureship had two main goals. The first was to identify the top five metrics Greyston Bakery should be measuring and evaluating, and the corresponding operational changes necessary to track the data required for these metrics. The second was finding the ROI of Open Hiring by identifying the cost and potential savings of the model, and comparing it to the costs of a traditional hiring model. Greyston is the only known organization that uses Open Hiring, and while the bakery has shown profitability and growth, the organization has not quantified the costs (or potential savings) of the different components of Open Hiring. Both projects help set the foundation for Greyston to create a more robust story and toolkit for other businesses to adopt Open Hiring. Read Inventureship recipient Evadne Cokeh’s blog post on her work Quantifying the Impacts of Open Hiring at Greyston Bakery.
Boston Public Schools Dual Degree: This degree would allow Madison Park Technical Vocational High School and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology students to earn both a high school diploma and an Associate's Degree over the course of five years in a high tech or automotive area. The Inventureship team will benchmark successful programs throughout the US and abroad, conduct an industry analysis to determine areas of job growth and need, perform a SWOT analysis of both schools to determine what areas of concentration would be most likely to succeed, and develop a series of recommendations, a timeline, and a funding strategy towards the goal of a five year Associates program. The overall goal is to help Boston Public Schools evaluate the future of dual degree programs.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals: This Inventureship will work on identifying and developing entrepreneurial business opportunities that meet the United Nations' ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs). The UNSDGs are a set of 17 goals that constitute a worldwide agenda for ending poverty and promoting human and ecological well-being. This project combines the concepts, tools, and knowledge of entrepreneurial practice with outcomes-oriented thinking that results in sustainable economic and social value. This project will enhance Babson's ability to provide students with frameworks, tools, and networks for making more informed decisions in choosing and building successful businesses that not only enhance their unique talents and interests, but generate sustainable economic and social value.