PA 5290: Acara Social Impact Launchpad

PA 5290 (Previously CEGE 5572) is an intensive one-week course on how to turn an idea into a viable social business model. The class is geared towards a multidisciplinary audience, with a wide variety of skills and backgrounds. The goal of the class is to work on technologies, policies, interventions or ideas that address a grand challenge in a self-sustaining manner. The class assumes that students have an idea (potential solution) in mind, which they will explore and develop during the class. Students are encouraged to focus on a specific community – overseas or locally. Student teams are allowed and encouraged to take the course (i.e., students already working in a team can take the class together). The course features numerous guest lecturers, discussions and activities for the aspiring social entrepreneur. Students and teams from this course will be strongly encouraged to compete in the Acara Challenge for prizes and fellowship money to successfully launch their venture.

You can learn more about this course by reviewing the January 2016 course syllabus.

When does the next course meet?

This course occurs during January-term the week before spring semester begins.

How can I apply?

Students interested in this course should apply by emailing a 1-page resume and 1-page motivation essay to Acara at acara@umn.edu. The essay should address your motivation for taking the course, along with describing your idea, where you are with developing it, and what you need to take it forward. If accepted you will receive a permission number to register via MyU. Applications are due by December 20, 2016. After December 20, course applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. Seats are limited to 25. Apply soon while space remains!

Who teaches the course?

Acara Social Impact Launchpad is taught by Acara Director Fred Rose. Local social entrepreneurs and changemakers serve as guest lecturers and students also work closely with professional mentors.

Institute on the Environment